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

“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.

Jan 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...

Jan 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...

Jan 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. 


Jan 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...