Plants and Our Health

Welcome to Not Another Science Podcast’s new mini-series in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh! Join us as we explore how plants support human health and wellbeing. Listen below or on the host platform, Anchor (click to listen on Spotify, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, and more!) It’s also available on Apple podcasts.


Why you should save yews, as yews might save you (from cancer), with Dr Ramchandra Poudel (Plants and Our Health #6)

Not Another Science Podcast
March 12th, 2021

Could one of the most important anti-cancer compounds really have come from the bark of infamously poisonous yew trees? And as these yews were already threatened, how did we harvest enough bark to produce the drugs we needed without killing them all off? In this second Plants as Our Medicines episode, we dive into the recent history of yews and Taxol, the anti-cancer drug they provide. We’re joined by Dr Ramchandra Poudel, Senior Scientist at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, who has a background in community-based conservation of medicinal plants. Ram discloses how yews have long had a variety of uses in Nepal, far predating the scientific discovery of Taxol. Even now, Himalayan yews remain at the centre of economic conflict in Nepal, as farmers who have waited years for their slow-growing yews to mature now find stiff competition from competitors producing Taxol in much faster ways.

‘Plants & Our Health’ is a 10-part miniseries made in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and kindly supported with funding from the British Ecological Society.

Not Another Science Podcast is co-created by Helena Cornu and Tom Edwick, brought to you by Edinburgh University Science Magazine (EUSci). Our podcast manager is Alix Bailie. The logo was designed by Apple Chew, and the cover art was designed by Heather Jones.

You can visit our website at www.eusci.org.uk to check out the latest issue of the magazine, a ton of other cool science content by our student journalists, and to see how to get involved. You can also follow EUSci on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All podcast episodes and transcripts can be found at www.eusci.org.uk/podcasts/.

Music is Wallpaper by Kevin MacLeod (Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4604-wallpaper; License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license)


Is the Herb in Your Supplement What It Says on the Package?, with Dr Markus Ruhsam (RBGE) (Plants and Our Health #5)

Not Another Science Podcast
March 5th, 2021

Less than 1% of tropical plants have been screened for their potential medicinal uses. Yet many common drugs today are derived from plants. On this episode of Plants & Our Health, we talk with Dr Markus Ruhsam on the impressive potential of plants to the pharmaceutical industry and to help us look after our own health, now and in the future. We also discuss a research project Markus led using DNA barcoding to identify whether herbal supplements contained the plants they say they do, which turned out some intriguing results.

To learn more about Markus’ investigations into the contents of herbal supplements, or to find out how you could start exploring the medicinal uses of your local plant life, you can reach Markus by email at MRuhsam@rbge.org.uk

‘Plants & Our Health’ is a 10-part miniseries made in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and kindly supported with funding from the British Ecological Society.

Not Another Science Podcast is co-created by Helena Cornu and Tom Edwick, brought to you by Edinburgh University Science Magazine (EUSci). Our podcast manager is Alix Bailie. The logo was designed by Apple Chew, and the cover art was designed by Heather Jones.

You can visit our website at www.eusci.org.uk to check out the latest issue of the magazine, a ton of other cool science content by our student journalists, and to see how to get involved. You can also follow EUSci on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All podcast episodes and transcripts can be found at www.eusci.org.uk/podcasts/.

Music is Wallpaper by Kevin MacLeod (Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4604-wallpaper; License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license)


How Protecting Wild Cousins of Our Crops Fights Food Insecurity, with Dr Nigel Maxted (Plants and Our Health #4)

Not Another Science Podcast
February 26th, 2021

Close relatives of wheat, tomato and all other major crops still grow in the wild. However, human impacts are increasingly placing these species under threat. This week on Plants & Our Health we talk with Dr Nigel Maxted, Professor of Plant Genetic Conservation at the University of Birmingham, about turning research into policy and action, the importance of crop wild relatives and his global-scale efforts to protect them. Continuing on our theme ‘Plants on our Plates’, Nigel discusses how conserving the wild cousins of our crops is essential to global food security and future-proofing agriculture against climate change.

To dig deeper into Nigel’s fascinating work, check out his University of Birmingham website profile (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/biosciences/maxted-nigel.aspx). You can also email him at n.maxted@bham.ac.uk.

Not Another Science Podcast is co-created by Helena Cornu and Tom Edwick, brought to you by Edinburgh University Science Magazine (EUSci). Our podcast manager is Alix Bailie. The logo was designed by Apple Chew, and the cover art was designed by Heather Jones.

You can visit our website at www.eusci.org.uk to check out the latest issue of the magazine, a ton of other cool science content by our student journalists, and to see how to get involved. You can also follow EUSci on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All podcast episodes and transcripts can be found at www.eusci.org.uk/podcasts/.


