2003

EK -- Medicine


Lexikon der Liebesmittel: pflanzliche, mineralische, tierische und synthetische Aphrodisiaka [Lexicon of Love Potions: Botanical, Mineral, Animal, and Synthetic Aphrodisiacs]. Christian Rätsch and Claudia Müller-Ebeling. Aarau: AT-Verlag, 2003. 784 p. ill. 27 cm. ISBN 3-85502-772-2: EUR 78 [03-1-307]

Lexikon der Liebesmittel: pflanzliche, mineralische, tierische und synthetische Aphrodisiaka [Lexicon of Love Potions: Botanical, Mineral, Animal, and Synthetic Aphrodisiacs]. Christian Rätsch and Claudia Müller-Ebeling. Licensed ed. for the Deutscher Apotheker-Verlag. Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2003. 784 p. ill. 27 cm. Publisher on the title page: AT-Verlag. ISBN 3-8047-1963-5 (Wiss. Verlagsges.): EUR 78 [03-1-308]

This lexicon begins with a warning unusual for a reference book: the authors bear no responsibility for harmful results that may arise from the use of the recipes or substances described in the book. A 40-page introduction describes what an aphrodisiac really is and elaborates on the use and effects of aphrodisiacs. A dictionary section includes over 500 articles on the substances themselves, covering, among other things, their ingredients, their history, their use, recipes, legal restrictions, and personal experiences. The captions to the illustrations and the formulas could not all be checked, but several errors were evident (e.g., the illustration of an orchid on p. 532 is incorrectly identified). In some examples, the authors pointedly note the problematic aspects of drug laws. The descriptions are presented consistently in a matter-of-fact scientific style, but the commentaries sometimes become rather slangy, and the descriptions of some rather dangerous substances are occasionally a bit too euphoric. The lexicon closes with a short historical discussion of books on the topic and an illustrated 23-page bibliography. This work offers a competent and exhaustive review of the fascinating realm of aphrodisiacs, and will be of interest to both academic and general library collections. [jr/vh]


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