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.

The Plant Detective podcast


Mar 21, 2014

3/22/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" Valerian is a powerful agent for relaxation and sleep, with no dangerous side effects. In the past, aggression, epilepsy, shell shock and hysteria were all treated with valerian.


Mar 14, 2014

3/15/14: This week on "The Plant Detective:" Hoodia, native to the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa, works as an appetite suppressant by telling the brain that the stomach is full without affecting the rest of the body's functioning. After a long legal battle, the San bushmen of the Kalahari won a settlement for traditional claims to the knowledge of the plant. 

Horse Chestnut

Mar 7, 2014

3/8/14: This week, on "The Plant Detective:" Horse chestnut improves circulation by strengthening vein walls, improving blood flow, and fighting inflammation. Applied topically, it can also reduce swelling after injuries.

Bilberry: Eye Health in a Berry

Feb 28, 2014

"The Plant Detective," March 1st, 2014: Bilberry is attracted by the pigment in our eyes, and once there, it acts as a powerful antioxidant while improving circulation and strengthening capillaries and cell walls. In Europe, it's part of conventional treatment for macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and more.

Star Anise

Feb 21, 2014

February 22nd, 2014: In traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese star anise is prescribed for colicky babies and sluggish digestion. But today, it's also a source of shikimic acid, a precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of Tamiflu, one of the only treatments right now for avian influenza. Japanese star anise, Illicium anisatum, a similar tree, is highly toxic and inedible.

Milk Thistle II

Feb 14, 2014

February 15th, 2014: Milk thistle is both a noxious weed and the tenth best-selling medicinal herb in the U.S. Its role in protecting the liver points to the scope of its potential. Research is ongoing into its ability to protect against prostate and skin cancer, enhance certain cancer drugs, prevent some side effects of chemotherapy, protect against damage from UV light, and more.

Milk Thistle I

Feb 7, 2014

February 8th, 2014: Compounds in milk thistle keep toxins out of liver cells, stimulating liver repair and exerting antioxidant power. Milk thistle can also reverse the effects of amanita mushroom poisoning.


Jan 31, 2014

February 1st, 2014: Fragrant and medicinal, lavender can affect people's alertness and mood. Depending on the species, it can stimulate or calm, sharpen or soothe. It's helpful in treating anxiety and sleep disturbances.


Jan 24, 2014

January 25th, 2014: Cinchona is the national tree of Peru and Ecuador. Its bark contains the alkaloid quinine, which since the 1600s, has been used to treat the fever and chills of malaria.


Jan 17, 2014

January 18th, 2014: Elderberry is an immune-booster, an antioxidant more potent than vitamin C, a stress reducer, and a powerful anti-viral. As they say in Austria:  “Tip your hat to the elder.”