New Zealand flax

New Zealand flax or Harakeke
(Phormium tenax) flowers and
native tui on stalk. Used medicinally
by Maori to kill intestinal worms,
and as a purgative.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Medical historians often presume that 19th century European settlers of New Zealand and other parts of the world relied on the emerging inorganic medicines and colonial doctors to maintain their health. However, there is also another story that seems to be overlooked: that of the use of medicine plants by settlers. For these medicinal purposes settlers introduced many new plants from overseas. The guest on this edition of the podcast is Joanna Bishop, a PhD student at the university of Wiakato in Hamilton, New Zealand. She is working on a study uncovering the story of the introduction and use of medicinal plants in New Zealand and their botanical, medical as well as environmental histories.

Music credits
Where You Are Now” by Zapac
Available from ccMixter