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6848: Re: 6835: Lawless comments on Wade Davis,A comment aded

From: H P <kemsere@hotmail.com>

I met wade Davis in the Fall of 1998 at a presentation of the Serpent and 
the Rainbow at the University of Florida. He is indeed an ethnobotanist and 
you are absolutely correct in defining the terms of the field. His main goal 
was to retreive certain potions, mainly zombie powder, and analyze their 
chemical structures and effects.
He also researched the roles of these compounds in their ethnic origin. 
Meaning he tried to determine the origin of their use and the properties 
attributed to these chemicals in vodou religion and Haitian culture.

It was very interesting to learn during the lecture that Haiti is not the 
only place where the extract of blowfish is used. In Japan for example it is 
used in as a delicacy in sushi for its psychadelic effects. The sushi chefs 
that prepare blowfish are specially licensed.

There are instances of death every year among patrons who eat a piece of 
fish who was not sufficiently drained of its poison. There are also cases of 
what we would call zombification, as far as scientists have been able to 
understand the phenomenon. The patients look dead, present no visible signs 
of life (no pulse or respiration), yet, they "wake up" a few days later. Of 
course there is serious damage to the cerebral cortex and the enire nervous 
system due to a lack of oxygenation from slowed pulse and respiration.

I must say meeting Wade Davis was one of the more interesting experiences I 
had at the University of Florida. It was interesting to see the perspective 
of a foreigner on Haitian Vodou culture.
I believe there are many things we could learn from the medicinal plants 
used in religions like vodou. There are certainly many cures to  diseases 
that could be found if we were able to discover the secrets of the native 

Emmanuelle A. Zennie
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