Plant Detective, The

Monday 3:58 PM and Saturday 6:00 PM

Each week Flora Delaterre a.k.a. The Plant Detective investigates a new medicinal plant somewhere around the globe--and it could be in your backyard. Beth Judy writes and voices this minute-and-a-half program in consult with Bastyr University, Tai Sophia Institute, and the Vermont School of Integrative Herbalism. Produced by MTPR. Podcasts available on this website as well.....

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Nettle I

It's not called "stinging nettle" for nothing: if you're going to spend time in a nettle patch, cover up. The hairs on nettle's leaves and stems are miniature hypodermics, waiting to pucture your skin, which - ouch! - stings, then burns, then aches. But on arthritic joints, that sting stimulates, then exhausts, the production of pain messengers to the brain. Nettle leaf soup (cooking neutralizes the sting) has been found to reduce pain and immobility in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Echinacea

When taken as herbal medicine, echinacea stimulates our immune systems, raising white blood cell counts and strengthening cell walls. Although it originated in North America, where native Americans used echinacea as something of a cure-all, in the 20th century, Germany is where its popularity first surged. People use echinacea to shorten the duration of the common cold and reduce the symptoms, and to boost immunity and fight off upper respiratory infections.

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Asian Ginseng

7/12/14: This week on The Plant Detective: Asian ginseng, Panax ginseng, helps people with Type 2 diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Both Asian and American ginseng contain ginsenosides, just in different proportions. Asian ginseng stimulates while American ginseng calms, and in the terms of Chinese traditional medicine, Panax ginseng promotes yang energy and cleans excess yin. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) does the opposite.

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Tea II

7/5/14: This week on The Plant Detective: They may have different flavors but black, green, white and oolong teas all come from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. They're just processed differently; black tea is fermented, green tea isn't. Unfermented green tea is especially high in catechins, those antioxidants that scavenge the blood for free radicals and are associated with lower rates of atherosclerosis.

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Tea I

6/28/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" According to archaeologists, human use of tea,  Camellia sinensis, goes back 500,000 years.  The flavonoids in tea are more effective antioxidants than Vitamins C or E - they seem to boost immunity and protect against cavities and ultraviolet rays. More research is needed to find out if tea's flavonoids protect against cardiovascular disease and certain kinds of cancer.

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat June 21, 2014

American Ginseng

6/21/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:"  Even today, many elderly Chinese still prefer a good ginseng root to health insurance. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is used to aid digestion, treat diabetes, boost immunity, and balance qi, or life energy.

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Aloe

6/14/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:"  Aloe was one of the most frequently prescribed medicines throughout most of the 18th and 19th centuries. It remains one of the most commonly used herbs in the United States today, protecting against ultraviolet rays, relieving the pain of minor burns - and sunburn -  and helping skin regenerate. One study found that aloe vera gel displayed anti-inflammatory effects superior to 1% hydrocortisone cream or a placebo gel.

 

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Gotu Kola

6/7/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" For thousands of years, people in India, China, and Indonesia have used gotu kola to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis. Today, in the U.S. and Europe, gotu kola in ointment helps heal minor wounds and taken in other forms, it treats varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency. The Chinese use it to reduce stress.

Don't confuse gotu kola with cola or cola nut. They're completely different plants.

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The Plant Detective
6:00 am
Sat May 31, 2014

Ginger

5/31/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" The rhizome of Zingiber officinale is eaten as a spice, a medicine, and a delicacy. It's an old remedy for nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness, and the common cold. It's also used to help digestion. And although further research is needed, a 2011 review of scientific literature found that ginger appears to be promising for cancer prevention.

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The Plant Detective
6:00 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Cloud Mushroom

5/24/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" Cloud mushroom, used for centuries in Chinese medicine, shows immunomodulator properties, helping prolong life after treatment in certain types of cancer. And in clinical trials, a compound derived from cloud mushroom, Polysaccharide-K,  inhibited the onset of cancer.

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