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Whether you use psychedelics yourself or are just curious, the world of psychedelics is fascinating. That is why it is always interesting to learn more about it. Mind-altering drugs can have a profound impact on you and probably even have health benefits. That is why we have put together a top 5 of wonderful books about psychedelics for you. Let yourself be carried away and go on an adventure with these special writers.

Which books about psychedelics should you read?

Reading is not that popular anymore, but we can recommend that you curl up in a cozy corner of the couch with one (or all) of these books. Enjoy the personal experiences of authors who have used mind-altering substances, or learn what different substances can do for your health. It will be an experience you will not soon forget. Choose from the top 5 books about psychedelics below.

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

This book was published in Dutch as Verruim je geest. It is a plea for the possibilities that psychedelics give us to positively influence our lives. In the book, the investigative journalist discusses new medical developments in the field of mind-altering drugs. For example, they could possibly be used for the treatment of psychological complaints, such as PTSD, depression, drug addiction and fears.

Pollan explains how opinion about these drugs has changed over the years, from the first scientific studies to the turning point that spawned the War on Drugs. Pollan himself has experimented with various substances, and he describes how they have changed his life. Pollan's writing style is not the easiest, sometimes the material is a bit dry and woolly. But if you are really interested in the medical and scientific side of psychedelics, this book is a good buy.

Drugs without the hot air by David Nutt

David Nutt also dives deeper into the medical possibilities of psychedelics. He wonders what we will miss if we ban research on drugs like LSD, cannabis and magic mushrooms. In his book Nutt explores a world in which everyone can decide for themselves about their own medical treatment. This answers questions such as: What is addiction, could you use cannabis to treat epilepsy, and can psychedelics cure depression? Are we possibly missing out on all kinds of potential drugs by banning psilocybin and other drugs?

Nutt certainly does not promote drug use. The book explores the pros and cons of drug use as well as the laws surrounding them, from addiction and crime to money, the environment and medicine.

The Psychedelic Experience of Timothy Leary

Timothy Leary was a famous champion of the use of psychedelics. He co-wrote this book in 1964 with Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert (known as Ram Dass). It is in fact a manual describing how to use mind-altering drugs to achieve ego death. The Psychedelic Experience delivers an interpretation of the sacred manuscript The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, but from a psychedelic perspective. Leary and his colleagues describe their discoveries in the field of spiritual awareness via Tibetan meditation techniques and mind-altering drugs. You can use this guide if you to want to experience or learn more about ego death.

Be Here Now by Ram Dass

In 1961, Richard Alpert worked at Harvard University. He published books and drove a Mercedes. Yet he was still missing something and he went in search of a deeper layer in life with the help of LSD and psilocybin. He could peel off more and more layers of himself, until he discovered a purer, deep inner self. A shining being who could love infinitely. Alpert went on a trip and met the guru Karoli Baba in India. He named him Baba Ram Das, servant of God.

Alpert practiced breathing exercises, Eastern philosophy and hatha yoga. When he was lost in memories or making plans, he was advised to “Be here now” in other words: Be in the here and now. Ram Dass followed the path of enlightenment and that journey was helle life. In his book Be here now, he talks about his developments. Anyone who wants to know more about self-development, philosophy and spirituality should read this. It can be your life  enrich or fill a spiritual void.

Food of The Gods by Terrence McKenna

McKenna is one of the most famous champions of psychedelics. He wrote several books and Food of the Gods is a real must-have. In this book, McKenna explores the idea that humans acquired their intelligence through the use of mind-altering drugs. The author delves into the distant past to find out what our connection with psychedelics is and what we can learn from these substances even today. McKenna presents a bold vision in this book. Would our attitude to psychedelics inhibit our development and possibly destroy ourselves?