Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story

Ann Shulgin & Alexander Shulgin


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  • Transform Press
  • 2003
  • ISBN 9780963009609)
  • 978 pages
  • Paperback
  • 23 × 15.5 × 4.5 cm

Pihkal (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved)

phen-ethyl-amine    fen-‘eth-al-a-,men    n. [phenyl fr. F. phene, fr. Gk. phainein, to show (from its occurrence in illuminating gas)+ ethyl (+ yl) + amine fr. NL ammonia]    1: A naturally occurring compound found in both the animal and plant kingdoms. It is an endogenous component of the human brain.    2: Any of a series of compounds containing the phenethylamine skeleton, and modified by chemical constituents at appropriate positions in the molecule.

Book I: The Love Story
Tells the tale of a psychopharmacologist and his wife/research partner, and recounts decades devoted to the creation and investigation of psychedelic drugs as tools for the study of the human mind.  Altered state experiences are explored in the context of intimacy.

Book II: The Chemical Story
Describes in detail a wealth of phenethylamines:

• Synthesis and physical properties
(in the format of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry)
• Structural correlates to human central nervous system activity
• The dosages used and duration of effects observed
• Commentary and speculation on why (for instance):

Some which should have been active, are not
Some which should not have been active, are
Some are too toxic to determine activity
And some have yet to be tasted