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Grow Your Own Drugs

bbc-logoDer Begriff »Drugs« meint im Englische keine Drogen, sondern Arzneien. Im konkreten Fall sind es pharmakologisch schwach wirksame Mittel, die aus Pflanzen, die selbst angebaut werden können, gewonnen werden.

Staffel 1, BBC, 2010

Unleash the power of plants and soothe the symptoms of everyday ailments the natural way. Whether you’re struggling with insomnia, the kids have eczema, or your partner is feeling under the weather, this series could have the answer. With easy recipes ethnobotanist James Wong shows how to make simple creams, salves, teas and much, much more from the stuff growing in your window box, the local garden centre or in the hedgerows. Using the flowers, fruit, vegetables, roots, trees and herbs that are all around us James provides preparations to help relieve a whole range of common conditions, including acne, anxiety, cold sores and general aches and pains – plus great ideas for beauty fixes such as bath bombs and shampoos.

  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.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  2. Flowers · In the second episode of this six-part series exploring plant-based natural remedies and beauty treatments, ethnobotanist James Wong turns the spotlight on 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.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  3. Trees · Third episode of the six-part series exploring plant-based natural remedies and beauty treatments. Ethnobotanist 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 they can actually help.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  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.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  5. Roots · James Wong 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.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  6. Vegetables · Ethnobotanist James Wong 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.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion

Grow Your Own Drugs for Christmas


Staffel 2, BBC, 2011

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. James wants us to see beyond the ornamental value of familiar plants and appreciate the role they can play in taking care of our health, and offers horticultural tips on the best plant varieties to select and how to grow and harvest them.

  1. Garden Herbs · In this opening episode, 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, 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.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  2. Incredible Edibles · In the second episode of ethnobotanist James Wong’s series about plant based medicine, he challenges us to look at the medicinal and not just the nutritional value of some of the food we eat. 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.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  3. Exotic Plants · Ethnobotanist James Wong investigates plant-based medicine. Although his natural remedies for everyday minor ailments frequently use plants that we would consider to be exotic, many of these will grow really well in our own back gardens. 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. Members of the public, in need of help, give his remedies and beauty treatments a go.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  4. Petals · Ethnobotanist James Wong believes plants have more uses than just brightening up a flower border. They contain beneficial properties that could help ease the symptoms of minor everyday health complaints. 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. His recipes are simple to follow and cheap to make, and might just soothe your symptoms if you’re in need of help.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  5. 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.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion
  6. Wild Plants · 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. He also seeks out a tiny wild flower called eyebright, and uses it to make a compress to soothe tired and itchy eyes. For the green-fingered, James demonstrates how you can make your own mini wild flower meadow in a tiny back garden, and offers some historical and scientific background to the plants he uses.
    ⇒ Video on Dailymotion

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