The Plant Detective

From Montana Public Radio

During this short, information-packed program, Flora Delaterre investigates one plant and its medicinal compounds, benefits, efficacy, risks, or lore. Duration: 1:29More from The Plant Detective »

Most Recent Episodes

Mistletoe (Part Two): Druids And German Cancer Patients Swear By It

Modern interest in mistletoe as a possible treatment for cancer began in the 1920s. For centuries, it had been used as something of a cure-all, but when...

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1:29

Mistletoe (Part One): A Parasite That Can Hurt Or Heal

Mistletoe, a parasitic plant that grows on a wide range of host trees, shows up on every continent but Antarctica - and on each continent, it's been...

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1:29

Relax, It's Passionflower

Passionflower is a beautiful climbing vine native to the Americas whose corona reminded people of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during his...

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1:29

Calabar Beans: Pre-History's Lie Detectors

The Efik people of the region that is now Nigeria used to force people accused of crimes to suffer a trial by ordeal: they'd be fed calabar beans, a...

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1:29

Usnea: Bearded Medicine

You might have brushed by it in the forest, where this hairy-looking symbiosis between algea and fungi perches on tree limbs. The look of the lichen...

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1:29

Cranberry: North America's Ruby-Red Superfruit

It's not an old wive's tale: cranberry helps prevent and treat urinary tract infections. And it's not just the acidity: a compound in cranberries and...

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1:29

Garlic II: "Don't Leave This Life Without It"

Among the artifacts discovered in the tomb of Egypt's Tutankhamen - objects meant to ease the boy king into the afterlife - were 3,000-year-old bulbs of...

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Garlic I: Asia's Gift To The Future

Ever since nomadic tribes helped spread wild garlic from Central Asia to far-flung parts of the globe, garlic has helped humans fight microbes. Louis...

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Demand For Slippery Elm's Gummy Bark Tempts Poachers

In 1905, author Harriet Keeler wrote about the inner bark of the slippery elm tree: “It is thick, fragrant, mucilaginous, demulcent, and nutritious. The...

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Datura: Delirium, Broomsticks, And Divination

Medicinal use of datura - also known as moonflower - is so ancient, no one is sure where the plant originated. Two important nervous system depressor...

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1:29
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