JF Ptak Science Books
L. Lewin. Phantastic, die Betaubenden und Erregenden Genussmittel fuer Artze und Nichtarzte., Berlin; Verlag von Georg Stiler: 1927. 2nd edition. 465pp. Cloth. Fine copy. $225.00 ("Narcotics and Stimulating Drugs, their Use and Abuse).
Luke Howard achieved some fame and did the world a great service by (finally) identifying and classifying some of the most-overlooked objects in the natural world--clouds. Throughout the history of humans giving names to things, even in the groups of the greatest of the classifiers, like Aristotle, clouds managed, somehow, to escape their classifying grid-vision--until Luke Howard, which took until the early 19th century. (I wrote about him here.)
Louis Lewin (1850-1929)--Dr. Lewin--classified another sort of "cloud", more of the internal, botanically-induced psychoactive variety than the outside, high-in-the-actual-sky clouds. Lewin was a pharmacologist and leading toxicologist, and what he did, really,was help to establish the field of ethnobotany through his deep scientific investigation of drug use around the world. This was an entirely new approach to this issue: by investigating how the plants produced their effects Lewin took another step into a new field apart from the prevailing anthropological approach, which looked at the methods and beliefs and such in the use of the drugs. Lewin experimented with peyote, te, heroin, coffee, annabis, alcohol, opium, kava and of course tobacco, as well as many other drugs, and published them in his book Phantastic, die Betaubenden und Erregenden Genussmittel fuer Artze und Nichtarzte ("Narcotics and Stimulating Drugs, their Use and Abuse) in 1924, expanding it in a second edition in 1927.
Lewin organized and classified the drugs into categories that remained basically unchanged: Inebriantia (inebriants such as alcohol or ether) ; Exitantia (stimulants such as khat or amphetamine) ; Euphorica (euphoriants and narcotics such as heroin) ; Hypnotica (tranquilizers such as kava); and of course the Phantastica (hallucinogens or entheogens such as peyote or ayahuasca). [This list with links transfered from an article on Lewin from wiki.]