Plants of the Gods: Hallucinogens, Healing, Culture and Conservation podcast-logo

Plants of the Gods: Hallucinogens, Healing, Culture and Conservation podcast

Health & Wellness Podcasts

“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” 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.

Location:

United States

Description:

“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.

Language:

English

Contact:

2124916164


Episodes

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

5/11/2022
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...

Duration:00:27:58

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

12/22/2021
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.

Duration:00:18:19

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

11/10/2021
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.

Duration:00:29:55

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

10/27/2021
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...

Duration:00:20:29

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

10/13/2021
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.

Duration:00:27:12

Plants of the Gods: S2E7. Jews, Jazz and Joints: Marijuana and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans and Chicago

9/29/2021
From New Orleans bordellos to The Beatles, marijuana played a seminal - but often-overlooked - role in inspiring the greatest music of the 20th century. This episode - the third and final installment of the Marijuana Trilogy - delves into this history and tells the story of two remarkable African American Jewish men: Louis Armstrong and Mezz Mezzrow.

Duration:00:24:00

Plants of the Gods: S2E6. Albert Hofmann, Richard Schultes and Gordon Wasson: The Holy Trinity of Ethnomycology, plus the two women who must be added to the Pantheon!

9/15/2021
The birth of the Psychedelic Renaissance is often attributed to Richard Schultes' research on peyote and magic mushrooms in the 1930's. Nonetheless, it was his collaboration with both Gordon Wasson and Albert Hofmann that brought this indigenous wisdom and chemistry to a wider world. At the same time, the equally extraordinary contributions of Valentina Wasson and Maria Sabina merit equal recognition and appreciation. Allen, John W. “Mushroom Pioneers.” Www.erowid.org/Library/Books, 2002....

Duration:00:35:25

Plants of the Gods: S2E5. Rum, Rebellion, Pirates, & Tiki

9/1/2021
"Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum!” This immortal chant from Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island” encapsulates much of the history of sugar and rum and the role they played not only in piracy, but also the rise of capitalism and slavery. This episode covers those issues as well as the underappreciated role these plant products played in the American Revolution. Also discussed is the rebirth of rum culture in the 21st century with an emphasis on all things Tiki.

Duration:00:23:58

Plants of the Gods: S2E4. Magic Mushrooms and the Roots (actually, the Mycelia) of the Psychedelic Renaissance

8/18/2021
The much-heralded Psychedelic Renaissance began in 1938 when Harvard graduate student Richard Schultes traveled to southern Mexico to investigate reports that the Mazatec peoples were ingesting mind-altering mushrooms for healing and divinatory purposes. His findings led to further research in both the field and the lab by folks like Gordon Wasson and Albert Hofmann, and this in turn eventually brought the healing potential of these and other mind-altering natural substances to the outside...

Duration:00:37:42

Plants of the Gods: S2E3. Palms: The Sacred Princes of the Plant Kingdom

8/4/2021
Palms- The Sacred Princes of the Plant Kingdom - In the words of the late ethnobotanist Richard Schultes, “A panorama does not seem tropical unless palms occupy a distinct and conspicuously visible part of the flora.” Although primarily associated with lowland rainforests, palms range as far north as Scotland and as high as 10,000 feet in the Andes. Furthermore, palms are considered sacred by many if not most of the world’s religions.

Duration:00:23:34

Plants of the Gods: S2E2. Hemp: The Fiber That Binds America

7/21/2021
Hemp—a fiber of the Cannabis plant—has played an outsized role in world history. It was not only one of the first crops cultivated by our species, but also one of the crops planted by the first Europeans who landed in the eastern US. The Pilgrims grew it, as did George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The foundational documents of American democracy, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, were initially drafted on hemp paper. Hemp fiber played a role in the rise of the...

Duration:00:27:34

Plants of the Gods: S2E1. Marijuana: Why Cannabis is as American as Apple Pie

7/7/2021
Marijuana – What do the ancient Chinese, George Bush and The Beatles have in common? Knowingly or not, all benefited from one of the most well-known plants of the gods: marijuana. Between the highly practical uses of hemp fiber and its popular mind-altering properties, marijuana has been part of the human experience for thousands of years. Even so, marijuana remains a contentious topic in the United States in the 21st century. This episode explores the past and present of marijuana’s impact...

Duration:00:34:16

Plants of the Gods: S1E10. The Life and Times of Richard Evans Schultes

2/3/2021
The Life and Times of Richard Evans Schultes – Schultes was a scholarship student at Harvard College when entered as a Freshman in 1933. An undergraduate term paper on peyote resulted in an opportunity to partake in a traditional ceremony with the Kiowa in Oklahoma, 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...

Duration:00:36:33

Plants of the Gods: S1E9. Ergot, LSD and the Birth of Western Religions

1/27/2021
Ergot, LSD and the Birth of Western Religions – Ergot is a fungus that parasitizes rye where - in the Middle Ages - it was sometimes milled into the flour used to make bread. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting folks who ate the bread, ergot is rich in powerful alkaloids that can cause a range of symptoms, from visions to gangrene to death. Some historians have postulated that consumption of ergotized bread may have cause the bizarre behaviors that resulted in the Salem Witch Trials in...

Duration:00:32:00

Plants of the Gods: S1E8. Hexing Herbs and the Witches of Medieval Europe

1/20/2021
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 known as tropane alkaloids that can induce sensations of flying - to achieve altered states. And these plants were then rubbed on broomsticks that were...

Duration:00:39:34

Plants of the Gods: S1E7. The Ethnobotany of Warfare

1/13/2021
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. Sources: Hughes, J.D. Pan’s Travail. Johns Hopkins Press, 1996. Majno, Guido. The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World. Harvard University Press, 1975. Perlin, J. Forest...

Duration:00:34:49

Plants of the Gods: S1E6. Opium

1/6/2021
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.” Sources: Balick, Michael...

Duration:00:42:34

Plants of the Gods: S1E5. Curare

12/30/2020
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. Sources: Balick, Michael J., and Paul Alan Cox. Plants, People, and Culture the Science of Ethnobotany. CRC Press, 2020. Marks, Geoffrey, and...

Duration:00:44:02

Plants of the Gods: S1E4. Wine

12/23/2020
Wine – Wine grapes and wine are unquestionably the world’s most valuable medicinal plants: the global annual value of wine is over 300 billion dollars. And the history of wine predates the origin of the human species: primates are known to consume fermented fruit to enter an altered state. This episode traces the use of wine as medicine, from ancient Transcaucasia on the Black Sea 8000 years ago, through classical Greece and Rome to the Holy Land at the period when Judaism, Christianity and...

Duration:00:59:12

Plants of the Gods: S1E3. Coca and Cocaine

12/16/2020
Coca – not to be confused with coconuts or with cacao, the source of chocolate - is a large bush or small tree native to northwestern South America. Cocaine extracted from the leaves found favor among personages as diverse as Sigmund Freud and Ulysses S. Grant as it was once used as a component of various tonics, patent medicines and even a popular wine. Coca leaves are still widely used in this corner of South America for a variety of purposes by the indigenous tribes of the...

Duration:00:25:07