PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved): A Chemical Love Story

By Alexander Shulgin and Ann Shulgin
Foreword by David E. Nichols
Publication Date: 1991
ISBN: 0-9630096-0-5

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.

PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story

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“PIHKAL is a compelling novel…psychedelic biochemistry and sexual chemistry…brisk and vivid writing.”
– Marilyn Ferguson, author of “The Aquarian Conspiracy.”

“They have written a book…PIHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved)…that is part autobiography, part metaphysical guidebook, and part cookbook.”
– Howard Rheingold, editor of Whole Earth Review.

“PIHKAL is science at its best…”
– Bradley Lenz, Ph.D., Research Fellow in the History of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

“This courageous and compelling book…provides a marvelous glimpse of altered states of consciousness…”
– Lester Grinspoon, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard University.

“Some day in the future, when it may again be acceptable to use chemical tools to study the mind, this book will be a treasure-house, a sort of sorcerer’s book of spells, to delight and enchant the psychiatrist/shaman of tomorrow.”
– David Nichols, Ph.D., Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Purdue University.