Austin, TX—The American Botanical Council (ABC) has awarded its 2018 James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award to Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs: 50 Years of Research, Volumes I and II, according to a press release. The Duke Award is given to books annually that significantly contribute to medicinal plant related literature, botany, ethnobotany, taxonomy, phytomedicine, pharmacognosy and other related subjects.

The release states that Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs: 50 Years of Research, Volumes I and II, received this award because it compiles proceedings from the first Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs (ESPD) symposium and the 50th anniversary symposium in 1967 and 2017. According to the release, the book also contains papers from some of the most regarded and well-known experts in the field. The book is published by Synergetic Press and edited by Dennis J. McKenna, Ph.D.

Dr. McKenna commented, “Many discoveries were made in the five decades between the 1967 symposium and the 2017 symposium. The topics covered were timely then, and are even more timely now, as the habitats and cultures that are the holders of the knowledge are disappearing rapidly…. Science has always looked to nature for psychoactive remedies that may be used to alleviate human suffering. It is my hope that these symposium volumes will inspire a new generation of young investigators to continue this quest.”

Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC, explained the importance of this book’s contribution to the botanical community. “This two-volume set is a major contribution to the world’s literature on psychoactive plants and fungi,” he said. “The growing body of compelling clinical research on compounds from psychoactive plants and fungi to provide remedies for a variety of existential and medical conditions continues to underscore the need for more research in this vital area. It is clear that many psychoactive plants and fungi and their compounds will become welcome medicines of the future, and that future is not far off.

The Duke Award was created in 2006 to honor James A. Duke Ph.D., an economic botanist and author. According to the release, before Dr. Duke’s death in 2017, he led a prestigious career with achievements in economic botany, worked for many years at the United States Department of Agriculture, wrote of over 30 consumer and reference books, and the co-founded the ABC’s Board of Trustees.