Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Home Grown

I've been watching this show on the BBC iplayer. I don't own a TV, so all of my entertainment comes from the internet. Thankfully, I live in a country where the greatest TV in the world is produced. It's also free, and you can get it on the internet (for a limited time) if you don't have a TV of your own.

Anyway - "Grow Your Own Drugs" with James Wong - Ethnobotanist extraordinaire is a really exciting show. I saw the title weeks ago and thought - oh yeah - hmm, this is Britain is it? They teach people how to home grow. Then, out of curiosity (such a curious girl), I started watching it, and it turns out to be right up my alley. James uses plants of all kinds - easily available right here in Britain to make home remedies - the way everybody used to. They're useful home remedies as well, and it makes complete sense to me that they would work. Obviously, some remedies worked better for some people on the show than others; and James made disclaimers stating that on each episode. The thing is, that if it might work for you, then why wouldn't you try it. After all, science can back up the chemicals contained in the plants, and where do you think the pharmaceutical companies get those chemicals???? Obviously from the plants. It would be worth it as well - knowing exactly what you're taking, and exactly where it came from. Having said that, you also need to be careful when using these home remedies, because plants can be just as dangerous as modern/traditional medicine if used improperly. You should give plants the same respect you would to drugs bought at the store. James also said that in each episode.

I got so excited about the show - that I found James' book on Amazon for £9.34 including delivery. This is pretty exciting, because the day after I purchased it, I found it at WH Smith for £14.99. I thought to myself - "suckers..."

James taught me how to make mouthwash out of Thyme; sore muscle treatments out of chillies and mustard; constipation remedies out of figs and senna; an Athlete's foot treatment out of garlic (which also makes a nice salad dressing); an insect bite and sting treatment out of plantain leaves; Varicose Vein treatment out of Horse Chestnuts, and Vodka; a PMS treatment (sign me up) out of Chaste Berry Tea; and last but not least (this is what sold me) - he taught me how to make CRYSTALLIZED GINGER out of ginger and umm - sugar for Travel Sickness. Oh James - how I love you.

Apparently you can get a Ginger root (which is really a rhizome) and plant it in a giant pot, put it in your front window, and grow ginger yourself. I'm going to do it - obviously. I'm also going to make my own Crystallized Ginger, of course. When I do, I shall show you how it worked out. I need to buy myself a few tools in order to do so, but when I do - I shall be making the Crystallized Ginger. I shall also try other things over time. It's nice to have the book so that I know how.

If you live in the UK, I think you can still catch it for the next few days on the iplayer. So - you should if you get the chance. If you don't - umm - look for it on amazon? or ebay? Or perhaps Satellite TV?

You can find his recipes here... (link)

James is also adorable - have you noticed? I wonder if he's un-attached...

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