“Plants of the Gods: Hallucinogens, Healing, Culture and Conservation” is a new and unique podcast focusing on the hallucinogenic plants and fungi whose impact on world culture and religion – and healing potential - is only now beginning to be appreciated as never before. Unlike other podcasts relating to these issues, “Plants of the Gods” is hosted by renowned ethnobotanist Dr. Mark Plotkin, a Harvard and Yale-trained scientist who has been studying the healing plants and shamans of the Amazon rainforest for almost four decades. An award-winning scientist and best selling author, Dr, Plotkin is a spellbinding storyteller who will be speaking from personal experience and will be joined by other leaders in the field.
Plants of the Gods: Episode 10. The Life and Times of Richard Evans Schultes
Richard Evans Schultes was a scholarship student at Harvard College when entered as a Freshman in 1933. A undergraduate term paper on peyote resulted in an opportunity to partake in a traditional ceremony which then led to research in southern Mexico where he produced the first detailed, scientific account of the so-called “magic mushrooms.” Post-graduate research led him to the Colombian Amazon where he produced the first detailed scientific account of ayahuasca and other Plants of the Gods.
Plants of the Gods: Episode 9. Ergot, LSD and the Birth of Western Religions
When employed correctly, ergot offers many beneficial curative properties in terms of treating medical problems in childbirth as well as migraines. And it was the ergot alkloids that inspired Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman in 1938 to devise synthetic chemicals similar to the ergot alkaloids - and one of the results was LSD. This episode also delves into whether visions caused by ergot or other plants of the gods may have played an important role in the formation of several western religions.
Plants of the Gods: Episode 8. Hexing Herbs and the Witches of Medieval Europe
Hexing Herbs and the Witches of Medieval Europe – The archetypal image of the witch as an old woman riding a broomstick was not a Hollywood creation. In the Middle Ages, “witches” were often skilled herbalists. Some used powerful plants of the Solanaceae family - plants like henbane and mandrake - that are rich in hallucinogenic compounds that can induce sensations of flying - to achieve altered states. And these plants were then rubbed on broomsticks that were applied to vaginal membranes.
Plants of the Gods: Episode 7. The Ethnobotany of Warfare
The Ethnobotany of Warfare – Plants have played a fundamental role in warfare, not just as poisons and medicines but as ships, chariots, weapons and wound bandages. This episode traces this history from the time of primate clobbering each other with sticks to potential new battlefield medicines from plants
Plants of the Gods: Episode 6. Opium
Opium – Perhaps the most ancient of the “Plants of the Gods,” plant remains in Europe clearly indicate that opium was being used by people more than 10,000 years ago. And not only was opium the first effective painkiller, it was also employed as an inspiration by composers and poets. Only in the 19th century did it become widely realized as a highly addictive substance. Some have suggested that this “Plant of the God” might also be termed a “Plant of the Devil.”
Plants of the Gods: Episode 5. Curare
Curare – Once known as the “flying death of the Amazon,” curare is a mixture of rainforest plants that indigenous peoples smear on the tips of their arrows or blowdarts to give them a deadly effectiveness. In the hands of western physicians, however, curare has been converted into a life-sustaining medication, a muscle relaxant in abdominal surgery.
Customer ReviewsSee All
What a gift that Dr. Mark Plotkin has started a podcast. He is one of the the pioneers in the field of ethnobotany. I’m very appreciative this exists.
Fun & didatic
Plotkin presents a huge amount of precious information on traditional use of plants in many perspectives (ethnical, botanical, chamiças) without loosing the fun and delightful side of the amazing stories behind it
I have listened to all of the episodes of plants of the gods and I must say Dr.Plotkin is a great talker I love how he brings his stories to life. This is a must hear if you are into plants!!