Psychedelic Books

Psychedelic Integration
Psychedelic Integration: Psychotherapy for Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness by Marc Aixala is promising to be the guidebook for integrating psychedelic experiences. The book captures the work from the 1960s until the present on how to best integrate psychedelic experiences. The book is written for practitioners and the wider audience looking to learn about integration.
Rating: 3
The Psychedelic Handbook
The Psychedelic Handbook by Rick Strassman gives a high-level and expert overview of what psychedelics are, how they work (and for whom we think they can help), and provides practical tips to those who want to use them. Possibly the best intro to psychedelics out there in book form.
Rating: 5
DMT: The Spirit Molecule
DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman offers his account of a large scale study on the effects of DMT on the human brain and psyche. The book gives a detailed account of the research, how it came to be, the difficulties in getting it started, and the outcomes. It describes both the scientific process, and the novel outcomes (and theories).
Psychedelic Theories
Rating: 4.19
The Microdosing Guidebook
The Microdosing Guidebook: A Step-by-Step Manual to Improve Your Physical and Mental Health Through Psychedelic Medicine by Carlton Spotswood provides readers with a complete guide to microdosing. Published in 2022, the guidebook has the most up to date research on microdosing.
Rating: 3
DMT Dialogues: Encounters with the Spirit Molecule
DMT Dialogues: Encounters with the Spirit Molecule, edited by David Luke and Rory Spowers, gives the reader a peek into Tyringham Hall in England in September 2015, as ten of the world’s leading luminaries noted for exploring the mysterious compound DMT gathered with other researchers from across the globe.
Rating: 4.3
The Nature of Drugs
The Nature of Drugs by Alexander 'Sasha' Shulgin gives you a peek into the awesome lecture series that Sasha gave in the late '80s. The lectures give an overview of how the body works and how drugs (including psychedelics) influence it. Throughout the book, you are greeted with the positive attitude and joking demeanour of Sasha, as well as poignant criticism of drug laws that would still apply today.
Rating: 4.31
Entheogens, Myth & Human Consciousness
Entheogens, Myth & Human Consciousness by Carl A. P. Ruck and Mark A. Hoffman makes the case for entheogens being at the foundation of the religions and myths of the Western world. Entheogens make sense of the ancient myths, especially the ancient Greek ones, and the myths provide a framework for understanding what occurs in experiences utilizing these substances.
Rating: 3.8
LSD - The Wonder Child
LSD - The Wonder Child by Thomas Hatsis presents a masterful history of the blossoming psychedelic research in the 1950s. The narrative uncovers an era previously not explored, with most commentators focussing on the 60s and 70s. From the MKUltra mind-control experiments by the CIA to psychiatrists exploring the psychedelic world with newly found molecules, Hatsis takes us on a journey through the early years of LSD.
Rating: 4.4
Psychedelic Medicine
Psychedelic Medicine: The Healing Powers of LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin, and Ayahuasca by Richard Miller describes the history of research into psychedelics. He does this by interviewing many of the luminaries in the field and with a focus on LSD, MDMA, ayahuasca, and psilocybin. The book provides a good, albeit high-level, overview of where the research stands up to 2017.
Rating: 3.99
Mycelium Running
Mycelium Running by Peter Jackson, Jane Doe, and Fire Erowid makes the case for using mycology (mushrooms) to save the planet. Although not directly focussed on psychedelics, the book shows the many (other) capabilities that mushrooms have. Both partly speculative and based on sound science, this book highlights how mycelium can help our environment.
Rating: 4.44
LSD - The Problem Solving Psychedelic
LSD - The Problem Solving Psychedelic by Peter Stafford and Bonnie Golightly highlights what was known in 1967 with relation to LSD. It offers information on creative problem solving, mental health disorders and LSD, and how to use LSD.
Rating: 3.78
A Hallucinogenic Tea, Laced with Controversy
A Hallucinogenic Tea, Laced with Controversy by Marlene Dobkin de Rios and Roger Rumrrill tracks the history of ayahuasca, its current use, and the many links between South- and North America that this 'spirit vine' has enabled.
Rating: 3.53
Entheogens, Society & Law
Entheogens, Society & Law: Towards a Politics of Consciousness, Autonomy & Responsibility by Daniel Waterman explores the use of psychoactive plants and substances that occasion 'religious' or 'mystical' states and their biological underpinnings that make it a quantifiable phenomenon, while also emphasizing the notion that empathy, meaning and purpose emerge from three intersecting areas of human life: biology, consciousness, and culture. It critically analyzes the tensions between powerful institutions exercising hegemonic control and individual's search for a meaningful existence through drug use and expands the prohibitionist discourse through broader existential, ethical, and humanitarian considerations that are central to religious or therapeutic traditions.
