Opium for the Masses: Harvesting Nature's Best Pain Medication

Opium for the Masses: Harvesting Nature's Best Pain Medication

by Jim Hogshire


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"Contrary to general belief, there is no federal law against growing P. somniferum."—Martha Stewart Living

"Regarded as 'God's own medicine,' preparations of opium were as common in the Victorian medicine cabinet as aspirin is in ours. As late as 1915, pamphlets issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture were still mentioning opium poppies as a good cash crop for northern farmers. Well into this century, Russian, Greek, and Arab immigrants in America have used poppy-head tea as a mild sedative and a remedy for headaches, muscle pain, cough, and diarrhea. During the Civil War, gardeners in the South were encouraged to plant opium for the war effort, in order to ensure a supply of painkillers for the Confederate Army. What Hogshire has done is to excavate this vernacular knowledge and then publish it to the world—in how-to form, with recipes."— Michael Pollan

First published fifteen years ago, Opium for the Masses instantly became a national phenomenon. Michael Pollan wrote a lengthy feature ("Opium, made easy") about Jim Hogshire in Harper’s Magazine, amazed that the common plant, P. somniferum, or opium poppies, which grows wild in many states and is available at crafts and hobby stores and nurseries, could also be made into a drinkable tea that acts in a way similar to codeine or Vicodin.

With Opium for the Masses as their guide, Americans can learn how to supplement their own medicine chest with natural and legal pain medicine, without costly and difficult trips to the doctor and pharmacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932595468
Publisher: Feral House
Publication date: 10/01/2009
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 172
Sales rank: 590,391
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Romantic Poets and Dope Fiends 9

Opium Addiction: An Honest Disclaimer 14

Who's a Hophead? 17

All Those Famous Addicts 18

The Origins and History of Opium 21

What Opium Feels Like 31

Popular Perceptions of Opium 38

Opium As a Gift of God 40

More Opiated Physical Effects 42

Chapter 2 The War on Poppies 47

Just How Important is the Opium Poppy, Anway? 53

The Poppy Rebellion 58

Subversive Nurseries and Florists 62

The Results of the Latest Program 64

Opium Poppy Law 65

The Role of Pain in Freedom 67

Chapter 3 Your Very Own Poppy tea (and Laudanum) 71

Making Poppy Tea 77

Poppy Seeds 80

Making Opium from Poppy Tea 83

Other Ways of Taking Opium 86

Laudanum 86

Smoking Opium 86

Injection, Snorting, Etc. 88

Fogle's Guide to Making (a sort of) Laudanum 89

Chapter 4 Poppy Cultivation 97

How to Plant 106

Where to Get Seeds

Harvesting 115

Chapter 5 Papaver Somniferum and Opioid Drugs 121

Opium Identification 125

Morphine 128

Opium Perfume, the Real Thing 130

Pharmokinettcs and Pharmacology of Opiates 131

Opioid Drugs 132

How Methadone Got to America 139

Chapter 6 Endorphins 143

The Brain's Opium 146

More Than just a Passel of Endorphins 148

The Dapper Pipie 150

Chapter 7 The Discovery of Morphine 153

The pain of Morphine Science and politics 158

Morphine and Heroin 161

Part One: Morphine 162

Extraction and Isolation 162

Classical Processes for Opium Extraction 164

Merck Process 164

Thiboumery and Mohr Process 166

Making Morphine Out of Mom's Codeine Pills 167

Part Two: Heroin 173

The Golden Triangle Method 174

Heroin Manufacturing in Afghanistan 178

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