Grow your own drugs by James Wong

I love reading about natural therapies, herbs, DIY beauty so I am always looking for some good inspirational books. I regularly read Natural Health magazine, here in UK, which is full of interesting articles about natural therapies and organic beauty. I am also slowly building up my own personal library at home as well as on my Kindle app. My make-up bag and bathroom cupboard have had their makeover as well and I ma trying to stick to the rule that less is more.

Today I want to share with you one of my favourite books titled “Grow your own drugs” by James Wong. He is an ethnobotanist, journalist and TV presenter in UK, a great advocate for gardening and nature.

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He grew up in Malaysia, then came over to study Ethnobotany in UK. In the book he recalls a picture of his grandma grounding some herbs in a pestle and mortar. And me too, I remember my grandma collecting and drying herbs, like St. John’s wort. Those small bunches were hanging up in our kitchen. Ah, happy days! And also, I remember myself collecting wild flowers like poppies, cornflowers and daisies for some special ceremonies in a church.

Back to the book, “Grow your own drugs” had its own documentary series on BBC and I enjoyed watching it. What I love about those books are beautiful illustrations and photos, real pleasure to look at them. There is lots of practical info about foraging, growing, harvesting, and then storing the plants. Then we off to making remedies to help with digestion, different kinds of aches, skincare and haircare. You will find recipes for glycerin soaps, bath bombs, deodorants, lip balms and many more. He also shares the knowledge about the 100 top plants and most of their useful and beneficial properties.

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For fans of social media, James Wong is on Twitter @Botanygeek.

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Rhassoul clay face mask

I was always into clays as I knew they do lots of good to my skin. I read about Rhassoul clay some time ago in a magazine.  As usual you could write a letter to say what articles you liked the best as I did, and they awarded me with an impressive a kilo of Rhassoul clay! Hooray!!  Since then, I have been a big fan of Rhassoul.

Rhassoul clay comes from Morocco where have been known and used in beauty treatments  for a long time. It is mined in the Atlas Mountains and contains lots of super goodies and minerals. It purifies the skin, tightens the pores, softens the skin and regulates the production of sebum. That’s exactly what I need!

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I am going to mix the Rhassoul clay with honey and rose  floral water. I made some flower infused honey few weeks ago and have been using it for my face. I found this recipe in one’s blog and it turned out quite easy to make and this honey is great. I infused my honey with rose petals and lavender, it smells really nice.  But you can just use  regular honey from your cupboard. You can also swap floral water with a regular water, just use what you have.

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Try to do peeling before applying any face mask, it will clean all pores and prepare the skin for the mask. Mix the clay with  water, then add some honey and few drops of an essentail oil. I will chose rose again to match the floral water, it smells amazing! Mix it all for a smooth paste and apply to your face, neck and decollete. Leave for about 10 minutes and rinse it off when you feel the mask gets too tight. Follow with cold water and your toner, or again floral water.

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Beautiful mud! Great for body wraps as well/

Herbal hair rinse

Few months ago, I picked some nettles and horsetail in the woods. Since then I kept them in a cupboard, so while cooking tonight I made this very simple herbal hair rinse. I used nettle and horsetail mix as they are famous for strengthening hair, giving it shine and making it looking healthy. This herb mixture is actually good for dark shades of hair, for blondes you can use chamomile, calendula, sunflower petals. As my hair is dark blonde and I am keen on making it a bit highlighted so next time will be chamomile mix!

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Simply pour boiling water over the herbs and cover it. Leave if for about 20 minutes so mixture will cool down. Strain the herbs and enjoy the look and smell of that infusion! Wash your hair as usual, then rinse it with your herbal essence. I also added a splash of apple cider vinegar  for that extra gloss!

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As my hair is sort of curly-wavy and I keep it that way, I was struggling to find a good and natural product to keep the frizz at bay. Nowadays, I just use a bit of shea butter to smooth the locks and keep them under control. Just a bit, otherwise they will go greasy and heavy. Shea also works wonder for that dry and split ends. So keep your hair pretty and healthy with a help of nature.