Monday, December 05, 2005
Connecting Central Asia to east Asia via the poppy, clipper ship and the spread of Buddhism
* Central Asia comprises India and its neighbors.
* Southeats Asia includes Vietnam and neighbors.
* East Asia is China, Japan and Korea.
Opium and Buddhism
The opium poppy has been cultivated in Afghasnistan, Pakistan and India for centuries. It is considered a great rememdy. Today we know it also additctive and can be destructive.
In the 1800's the British brough tons of opium to China from India aboard their large, fast clipper ships. It produced an enormous profit and gave the British an advanatge in the trade with China. Realizing that as a nation China was experiencing widepread addiction, some of the Chinese went to war with the British. These Opium Wars succeeded in stopping the wholesale importation of opium.
Opiates are anesthetic; they deaden your nervous system. The effect is sedative. Laudanum, a form of opium, was legal in the US until 1914. Patent medicines, sold to Americans to cure all sorts of ills, were often made of alcohol and opium, according to wikipedia.org.
* Pakistan, India, Nepal