Synopses & Reviews
Whether you're struggling with insomnia, the kids have eczema, or your partner is feeling under the weather, this book 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, in your local grocery or garden center, or even in the sidewalk. Using the flowers, fruit, roots, trees, vegetables 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 treats such as bath bombs and shampoos. Inspired by his grandmother in Malaysia who taught him about the health-giving properties of plants, James uses his top class academic knowledge to show how easy - and cheap - it is to make creams, lotions, lozenges and more which can help relieve the symptoms of a variety of common complaints. He reveals how many plants contain the same active ingredients as over-the-counter drugs and chooses his Top 100 plants to grow or buy, complete with ideas for a whole range of uses. So unleash the power of plants and soothe the symptoms of everyday ailments the natural way.
"This is not only a useful book, it's a beautiful book." --Martha Stewart
"The recipes in Wong's book offer remedies for a wide range of ailments -- from sore throats to hot flashes to head lice... Wong says humans have been battling with insects for only a few thousand years. Plants, however, have been at war with insects for millions of years. 'Over that huge period, there's been time for them to evolve all sorts of unusual strategies, many of which are natural chemical weapons -- insecticides -- that exist in the environment that can be used in all manner of ways,' he says. In his recipes, Wong says he hijacks what plants have evolved for themselves, and he uses that to treat humans and animals."
--NPR's "All Things Considered"
"A provocative title - which sounds even more provocative when you realize that the author's name rhymes with bong. Bonus! But back off, dude. This is actually a guide to growing home remedies - legitimate remedies - for a variety of legitimate ailments, from athlete's foot to water retention. And Wong is an ethnobotanist who trained at the famous Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in England and now lectures at the University of Kent. This book is based on his BBC show of the same name, which airs in Britain. Despite the garden-focused title, most of the book is made up of recipes, which means that even if you don't have a green thumb, you can still try your hand at a homemade head-lice treatment (rosemary, lavender, neem oil, almond oil, garlic and tea tree oil) or beeswax lip balm (marigold petals, almond oil, beeswax, honey, vitamin E and aloe vera gel), among many other remedies."
--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Yes, the title does conjure up images of pot plants and basements with grow lights, but James Wong's new book is about those medicinal plants that may already be sprouting in your yard. Wong, a well-known ethnobotanist and BBC star, has compiled a list of 100 plants (and their parts) -- fruit, vegetables, trees, shrubs, roots, herbs, flowers and leaves -- that offer remedies for a plethora of disorders."
About the Author
James Wong grew up in Malaysia and Singapore. He trained at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and gained an MSc in Ethnobotany from the University of Kent, graduating with distinction. His research has taken him to highland Ecuador, as well as to China and Java. He now lectures at the University of Kent and has also co-designed and built two RHS medal-winning gardens (in 2004 he was the youngest medal winner and 2008), which were designed to show that there is more to plants than 'looking pretty'.