Show #246 – Dr Maya Shetreat on Plant Medicine and Teacher Plants


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And on this week’s show!

This week continuing our brain health series, I interview Dr Maya Shetreat – neurologist, herbalist, urban farmer, and author of the best selling book The Dirt Cure. This time back on the show, Maya is talking about plants of all kinds for treatments of all kinds – from medicinal plants for everyday healing, to plants containing psychedelics and the power of healing treatment-resistant mental health conditions such as depression and PTSD. She even teaches people online how to safely interact with psychedelics (I am not making a recommendation to start treating yourself, simply sharing what we are starting to learn about the power of these interventions, as stated on the show last year with psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr Dave Rabin and his work. It’s exciting times when we can start to see ways to support people in an area where up to 90% of patients are unsatisfied with how their treatment is progressing. 

Questions I asked Maya:

  • Your fascination with plants began when?
  • You have extensive medical training and are a neurologist – when did you start to feel you needed to go outside your conventional training to support some of your patients?
  • What kinds of experiences/pasts were common links for patients just never seeming to get better?
  • What are some of the issues with current/past treatments, that are giving rising cause for research outside those traditional treatments (negative side effects/lack of widespread effectiveness/bandaid/long term meds vs healing etc)?
  • I wanted to read out some harrowing stats to illustrate just how broken the treatment options are now of course we’re not talking about causes and how things got this bad, but right now talking about treatment and focusing on cure/management and how what we’re doing isn’t working:
  • You’ve worked and studied with a 4th generation Shaman from Ecuador – what were some of the most foundational lessons during that time?
  • The psychedelic renaissance – and I say renaissance because some very interesting study was happening into their benefits in the late 60s, squashed unfortunately by the war on drugs… what does this renewed interest in these plant medicines mean to you?
  • Can we talk about some of your favourite plants for healing, where they’re found, how they’re used/traditionally and in current research, and what you’d like to see?
  • How do we ensure people who are interested in pursuing psychedelics/plant medicines are able to do so safely and with the right kind of support (Ie, we don’t want everyone running off to pursue healing from a dodgy Ayahuasca website they found online or self-medicating with MDMA etc)
  • Plant medicine isn’t all about psychedelics and huge spiritual purges and awakenings… everyday plants can do powerful things to support our health: How can people start to cultivate powerful gardens with healing plants that are worthwhile for everyday health and wellbeing – where should we start? Favourite plants that you steep as teas, or grind or make extracts from at home?

Other helpful links:

Save your seat for Maya’s Psychedelics For Mental Wellness and Brain Health Masterclass:

Her book “The Dirt Cure” is available at Booktopia and the Book Depository.

Find Maya on Facebook and Instagram


Enjoy the show,






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