The opium poppy goddess
The Poppy Goddess, Patroness of Healing

Archeologists speculate that this female deity, crowned with poppy pods, presided over an opium- smoking cult on ancient Crete 3,500 years ago.

Opium has played a dramatic and varied role in human history, inspiring religious veneration, scientific exploration, the bitterest rancor, and the most fanciful ecstasy.

The incredible and complex history of opium throughout the world.

Flowers in the Blood lifts the veil of mystery that has surrounded opium down through the ages. In this book you will discover:

  • Why a three-thousand-year-old statue of a Greek goddess was crowned with poppies

  • The formulas for Hippocrates’s ancient opium remedies

  • Why the Islamic councils of the wise vilified hashish but venerated opium

  • Why there was no opium "problem" in nineteenth-century England and America despite unprecedented and unrestricted consumption of opiates

  • What really provoked the Opium Wars in China

  • Why John Jacob Astor quit the opium trade

At times disconcerting—raising serious questions about attitudes and approaches toward powerful drugs and their control—Flowers in the Blood is an essential addition to the literature of opium, and a wide-awake look at the stuff that dreams (and nightmares) are made of.

"Thoroughgoing and at times very funny… An irreverent, exuberant, sometimes eminently sensible affair."–Kirkus Review