When Plants Dream by Daniel Pinchbeck and Sophia Rokhlin is a fascinating exploration of ayahuasca, a drink which has gained significant popularity these days in cities around the world. Why? What effect might ayahuasca be having on our culture? Does this psychoactive brew, which seems to inspire environmental action, simplified lifestyles and more communitarian behaviour, act as an antidote to frenzied consumerist culture?
In When Plants Dream, Pinchbeck and Rokhlin explore the economic, social, political, cultural and environmental impact that ayahuasca is having on society. Part 1 covers the background; what ayahuasca is, where it is found, and its cultural origins. Part 2 explores the role and practices of the ayahuasquero in both Amazonian and Western cultures. Part 3 examines the medicinal plants of the Amazon, looking particularly at the ingredients in ayahuasca and their therapeutic qualities, covering the most up-to-date biomedical research, psychedelic science and psychopharmacology. It also covers all the legal aspects of ayahuasca use. Lastly in Part 4 Pinchbeck and Rokhlin question the future of ayahuasca.
When Plants Dream is the first book of its kind to look at the science and expanding culture of ayahuasca, from its historical use to its appropriation by the West and the impact it is having on cultures beyond the Amazon.