Tuesday, March 3, 2009

BBC2 wants me to grow my own drugs!

Last night I caught a show on BBC2 starring an ethnobotanist named James Wong entitled "Grow Your Own Drugs".

I found it very fascinating as I believe that in many (and perhaps most) cases nature possesses the remedy to that which ails us more so than the pharmaceutical companies would like us to know. If we know that a certain plant that we can grow ourselves will act to sooth eczema for example then why would we purchase their creams and pills?

Anyway I was particularly interested in a method Wong showed to help insomniacs like myself as I have built up a resistance to OTC sleeping medication. What would he suggest that I could grow myself or extract from a common natural source to aid me in falling asleep?

Well, quite simple really. Hops. Yes the same hops used in beer.

Apparently on the hop plant their is a yellow dust that aides in inducing sleep.

As not to have your bedroom smelling like hops Wong suggested adding a few handfuls of dried lavender to a breathable mesh bag that you lay on your pillow when you desire to go to sleep.

I am trying to source the ingredients over the net as I write this and will write how it pans out for me in the near future.

Here is his recipe from the BBC2 website:

For a pillow about 32 x 23 cm:
4 handfuls dried hops flowers
4 handfuls dried lavender flowers
1. To dry the hops and lavender yourself, tie them in bunches and hang upside down in a well-ventilated space out of direct sunlight for 2 weeks. Alternatively, place in a low oven (about 100C) for 30 minutes or so until dry and crispy. Strip the flowers off the larger or harder stalks.
2. Put equal handfuls of dried hops and lavender flowers into a cotton pillowcase, and seal the end.

USE: Place the pillow under or beside your head to induce sleep.



  1. where can I buy dried hops and lavender ?

  2. I contacted the people at www.hopshop.co.uk and they sent me an email with the different products they had available.

    They also wrote that due to high demand after this show on BBC2 that shipments would take 3 to 4 weeks.

  3. Anyone know where I can get those mesh bags from in the UK?

  4. Where can I get the bags that they use to put the hops and lavender in?