Stimulating Beverages: An Ethnobotanical History of Coffee & Chocolate





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Published on May 24, 2012

Video 17 in the Introduction to Ethnobotany series. Presented by Tamara Ticktin.

Coffee and chocolate have become staples in the lives of many people today. Like other psychoactive plants, these have long histories of cultural, medicinal and religious uses in the places in which they originated. This episode discusses the ethnobotanical histories of coffee and chocolate, and examines ways in which both plants helped to transform cultures in places to which the plants and their products were introduced. We illustrate how this was due to their psychoactive properties as well as to the cultural and social significance they were assigned. These plants provide good examples of how the ways in which cultures perceive of plants, change over time.

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