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"The passion of my life over the last forty years has been a compelling
interest in psychedelic drugs. They have given me not only an exciting
area of research and discovery, but also a personal understanding of
just who I am and why I am."
-- Dr. Alexander Shulgin, From the Foreword to...
The Simple Plant Isoquinolines
by Dr. Alexander Shulgin & Wendy Perry
ISBN 0-9630096-2-1, Description: Hardcover, xxxvi + 624 pages. Height
23.5 cm. x width 15.8 cm. x thickness 4.5 cm.
Foreword 1 by Alexander T. Shulgin
excerpt... The passion of my life over the last forty years has been a
compelling interest in psychedelic drugs. They have given me not only
exciting area of research and discovery, but also a personal
understanding of just who I am and why I am. Certainly these guides and
sacraments will eventually play an accepted role in our community and
our culture. Almost all of these drugs have either been isolated from
psychoactive plants, or are the results of subtle variations of the
molecular structures of these isolates.
I have always looked at these plants and the compounds they contain in
the same way that the Romans dreamt of their ultimate empire. It was
Caesar who acknowledged that all of Gaul was divided into three parts
and to understand it, to conquer it, each part had to be respected as a
separate entity. It is exactly the same way with understanding the
of psychedelic drugs. There are three domains of inquiry that must be
studied independently before one can begin to appreciate just how they
might integrate into a single concept. These three are now, I believe,
One part is the large collection of psychoactive compounds known as the
phenethylamines. The first known plant psychedelic was mescaline, or
3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine. This simple one-ring alkaloid was
discovered in the North American dumpling cactus Peyote (Anhalonium
williamsii) in the late nineteenth century, and is now known to be a
component of over fifty other cacti. Over a dozen other cactus
phenethylamines have been isolated and identified, and there are
a hundred synthetic analogues that are now also known to be psychedelic
in action. This body of information has been published by my wife Ann
and me as a book entitled "PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story." PIHKAL
for Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved.
An almost-as-large chemical group contains the tryptamines. ... Ann
I have written a companion volume to PIHKAL called "TIHKAL: The
Continuation" (TIHKAL stands for Tryptamines I have Known and Loved),
which has brought together most of these natural and synthetic
tryptamines into a single reference site.
The remaining third of the above Gallic synthesis deals with what I had
originally called the "Q" compounds, as distinguished from the "P"
compounds and the "T" compounds (the phenethylamines and the
tryptamines). ... No name has yet been decided upon, but ideas such as
The Third Book, or Book Three, are under consideration. Names like
resound with a rather striking arrogance, if nothing else.
Foreword II by Wendy Perry
excerpt... As it is now, the pharmaceutical industry is bridging the
gap between what is socially and legally acceptable to do to one's
chemistry in order to feel well, and what is currently considered
unacceptable, which is using chemical or plant medicines to look at why
one is not feeling well to begin with.
There is great hypocrisy, fear, and thoughtlessness afoot in the United
States regarding psychoactive drugs. Their benefits and potential uses
are lost in the rhetoric of the "drug war," and in the fear that it
generates. There are many examples of healthy and informed use of
psychoactive medicines throughout the world, and throughout the ages.
They have been used in the past, and are being used today, as healing
tools. We need that kind of thinking in this country, we need that kind
Hypocrisy exists in the laws regarding alcohol and tobacco, which are
legal, and are the most damaging and widely abused drugs in our
Many pharmaceutical drugs are not without their dangers and abuses as
well (it's a fact that far more Americans die from pharmaceutical drugs
than illegal drugs). What are the fears of psychoactive drugs really
based on? I encourage those who start with the arguments of brain
caused by this or that drug to obtain the actual scientific papers that
make those claims (not just the titles of the papers) and read them
carefully. They will find much misinformation due to political
economics, and fear.