Dale Pendell (April 14, – 13 January ) was an American poet, ethnobotanist, and novelist. Writing in an evocative style all his own, he fused science. In Pharmako/Poeia, Dale Pendell offers a mesmerizing guide to psychoactive plants, from their pharmacological roots to the literary offshoots. “This is a book,”. Dale Pendell Has Written Two Books on Botanical Pharmacopeia That Resonate With a Lusty Wit. He May Be America’s Answer to Blake.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want pharmaocpoeia read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Gary Snyder foreword by. Paperback1st editionpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Does pahrmacopoeia know if the book is available in italian daale Lists with This Book. Well, here’s a unique book.

It’s a kind of encyclopedia of psychoactive substances, ranging from beer to Salvia divinorum. But it’s not what you’d expect from an encyclopedia — it’s more poetry than reference, fact mixed with metaphor and a good deal of cryptic imagery. The sections on the plants are interspersed with mysterious writings on alchemy, the meanings of which are often unclear.

The descriptions of the substances contain scattered paragraphs concerning interesting historical overviews Well, here’s a psndell book. The descriptions of the substances contain scattered paragraphs concerning interesting historical overviews, chemical details, mythological tales, strange poetry. This book has a wonderful atmosphere of mystique. It can perhaps seem a little forced at times, and it’s often frustrating dzle to decipher what the author meant, if anything, with his talk of quicksilver and sun doctors.

The very “Poison Path”, a concept that seems to be the foundation of the book’s philosophy, is never clearly explained, and I’m still not sure I know what it’s all about. But this confusion, if you’re in the right mindset for it, reinforces the fictional, for-fun only feeling that this book holds the key to a great secret knowledge, ready to phsrmacopoeia revealed if only you could figure out what the lock is.

But it’s not a book about occultism. It’s clear that all this mystical talk is only metaphor, and Pendell sounds more like a mad poet than like a new age quack. There’s much to be learned from it, to be sure, but those looking for comprehensive information on dlae substances should look elsewhere there is, however, a terrific commented bibliography here, which can help direct the reader’s own research.

It’s hard to label this book and say exactly what it’s about, because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. Maybe there’s a hint of House of Leaves here; that’s the closest thing I can think of.

Reading this is a remarkable experience, and I recommend it highly. Sep 28, Cyrano rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: It is a wonderful almost surprisingly blend of ethnobotany, anthropology, history, neurochemistry, molecular cell biology, and poetry. Anybody that wishes to walk the green path would serve their travels well to begin here.

Pendell is an amazing man with an amazing art to share. Excitantia and hallucinogens category: Dec 19, Gerbik rated it it was amazing. This is a singular amalgam of hard pharmacokinetic fact and subjective, experiential notation and narrative.


Imagine a professor in a psychiatry class who could summon all the most cutting edge research who could also refer to his own private experience of psychosis – that sort of cross referencing between objective and subjective fact is what makes this such a worthy book. However, I wouldn’t go too far toward classifying it as epic literature; while there is a very artful control of the various narrative voices that emerge and collide, differentiated by typeface or lineation, and while much of the book appears as free verse, I think it is best be taken for what it is on the most basic level: It is paranoid, erudite, hilarious, beatific, anarchic, poetic, practical, and visually fascinating.

Further, spending enough time with the books, you learn to intuit a variety of etymologies, and the book begins to function – not unlike Pound’s CANTOS – as a trans-temporal pastiche of languages, cultures, and eras: Latin, Greek, Mayan, Sanskrit, and contemporary American, to name a few.

Sep 19, Steve Cran rated it it was amazing. Poison have been used by seekers of wisdom for thousands of years. Ever since early prehistoric times the poison and the allies of the plant world have been teaching mankind sometimes directly and sometimes through animals. Dale Pendell has written a nice compendium of these poisons. The author also gives us associat Poison have been used by seekers of wisdom for thousands of years.

The author also gives us associations connected with these plant allies that would jibe well with anyone who is interested in alchemy. The allies are broken up into five allies and they are inebrienta,phantastica, excitianta,thanatopathia and Eurphorica.

