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October 10, 2011

grow your own drugs s01.

Repack of previously posted individual articles.

Many people think of plants as purely ornamental, something to brighten up back gardens and window boxes, but in this six-part series, ethnobotanist James Wong demonstrates how to transform familiar plants into simple natural remedies that could help ease the symptoms of minor everyday ailments, as well as how to make some pampering beauty treatments.

Episode 1 - Fruit.
In this opening episode, James reveals that there is more to some fruit than just the nutritional value. He uses figs to relieve constipation, hops for a good night’s sleep, turns kiwis and papayas into a soothing face mask and uses goji berries in a soup that could help feed a cold – and all from things that might be found in any fruit bowl. James tries out his remedies on members of the public, with some surprising results.

Episode 2 - Flowers.
He reveals the historical use of marigolds, violas and elderflowers as ways to help relieve the symptoms of everyday ailments such as sore throats, acne and eczema. Sufferers of each of these, who are keen to find a natural solution to their health problems, try out James’s remedies.

Episode 3 - Trees.
James Wong focuses on trees. His recipes for natural tree remedies include a soothing gel for varicose veins made from conkers, a fragrant cologne made from pine, a lotion to tackle head lice and a traditional tea which could help improve memory function. It is a fascinating mix of gardening, science and history, and the volunteers who try James’s remedies find out if the cures can actually help.

Episode 4 - Herbs.
Most people use herbs to give food a bit of extra taste and flavour, but in this episode, ethnobotanist James Wong explores their more traditional use in helping treat a range of minor everyday ailments, from cold sores and insect bites to bad breath. Sufferers try them out to see if these natural remedies help relieve their symptoms. James also uses peppermint to whip up a fragrant homemade body scrub.

Episode 5 - Roots.
James focuses on what he considers the unsung heroes of the plant world – roots. Using valerian, ginger and marshmallow he creates tasty treats to help combat stress, soothe coughs and relieve nausea and reveals the traditional uses of echinacea to fight off infection.

Episode 6 - Veg.
James shows viewers how to grow and transform common vegetables into treatments which might help ease muscle sprains and make a great addition to a low cholesterol diet. James also turns cucumbers into a soothing eye gel for sufferers to try.

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