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Summary

Ayahuasca is a powerful tool for transformation, that more and more Westerners are flocking to drink in a quest for greater self-knowledge, healing and reconnection with the natural world. This formerly esoteric, little-known brew is now a growth industry. But why?

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive tea that has a long history of ritual use among indigenous groups of the Upper Amazon. Made from the ayahuasca vine and the leaves of a shrub, ayahuasca is associated with healing in collective ceremonies and in more intimate contexts, generally under the direction of specialist - an ayahuasquero. These are experienced practitioners who guide the ceremony and the "drinkers'" experience.

Ayahuasca has gained significant popularity these days in cities around the world. Ceremonies happen nightly and Hollywood stars, Wall Street players and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs now drink the brew. Why? What effect might ayahuasca be having on our culture? Could it be the LSD of our time? Does the 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 One" covers the background; what ayahuasca is, where it is found, and its cultural origins. "Part Two" explores the role and practices of the ayahuasquero in both Amazonian and Western cultures. "Part Three" 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. "Part Four" looks more closely at how ayahuasca is perceived and used today, covering law, the drug wars, media and money. Lastly, in "Part Five", 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.

©2019 Daniel Pinchbeck and Sophia Rokhlin (P)2019 Vibrance Press

What listeners say about When Plants Dream

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Great book. Informative guide to aya. Would recomm

A journey with the grandmother vine before I prepare for my first ceremony. Really enjoyed this book.

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educational, enlightening, illuminating

Great book about the effects and experiences of psychedelics - long and quite wordy but an excellent book.

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  • Lsanti75
  • 16-10-19

Excellent

Super informative and keeps you very interested . Love how the author discusses the evolution of psychedelics in today’s Modern society. Great easy read !

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jaime Marum
  • 01-10-19

distracted

the material is very interesting, but the whispering narration style ruins the book. very distracting

2 people found this helpful

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  • Carlos A. García
  • 06-03-20

Great Book!!!!!

This books it's a jewel for experienced medicine people and newcomers as well. Those looking to learn about the plant medicines will get what they want and some more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Makenzie
  • 24-10-19

Well Rounded Perspective on Ayahuasca

I really enjoyed the content of this book but unfortunately I found the voices of the narrators to be extremely irritating and unnatural - especially the female narrator. I’m glad I powered through it though, because it provided a comprehensive view of what ayahuasca is all about, along with its history and its many ripple effects into our modern world. I was especially interested in the idea that the plant world is sentient, and that it has an agenda of its own. This is an important perspective that I think many people are completely unaware of. Clearly we have a great deal to learn from the plant realm. Anyway great book overall, I think I just would’ve liked to hear the actual authors narrating it themselves.

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  • Panthers 1-505
  • 01-08-21

Informative

Great substance with an overly dramatic narrator at times but great information to keep in mind.

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  • Andy Fields
  • 22-07-21

A good first Ayahuasca book

It almost feels like I have been all over this information already, it lacks having a good story. The explanatory part almost feels like I am back in primary school. Overall an excellent book don’t get me wrong but this book can’t say much to someone who has been drinking the medicine for decades. Still enjoyable and useful for this you may have forgotten, intrinsic parts of the Ayahuasca experience.

I find Apa Shanko books much more interesting and adventurous.

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  • Aikiguy
  • 20-10-20

Great overview!

An excellent primer and more on plant medicine and it’s impact, positive and not so positive is having on the world.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-05-20

Wonderful survey of the complex world of global Aya

With rich cultural context, scientific and ethnobotanical insight and deeply felt narrative, the authors give a survey of the potential and risks of the global psychedelic renaissance.

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  • Daniel Zechmeister III
  • 10-01-20

Powerful. Enlightening.

Covers ayahuasca as thoroughly as Terence McKenna covered mushrooms in Food of the Gods. Masterful storytelling. Filled with mind-blowing facts, fun anecdotes, and powerful wisdom.

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  • soliver4568
  • 04-10-19

Thorough

Very thorough book on the medecine, current culture, risks and benefits. Thank you Daniel and Sophia. Asta las estrellas 💫✨🐆