New series shows theres more to plants than meets the eye

Gardens and greenhouses should not simply be used to grow plants for aesthetic and nutritional purposes, an expert believes.

James Wong, the author and presenter of book and BBC TV show Grow Your Own Drugs, argues that they can also be used to grow plants which can help to relieve everyday ailments.

In an interview with the Times, Mr Wong explained that there is less of a distinction between food and medicine in the east than there is in the west.

"Its cultural," he told the news provider.

"In Malaysia, where I spent a lot of my childhood, western medicine came along and was considered useful, but as an adjunct to traditional medicine that never went away."

By contrast, he says, much of northern Europes traditional ethnobotanical knowledge was lost with the advent of the industrial revolution.

Fruit which can be used as a remedy includes figs, which are good for constipation, and hops, which help people enjoy a good nights sleep, the BBC reports.