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February 3, 2012

grow your own drugs s02.

Repack of previously posted individual articles.

Ethnobotanist James Wong returns with another series packed full of inspiring natural remedies for minor everyday ailments, plus a few luxurious beauty treats to make you look and feel wonderful.

Ep1 - Garden Herbs
James sets out to reinvent our perception of common and garden herbs. His simple, cheap but highly original recipes include an angelica stomach soother for indigestion, a fragrant anti-dandruff hair oil, and an insecticidal wormwood and sage repellent to help banish the pesky clothes moth. Members of the public try James’s remedies and are often surprised by the results.

Ep2 - Incredible Edibles.
In a fascinating blend of gardening, cookery, science and history, James shows us how to use turmeric to help ease muscular aches and pains, whips up a moisturising body cream from something you would normally have for breakfast, invites two willing members of the public to try his pungent onion gargle for their recurring sore throats, and shows how to grow watercress on your kitchen work top and transform it in to a mouth watering and vitamin packed soup, ideal if you’re a bit anaemic.

Ep3 - Exotic Plants.
James shows us how to use lemongrass in an insect repellent spray, transform olive leaves into a pampering face mask, make a soothing burns treatment from aloe vera and chamomile and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, reveals that, not only can you grow tea bushes in this country, you can also turn them into a zingy mouthwash to help fight plaque and freshen breath.

Ep4 - Petals.
James focuses on petals, turning chamomile into a luxurious bath milk and honeysuckle and jasmine into soothing jellies for sore throats. Members of the public are impressed by his ear drops made from mullein flowers, while James puts his money where his mouth is and bravely tries out his own rose petal leg waxing treatment. He shows us how to make a chamomile seat and sniffs out the most fragrant rose varieties.

Ep5 - Shrubs and Trees.
In the penultimate episode of his ethnobotanical guide to the medicinal property of plants, James Wong uses trees and shrubs to tackle minor everyday complaints. He shows one shaving rash sufferer how to grow witch hazel and turn it into a cooling gel, and offers three sinusitis sufferers some relief with a fragrant eucalyptus rub that takes just moments to make. He meets expert growers and turns St John’s Wort into a skin balm for cuts and wounds, and creates a delicious looking frozen granita from willow bark to help provide pain relief.

Ep6 - Season finale.
It’s the end of James Wong’s ethnobotanical journey, and he rounds his series off with a look at the plants that have provided a free living pharmacy for thousands of years: wild plants. Taking care to point out the perils of picking in the wild, James travels to Northern Ireland, where he harvests seaweed for a luxurious seaweed body scrub, forages for elderberries and turns them into an anti-viral jam to help ward off colds and flu, and tries to offer hayfever sufferers some relief with his nettle tea.

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