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Healing with Herbs on ‘Grow Your Own Drugs’

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.

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New Series – Grow Your Own Drugs

Monday night saw the first in a six part series on BB2 at 8.30pm, Grow Your Own Drugs, presented by James Wong. James is a trained ethno-botanist, trained at Kew Gardens, who brings energy and interest to the programme which aims to inform people about the benefits that can be enjoyed from some simple herbal remedies and beauty treatments that you can grow in your own garden.

The first episode, which focused on fruit, saw James creating his own constipation relief fig syrup, a face mask recipe using the properties of kiwi and papaya to create a natural, cheap alternative to shop bought face masks which two students and part time models tried and approved of and felt the benefits of, and a hop and lavender pillow to help relieve insomnia. The recipes for his remedies are available on the Grow Your Own Drugs website.

James stresses during the programme that although herbal remedies and alternative medicines have been around for centuries, often traditional folklore recipes, conventional medical advice should always be sought to diagnose a problem. Following this though, there is no danger to people to try these remedies as long as they follow the recipe and dosing instructions carefully.

If you missed Grow Your Own Drugs, it is available on BBC’s iplayer, and tune in next week for episode 2.

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