24 episodes

“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: Hallucinogens, Healing, Culture and Conservation podcast Mark Plotkin, Ph.D.

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.8 • 105 Ratings

“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: S3E2. Peyote: Richard Schultes and the Peyote Road

    Plants of the Gods: S3E2. Peyote: Richard Schultes and the Peyote Road

    Today, we'll follow Dr. Mark Plotkin as he shares the story of Richard Evans Schultes, who, as a busy work-study undergraduate student at Harvard, chose the shortest book he could find to serve as the subject of his term paper for his Plants & Human Affairs class. As fate would have it, this short book – which happened to be about peyote – would launch his career. Not only would he go on to teach this very same class years later, he has come to be revered as the father of ethnobotany.

    • 16 min
    Plants of the Gods: S3E1. Peyote: The Sacred Cactus

    Plants of the Gods: S3E1. Peyote: The Sacred Cactus

    Peyote is a tiny cactus that has had a giant impact on history and culture. It is one of the most ancient hallucinogens - finds near the Texas-Mexico border indicate that humans have been consuming this Plant of the Gods for over 6000 years. Many credit Aldous Huxley's 1954's book "The Doors of Perception" - based on his experiences with mescaline, the most active alkaloid in peyote - as launching the Psychedelic Renaissance. And this cactus and this alkaloid and this book impacted The Beatles, The Doors and The Who as well. This episode tells that story. 

    • 27 min
    Plants of the Gods: S2E11. Hallucinogens and Poisons of the Uncontacted Tribes of the Amazon Rainforest

    Plants of the Gods: S2E11. Hallucinogens and Poisons of the Uncontacted Tribes of the Amazon Rainforest

    In this bonus episode, Dr. Mark Plotkin shares insights and personal experiences regarding the hallucinogens and arrow poisons of the uncontacted tribes of the Amazon rainforest. Join us for tales and observations regarding these extraordinary peoples who provide an unexpected and vivid link to a deep past, as well as a unique window onto the present and the future.

    • 18 min
    Plants of the Gods: S2E10. The Plants of the Apes - How Animals Use Medicinal Plants. Part 2

    Plants of the Gods: S2E10. The Plants of the Apes - How Animals Use Medicinal Plants. Part 2

    Dr. Plotkin continues the discussion of zoopharmacognosy with part two of “Plants of the Apes: How Animals Use Medicinal Plants." From the carefully selected flora used in certain birds’ nests as insect repellents, to the tropical daisy species eaten by chimpanzees as an antibiotic, we’ll learn how some creatures have a sophisticated knowledge of the healing power of plants.

    • 29 min
    Plants of the Gods: S2E9. The Plants of the Apes - How Animals Use Medicinal Plants. Part 1

    Plants of the Gods: S2E9. The Plants of the Apes - How Animals Use Medicinal Plants. Part 1

    We have all seen dogs eat grass to alleviate illnesses; why would we not think that other animals do not consume other plants for therapeutic purposes? In fact, it was the great Jane Goodall and other colleagues in East Africa who recorded chimps and even elephants eating medicinal plants. This episode ranges from Tanzania to eastern Brazil to Wisconsin to document animals' use of medicinal and even toxic plants.
     
    Acosta, William. Bombardier Beetles and Fever Trees: A Close-up Look at Chemical Warfare and Signals in Animals and Plants. Addison-Wesley, 1997.
    Cowen, Ron. “Medicine on the Wild Side.” Science News, vol. 138, no. 18, 1990, p. 280., https://doi.org/10.2307/3974722.
    Engel, Cindy. Wild Health: How Animals Keep Themselves Well and What We Can Learn from Them. Phoenix, 2003.
    Huffman, Michael A. “Animal Self-Medication and Ethno-Medicine: Exploration and Exploitation of the Medicinal Properties of Plants.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 62, no. 2, 2003, pp. 371–381., https://doi.org/10.1079/pns2003257.
    Huffman, Michael A. “Current Evidence for Self-Medication in Primates: A Multidisciplinary Perspective.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 104, no. S25, 1997, pp. 171–200., https://doi.org/10.1002/(sici)1096-8644(1997)25+3.0.co;2-7.
    INGRAHAM, CAROLINE. Animal Self-Medication: How Animals Heal Themselves Using Essential Oils, Herbs and ... Minerals. INGRAHAM TRADING LTD, 2019.
    Link, K. P. “The Discovery of Dicumarol and Its Sequels.” Circulation, vol. 19, no. 1, 1959, pp. 97–107., https://doi.org/10.1161/01.cir.19.1.97.
    Montgomery, Sy. Walking with the Great Apes: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Biruté Galdikas. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009.
    Plotkin, Mark J. Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets. Penguin Books, 2001.
    Strier, Karen B. Faces in the Forest: The Endangered Muriqui Monkeys of Brazil. Harvard University Press, 1999.
    Strier, Karen B. Primate Behavioral Ecology. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2021.

    • 20 min
    Plants of the Gods: S2E8. Magic Frogs: Hopping Hallucinogenic Healers of the Rainforest and Desert

    Plants of the Gods: S2E8. Magic Frogs: Hopping Hallucinogenic Healers of the Rainforest and Desert

    In today’s episode, Dr. Plotkin will discuss the history and biology of magic frogs. From poison dart frogs to the hallucinogenic green monkey frog, we’ll learn how these amphibians have been used in traditional societies for a multitude of purposes, and their unexpected yet promising potential for therapeutic uses in western medicine.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
105 Ratings

105 Ratings

Mumbo-Dumbo ,

Eye opening

What a rich supply of natural history!

Aaaggg888 ,

Love all the learning!

Fantastic! Love the weaving of botany, culture, and the human experience. I’d love to see more! Can you do a show on tobacco?

kittykatarinabar ,

More please!

Would love if this was a regular or semi regular podcast. It’s my absolute favorite and I can’t wait for new episodes!

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