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Plant/Botany Book Reflection 1 - Essay Example

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BOTANY BOOK ESSAY: A REFLECTION ON HEALING, SACRED AND HALLUCINOGENIC PLANTS Abstract The use of plants for medicinal and religious purposes has been a significant tradition that flourished with the formation of human civilizations. While the knowledge about the use of such plants sharply decreased along with the widening of the sphere of influence of major world religions and modernization, there has been a revival in the use of these plants in recent times…
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Plant/Botany Book Reflection 1
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Download file to see previous pages The authors aim to remove the negative images of these plants that came about due to the decrease of paganism by incorporating scientific and cultural views, however it is up to the reader if the book’s existence is either justifiable or not. Botany Book Essay: A Reflection on Healing, Sacred and Hallucinogenic Plants Humans have been living with medicinal plants ever since the formation of ancient civilizations. It is through experiences in working with these plants that the effects become known, and the continuous usage becomes the result of the accumulation of this information. However, the information is limited to only a few persons within certain cultures, most cases these would any of the most important spiritual persons within the group: medicine men; elders; shamans; healers; or priests. Their knowledge regarding the healing abilities of numerous plants has been passed down to apprentices of each generation, along with the cultural groups’ traditions and beliefs. It is safe to presume that most medicinal plants were influential on how various cultures across the globe viewed the spiritual and religious path in life, and the only differences noticeable would be dependent on the location of the culture and the available medicinal and herbal plants in their vicinity. It can be said that in an essence, civilizations were built through the compounding of the knowledge of the sages and the traditions and customs that came about as a result of living with nature and using plants in healing or religious effects. The seemingly-primitive knowledge regarding the importance of medicinal plants in ancient cultures was long buried in antiquity, especially during the age when synthetic drugs are already available. Also, the influx of major world religions such as Judeo-Christianity and Islam dampened the relevance of the knowledge with regards to the millennia-old usage of medicinal plants. However, the resurgence in the interest to these plants due to a need to identify their active ingredients and organic compounds brought them back to the spotlight, and this in turn revives the importance of ancient medicinal plants in healing. Most of these traditionally-used and culturally-important plants were featured in various ethnobotany books that not only feature the plants as botanically-pertinent specimens, but also their various religious and traditional significances in ancient cultures across the globe. Well-known ethnobotanists Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hoffman, and Christian Ratsch were one of the few people who made a collaborative effort in reintroducing traditionally-important herbal plants along with a scientific background, and they were able to achieve this by writing a book containing some of the most culturally-relevant plants used for thousands of years, and even mentioned in ancient texts. In their book, Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers, the three authors presented some of the most ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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