Rating: 3.00
LSD - The Highway to Mental Health
LSD - The Highway to Mental Health by Milan Hausner describes the work at his clinic near Prague, where he supervised over 3,000 LSD therapeutic sessions from 1954 to 1980. As Grof says on a back cover blurb, “He has amassed information that is invaluable for the theory and practice of psychotherapy." Go to the source with this book and get to know what we already learned in the first era of psychedelics research.
Personal Experience
Rating: 5
The Pharmacology of LSD
The Pharmacology of LSD: A Critical Review by Annelie Hintzen & Torsten Passie is a comprehensive review of the literature on the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide. It covers both the psychological and pharmacological effects and uses data from over 3000 studies. After reading the book, you will better understand LSD and its impact on the human body and mind.
Rating: 4
The Shulgin Index
The Shulgin Index, Volume One: Psychedelic Phenethylamines and Related Compounds by Alexander Shulgin, Tania Manning & Paul Daley provides a detailed overview pertaining to the physical properties, synthesis, and analytical chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacological properties, and legal status of 126 psychedelic phenethylamines and related compounds. It also covers lesser-known structural homologs and analogs, with 1300 compounds in total.
Rating: 4.76
Darwin’s Pharmacy
Darwin's Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noosphere by Richard Doyle explores the notion of an intertwined co-evolution between human beings and psychedelic plants. It delves into the central idea that psychedelic properties seduce human beings to interact with them, and thus engage our awareness of the noosphere, a stage of evolutionary development dominated by consciousness, the mind, and interpersonal relationships. These ideas are contextualized within a historic review of new-age psychedelic thinkers, as well as evolutionary theory, the war on drugs, and questions related to the nature of human consciousness.
Rating: 4.02
Healing our Deepest Wounds
Healing our Deepest Wounds by Stanislav Grof argues that there are approaches to therapy that utilize a specific non-ordinary state of consciousness that enables individuals, with support, to access and heal deeper levels of trauma from the personal and collective unconscious. Grof describes various approaches to achieving this Holotropic state and using it for healing, with his focus on Holotropic Breathwork and psychedelic therapy.
Rating: 4.28
The Ethnopharmacology of Ayahuasca
The Ethnopharmacology of Ayahuasca by Rafael Guimarães dos Santos attempts to show the rich diversity that exists around ayahuasca, that involves the interplay between the anthropological, cultural, and social aspects surrounding the pharmacological properties of its bio-active compounds. It explores how ayahuasca is used by indigenous and mestizo populations, and within the context of the Brazilian ayahuasca religions. Moreover, it reviews the pharmacological and neuropsychiatric aspects of this Amazonian brew and discusses the potential for the therapeutic effects of its alkaloids.
The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene de Rios
The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios: 45 Years with Shamans, Ayahuasqueros, and Ethnobotanists by Marlene Dobkin de Rios presents the accumulated experience of de Rios’s 45 years of pioneering field studies in the area of hallucinogens, which she undertook in collaboration with more than a dozen traditional Mestizo folk curanderos, shamans, and fellow ethnobotanists in Peru and the Amazon. It reveals how ayahuasca successfully treats psychological and emotional disorders, examines adolescent drug use from a cross-cultural perspective, and discusses the deleterious effects of drug tourism in the Amazon.
Rating: 3.44
Therapy with Substance
Therapy with Substance: Psycholytic Psychotherapy in the Twenty-First Century by Friederike Meckel Fischer provides insights into therapeutic processes that aim to draw out deeply-rooted mental problems onto the surface, by administering patients low dose psychedelics across multiple sessions, while facilitating therapeutic interactions that are conducive to this process. Friederike Fischer explains her understanding of the healing processes and provides tools for conducting psycholythic therapy, drawing on her experiences as an underground therapist. These entail suggestions on how to use different substances, how to teach patients to access their unconscious more intentionally, and how to initiate or deepen these processes during psycholythic therapy.
