Newest Review: ... the book easily pays for itself. Plus I like to make use of what's around me if I can. The book has a number of sections under remed... more
Member Name: kingseany
Grow Your Own Drugs: Easy Recipes for Natural Remedies and Beauty Treats - James Wong
Advantages: Natural remedies, save money
Disadvantages: None so far
Firstly let me inform you that this book has nothing to do with illegal drugs. Originally a BBC TV series (which I did not see), this book guides you through the myriad of plants which can contribute to better health. According to the forward, the Western World has largely forgotten that plants have plenty of medicinal uses, whereas the rest of the world rely heavily on knowledge of what's what. Most of us just see plants as purely decorative, but this book will get us thinking about how we can make more use of them, and be less reliant on the drug store, the beauty counter and the health food shop.
Released in 2009, this desk diary sized 224 page hardback is written by James Wong. I bought mine from www.thebookdepository.co.uk priced at £11.37, not bad it's also delivered for free. My intentions were aimed at making more use of my garden, as well as tackling problems which have bugged me for years, such as insomnia. If I can avoid a trip or two to the docs and a couple of bottles of pills or potions, the book easily pays for itself. Plus I like to make use of what's around me if I can.
The book has a number of sections under remedies as follows: Digestive Disorders, Skin Complaints, Kids, Aches & Pains, Women's Stuff, Under The Weather, Mind and Face & Body. Then there's a selection entitled Top 100 Plants which is broken down into Fruit, Veg, Trees, Roots, Herbs & Flowers & Leaves. First though, there's an important section on getting started which guides you through some of the extras you might need to add to your potions - beeswax for instance which is essential for creams to bond properly, and Vitamin C which acts as a natural preservative. This section also talks about drying techniques, tips for harvesting, tools you might need and so on.
So onto the remedies themselves, starting with a couple obvious ones for bad breath and heartburn followed by IBS, digestion, constipation, flatulence, diarrhoea and athletes foot. Some of the remedies are very simple and require little ingredients and preparation. An example is the garlic, sage and cider vinegar foot bath mixture which basically requires just the chopping of the two first ingredients, adding to the liquid and putting in a jar for a month. This supposedly is good for athletes foot - it can also be used in salad dressings so you can kill two birds with one stone with this particular remedy.
The summer months are almost over but come next summer you might want to stock up on your home made insect bite and sting cream, the book contains a great recipe for this too. Spots, sunburn, chapped hands, insect repellant, even head lice (nits) can all be treated by following the step by step guides. Run of the mill colds and flu treatments, coughs and sore throats, hangovers, mouth ulcers and more can be tackled without a trip to Boots.
Insomnia is dealt with by using a pillow full of dried hops and lavender flowers alternatively a bath soak with hops and chamomile. As both lavender and chamomile are easy to grow almost anywhere, there's no excuse to try these easy recipes to get you off to sleep at night.. If anxiety is ruining your life, why not have a go at a natural alternative to what your docs will prescribe you.
It's not all about ailments, there are some recipes designed purely for relaxation and beauty, bath bombs, hand care oil, fask masks and exfoliators are all here amongst others.
The top 100 plants is a seperate section alphabetically arranged for ease of use. The section is subdivided as already explained above, starting with fruit (bilberry, blackcurrant etc). Each plant is described, it's uses and where to find it as well as quick recipes which require little explanation. Each plant also has a small photograph to aid recognition, although this should not be treated as a definitive guide to identification.
Finally the book devotes a page to useful resources, stockists of plants as well as plant information available on the web. A helpful index completes this book.
The recipes so far that I have tried have been fun to do, and the results mixed. I'm not ready to open my own pharmacy just yet, but hope to learn a wealth of information to guide me towards my target of purely natural remedies for myself and family.
Summary: A great book
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