Viewers were introduced to a range of herbal remedies and beauty products that are quick and easy for anybody to make in their own homes on last night’s ‘Grow Your Own Drugs’. This week’s episode, which focussed on the healing powers of herbs, featured a peppermint body scrub and a coldsore curing lip salve made from lemon balm.
Lemon balm is a pretty herb that is very easy to grow, and contains natural chemicals to treat inflammation and fight against viral infections such as troublesome coldsores. The balm was made using 21 chopped tablespoons of the herb, which grows profusely so a good trim back of the plant would give you plenty for the recipe.
Another recipe featured was a breath freshening spray, aimed at helping wean people off their reliance on chewing gum and mints. The spray was made from a thyme, mint and eucalyptus tincture, which is left in alcohol for a month until ready for use. The spray works by making use of the antibacterial properties of the majority of the ingredients, especially thymol, the active ingredient contained in thyme. A make-up artist who frequently used mints because of close contact with clients tried the spray and found it to be very effective.
James Wong also introduced viewers to the healing properties of the plantain, which grows in most garden lawns, and contains natural sterols which act as an antihystamine, and polyphenols which help calm inflammation. The plant can be used to sooth insect bites and stings such as nettle stings, bringing relief from the itching that people experience. He showed how simple it can be to make your own cream that can be stored in the fridge, or even the freezer, for use at a later date. The series is currently available on BBC’s iplayer, and the recipes are available on the Grow Your Own Drugs website.