Grow Your Own Drugs! Book Review

This week I have been reading Grow Your Own Drugs: Easy Recipes for Natural Remedies and Beauty Treats a book written by James Wong. If your not familiar with James, he presented his own television series on BBC2 called (funnily enough) ‘Grow Your Own Drugs’. James is an ethnobotanist and throughout the series taught viewers how they could make creams, ointments etc from plants grown in their own garden. The book follows this theme giving detailed instructions and recipes.

I could have dived right in and tried to cure the many ailments we all seem to suffer from time to time. But instead I plumped for the beauty section and attempted the Body scrub.

I assembled all the ingredients, all the lovely herby smells put me in a good mood from the beginning.

I chopped and cooked. I strained (without making too much mess).

The end result looked really rather beautiful. But of course the proof is not in the scent or the presentation. So off to the bath my scrub went and I am happy to report that I came out of that bath with silky soft and moisturised skin. The only downside is that the residue on my skin did send my white towel slightly green, but this did wash out without any trouble.

I have particularly sensitive skin so I am hard to please when it comes to beauty products, I also react quite badly to several additives, making a homemade remedy very appealing.

As for the rest of the book, aside from the gorgeous recipes, there is also a lot of very helpful information about which items to grow in your garden, where best to buy them or times to harvest. I can’t wait to try out some of the creams or facemasks. There is even a recipe for deodorant!

I thoroughly enjoyed the series on TV and I’m happy to say that the book lives up to the same standards, with the added benefit of concrete recipes and instructions. No more trying to write in shorthand and missing steps, they are there whenever you want them.

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