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(2,708 words)

Author(s): Gietz, Peter | Tietze, Dierk
1. For millennia, human beings have applied the effect of various materials, primarily of vegetable origin, to their central nervous systems with varying intent: to alleviate pain, to intensify sensory perception, to calm or stimulate themselves, to invoke visions, or to have euphoric and spiritual experiences. The special physiological effect of this sort of ‘intoxicant’ results from the fact that it impacts certain mechanisms of the human brain: these materials often work on the sleeping-wakin…