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Biology 4(plant and society)b - Essay Example

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Biology 4 (Plant and Society) B Introduction and Background Information Scientifically known as ‘Papaver Somniferum’ which is commonly known as opium poppy, is a certain species of plant derived from opium and poppy seeds. The poppy originates from the plant family known as ‘Papaveracea’, which is an agricultural crop that is cultivated largely on an extensive scale…
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Biology 4(plant and society)b
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Download file to see previous pages It is a plant which is used also for medicinal purposes as analgestic narcotic for the treatment of lower to relentless pain (Papaver Somniferum, n.d.). The cultivation of opium poppy was first initiated in the south-east region of Italian Peninsula, for past 2500 years, according to the archaeological evidences which also emanate from the Neolithic and Bronze Age (Merlin, 2003). It can be stated that opium poppy is not extensively cultivated in various regions around the globe. It is a domestic plant and has been cultivated mostly in areas of Europe, Australia, Japan North and South America and Northeast Africa among others. Moreover, the distribution process in the current status can be observed on the basis of the World Drug Report presented in 2010, which states that Europe holds the highest percent of consumption rate of opium which is around 9% as of 2008 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010). The opium plants are used as medicinal herbs as well as multipurpose plants which include Cannabis, and are required for production of fibre. It is also used for cult (Merlin, 2003). In terms of the psychoactive principle of the opium plants, it can be observed that there is a strong relation amid human beings as well as the psychoactive plants as these plants are considered for offering the ceremonial issues. People are very much conscious regarding religious experiences. Nevertheless, according to a few of the classical authors, human beings use these plants as a drug. Moreover, it is also considered as a plant which was originated in the Neolithic Age and is offered to the ancestors or gods by human beings for establishing direct communication. The physiological effects comprise relaxation, reduction in alertness, anxiety relief and pain, which depends on the chemical nature of the substance. Overdosing of opium could lead to coma, stupor as well as death (Opiumaddiction.Com, 2012). In this essay, the hypothesis presented by Merlin i.e. “humans have a very ancient tradition involving the use of mind-altering experiences to produce profound, more or less spiritual and cultural understanding” will be argued for or against based on a plant i.e. opium poppy. Arguments For or Against the Hypothesis In the context of mind-altering organisms, the relation between the plant and human beings comes from the very ancient period. In those days, it was used in the ceremonial offerings and was extensively related to the spiritual world. Moreover, it was used as an organism of offering to the ancestors as well as god in the ceremonial offerings. In the modern day context, it is used in medicinal uses as well as applications in the secular aspects. It is also used in making capsules for curing certain diseases from various herbal plants. In non-industrial societies, these products or herbs are used to a great extent. It can be evidently observed that these plants were traditionally used by the people across diverse cultural societies for religious offerings. According to the survey conducted by Merlin, it can be stated that out of 488 societies, 437 were culturally involved in the usage of these plants in various industrial societies. It can be argued with reference to the evidences presented by several authors that consciousness altering plants such as opium poppy rendered the inspiration with regard to ancient ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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