Personal Experience
Rating: 4.47
Ayahuasca, Ritual and Religion in Brazil
Ayahuasca, Ritual and Religion in Brazil by Beatriz Caiuby Labate and Edward John Baptista das Neves Macrae examine the religious rituals and practices surrounding the use of ayahuasca for healing and divination among indigenous communities, and discusses Brazilian public policies regarding ayahuasca and the handling of substance dependence.
Rating: 4.67
Opening the Portals of Heaven
Opening the Portals of Heaven: Brazilian Ayahuasca Music by Beatriz Caiuby Labate and Gustavo Pacheco examines the use of music in the religious contexts of the UDV church and the Santo Daime, which highlights the designation of ayahuasca as an immaterial cultural heritage of the Brazilian nation. The book explores the key role that music plays in the everyday life of these religions, in the production of religious meanings, and in the construction of the bodies and the subjectivity of adepts.
Rating: 4.75
The Immortality Key
The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name by Brian Muraresku is a thrilling read that explores the use of psychedelics in ancient Christianity. It provides evidence for psychedelics in ancient wine, beer, and culture. Although still hotly debated, this book adds to evidence that psychedelics were (for some) part of life and religion in ancient times.
Rating: 4.38
Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain by Nicolas Langlitz is both an interesting anthropological study and a fascinating glimpse into two different labs studying the effects of psychedelics on living creatures. However, it is not just a glimpse into the labs themselves, but also into the cultural milieu that the labs are situated in, the personal beliefs, stories, and journeys of the researchers doing the work, and the broader historical lineage of the labs' research.
Rating: 4.11
Kosmos - A Theory of Psychedelic Experience
Kosmos - A Theory of Psychedelic Experience by Peter Webster puts forth a theory that the the amplification of salience (that things stand out/be noticed) is the most important neurocognitive effect of psychedelics.
Psychedelic Theories
Rating: 5
The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca
The Therapeutic Use of Ayahuasca edited by Bia Labate and Clancy Cavnar comprises a volume of scientific explorations into the potential range of therapeutic effects of ayahuasca, across a range of putative mechanisms, neurobiological as well as psychological, that facilitate states of psychological and physical healing. They examine the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in the context of both clinical and ritual use, in light of treatment models for psychiatric conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, refractory mood, and anxiety disorders.
Rating: 4
Psilocybin Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide
Psilocybin Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide by Terence and Dennis McKenna, writing under pseudonyms at that time (O. T. Oss & O. N. Oeric) provides an overview of the knowledge at that time on how to grow psychedelic mushrooms. Next to this practical knowledge, the book also offers insights into their psychedelic theories.
Psychedelic Theories
Rating: 4.09
Island by Aldous Huxley is the final novel by this great author and psychedelic connoisseur. The book provides a counterpoint to Brave New World and describes a sort of paradise on earth. Without giving too much away, there is a certain psychedelic undertone to this book that makes it very much worth reading to better understand the psychedelic culture.
Rating: 3.83
The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss
The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna by Dennis McKenna entails a biographical account of the McKenna brother's intimate relationship throughout their lifespan. It lays out meticulous details of their childhood, as well as their eye-opening expedition to the Amazon in 1971 that is inextricably associated with the so-called “Experiment at La Chorrera". A story once told in True Hallucinations by Terence McKenna, this book offers a complementary perspective by Dennis, which retells the story of how their initial search to find exotic hallucinogens rapidly turned into a mind-bending journey.
Personal Experience
Rating: 4.25

Find Psychedelic Books

Discover your next deep-dive into psychedelics. Get up to date with our detailed summaries on psychedelic books, or browse through the whole collection to find your next adventure. From biographies to popular science, we have catalogued the books on psychedelics as medicine.

Though our collection is extensive, the catalogue does have a focus on the science (and implementation) of psychedelics as medicine. We do cover the most well-known popular books on psychedelics but refrain from listing every book written on psychedelics to date.

You can also view this database from our dedicated website ‘Psychedelics Books‘.