Community Growing for Health & Wellbeing, with Elinor Leslie (RBGE) (Plants and Our Health #3)

Not Another Science Podcast
February 19th, 2021

Where would we be without the plants that feed us? Why should we grow our own, and grow them together? This week on Plants & Our Health, we dive into the delicious new theme of ‘Plants on our Plates’ with Elinor Leslie, Community Gardener at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Elinor works on the Edible Gardening Project, assisting diverse groups with horticultural interests to engage in growing their own fruit and vegetables. As Elinor stresses however, the produce is not the only goal or joy of community growing. Wonderful, unexpected things happen when people toil at the soil over a long growing season.

To learn more about the Edible Gardening Project or how you could start growing with your community, check out @EdibleGarden1 on Twitter. You can also email Elinor at eleslie@rbge.org.uk.

Music is Wallpaper by Kevin MacLeod (Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4604-wallpaper; License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license)

Not Another Science Podcast is co-created by Helena Cornu and Tom Edwick, brought to you by Edinburgh University Science Magazine (EUSci). Our podcast manager is Alix Bailie. The logo was designed by Apple Chew, and the cover art was designed by Heather Jones.

You can visit our website at www.eusci.org.uk to check out the latest issue of the magazine, a ton of other cool science content by our student journalists, and to see how to get involved. You can also follow EUSci on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All podcast episodes and transcripts can be found at www.eusci.org.uk/podcasts/.


Why Your Doctor Might Soon Prescribe You Nature, with Elaine Bradley and Dr Louise Bailey (Plants and Our Health #2)

Not Another Science Podcast
February 12th, 2021

How could a doctor prescribe you nature? Does it work? And who is it for? On this second episode of our new miniseries Plants & Our Health, we continue to explore the theme ‘Plants & Our Mental Health’ with Nature Prescriptions Project Development Executive Elaine Bradley, and Edinburgh GP Dr Louise Bailey. Our two guests share their experiences working on the Nature Prescriptions project in Scotland, through which doctors are prescribing time in nature for their patients, assisted by resources made by RSPB. After a successful rollout across Shetland, the project has its sights now set on getting the people of Edinburgh out into nature.

Visit the RSPB website (https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/at-home-and-abroad/scotland/) for a range of ideas to help get you outdoors during the pandemic. You can also find Elaine on Twitter @LaineyBradley.

‘Plants & Our Health’ is a brand new 10-part miniseries made in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and kindly supported with funding from the British Ecological Society.

Music is Wallpaper by Kevin MacLeod (Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4604-wallpaper; License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license)

Not Another Science Podcast is co-created by Helena Cornu and Tom Edwick, brought to you by Edinburgh University Science Magazine (EUSci). Our podcast manager is Alix Bailie. The logo was designed by Apple Chew, and the cover art was designed by Heather Jones.

You can visit our website at www.eusci.org.uk to check out the latest issue of the magazine, a ton of other cool science content by our student journalists, and to see how to get involved. You can also follow EUSci on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All podcast episodes and transcripts can be found at www.eusci.org.uk/podcasts/.


Botanic Gardens as Wellbeing Providers, with Simon Milne MBE (RBGE) (Plants and Our Health #1)

Not Another Science Podcast
February 12th, 2021

What do you think of when you hear ‘botanic gardens’?  In the very first episode of Plants & Our Health, a new miniseries exploring how plants support human health and wellbeing, we discuss with Simon Milne MBE how botanic gardens are much more than collections of plants. Simon is Regius Keeper at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), an institution that, through its diversity of engagements ranging from science to community engagement, is critical to the wellbeing of the people of Scotland and the world.

‘Plants & Our Health’ is a brand new 10-part miniseries made in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and kindly supported with funding from the British Ecological Society. The first two episodes will explore the theme of ‘Plants & Our Mental Health’.

You can dig deeper into how RBGE supports our health and wellbeing on their website (https://www.rbge.org.uk/visit/health-and-wellbeing/). You can also keep up with Simon’s activities leading the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on Twitter @SimonMilne_RBGE.

Music is Wallpaper by Kevin MacLeod (Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4604-wallpaper; License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license)

Not Another Science Podcast is co-created by Helena Cornu and Tom Edwick, brought to you by Edinburgh University Science Magazine (EUSci). Our podcast manager is Alix Bailie. The logo was designed by Apple Chew, and the cover art was designed by Heather Jones.

You can visit our website at www.eusci.org.uk to check out the latest issue of the magazine, a ton of other cool science content by our student journalists, and to see how to get involved. You can also follow EUSci on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All podcast episodes and transcripts can be found at www.eusci.org.uk/podcasts/.