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Page viii treatments. Alternatively, they may wish to incorporate herbal medicines into a patient's treatment regimen whenever appropriate. Toward this end, this book details the chemical constituents, mechanisms, and physiological effects of psychoactive plant drugs. Further, information is given on any controlled clinical trials that address the safety and efficacy of psychoactive herbal medicines. Researchers in this field will also benefit from the broad summary of data collected here, incorporating biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, cognition, and behavior. From this perspective, future avenues for research often become apparent.

Ultimately, this book is intended to further the cause of herbal medicines. If they are properly researched and the public is properly educated about their effects and uses, herbal medicines will be an asset to us, rather than a liability. Acknowledgments

There are several people I would like to thank regarding the creation of this book. The library staff at JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey and Richard Stockton College in Pomona, NJ has been indispensable with their assistance in research. The editors and staff at MIT Press have also been extremely helpful in guiding me through the process of publishing a book.

I would like to thank my former teachers for sharing freely their knowledge and inspiration. Special thanks are extended to Richard Bodnar, Thomas Frumkes, Christopher Capuano, and John Santelli for guiding through the field of neuroscience.

Most of all, I would like to thank my family and friends for their persistent encouragement, love, and support.

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