Pharmako/Poeia: Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft

More than several allies are discussed many of which we are pfndell with. Marijauna,wine, absinthe,mugwort,ether, laughing gas, opium and laudanum just to name a few.

Read this book and you will get a glimpse into the history of these allies as well as an insight into their benefits and pitfalls. The author uses poetic insight to inspire your imagination while you are reading.


A huge plus and one factor that would encourage me to read the next two volumes of his work. While I am not sure I would wish to indulge in the poison path. As marijuana leaves me rather paranoid and reclusive.

I hate being trapped in my own imagination. Ether and laughing gas do not seem a safe bet to abuse or use regularly. Forget about Opium and Laudanum as the poppy is not legal here in the states. Nicotine can be deadly with just one or two drops. It was used to generate a religious high. If I can try without smoking it hey I might be game. Parts of the last section speak about The Greenman whose face it seems is on every cathedral and building in Europe some would call him Osiris or Robin Hood maybe even Dionysus.

He is the god of revelry and intoxication. Jul 18, Steve rated it it was amazing.

For anyone interested in the visionary uses of botanicals, there is simply no better writer on the subject than Dale Pendell. It seems safe to say that, as with Amazonian shamans, plants speak through Pendell. Few authors can balance the poetic against the historical and practical like he does. Can’t recommend this highly enough, for those on “the poison path. Aug 21, Marianne Haney rated it it was amazing. Such an excellent read! Dale Pendell has truly dzle a pharnacopoeia of work that will be relevant for many years to come.


I also really enjoyed that he wrote from the perspective that we are all seekers of knowledge, and has really given me great insight into the alchemy component of hermeticsm. Jul 11, GooseberryCompote rated it it was amazing.

This is such an immense and unique resource, I may pharkacopoeia to buy it. And the other two in the trilogy. Feb 26, Zak Ziebell rated it it was amazing. Nov 12, Josh rated it really liked it Shelves: Dale Pendell pharmacopoeka further proof that you can hold the wisdom and experience of the sages and still come across as a logical scientific human being.

He’s even a pharmacopofia engineer! This pfndell looked so goddamn weird I had to buy it, and in the end, it was still pretty goddamn weird. It’s hard to neatly categorize and recommend because it gives a broad dlae on so many topics—drugs, drugs in history, drugs in culture, poetry, preparation tips, personal anecdotes sometimes funny, sometimes poignant.

Personally, while I came for the drugs, I definitely stayed for the culture and history. While Pendell obviously has a lot of experience with the drugs he writes about, he never sounds like the kind of person that would. Maybe I have unfair biases against people with lots of experience with drugs, but Pendell’s unique authorial voice makes me want to shoot up right now know what I’m sayin. He doesn’t write for the teenager who wants a buzz, but for the person who cares about man’s relation with plants without sounding like thatmost the time.

Joseph Campbell, for example, went way more off the deep end than this guy ever does. He’s level-headed and fair, but with a very poetic touch—he has many creative metaphors and analogies. How can someone know that much about alchemy?

The book is very general in scope and serves as a nice hub for many different areas, it’s like a survey class in that area. Ethnobotanywith a teacher with a 4.

I’ve seen “bona fide” science books that weren’t as well referenced and indexed as this one. All the weirder anecdotes and stories I looked up were all pleasantly real. My personal favorite was this wood carving in a French church: Jul 01, Ryan rated it it was amazing. In the words of Ginsberg, who recommends this book along with Gary Snyder, Peter Coyote, and other giants, the book is “an epic poem of plant humours”: The books is reference In the words of Ginsberg, who recommends this book along with Gary Snyder, Peter Coyote, and other giants, the book is “an epic poem of plant humours”: The books is reference-like, or more accurately, holographic, in that you can flip to any page and whatever you read will make an intelligible whole.

This demonstrates the power of Pendell’s art as a writer since the book pulls from thousands of disparate and even seemingly unrelated sources: Yet it is the adhesiveness of Pendell’s musing, self-commentaries, quips, questioning his own questioning, that alchemically transforms the book into something much more than a drug reference.

And finally, one gets to meet the author himself: