Most people know that dock leaves can relieve the sting of a nettle – but did you know that in Scotland they were used to clean teeth? That in Lincolnshire chewing on willow bark was said to cure a hangover? Or that children once wore daisy chains to protect themselves against kidnap by fairies (and that the flowers can be used to make whisky)?
This is the story of how people all over Britain have used its wild plants throughout history, for reasons magical, mystical and medicinal. Gabrielle Hatfield has drawn on a lifetime's knowledge to describe the properties of over 150 native plants, and the customs that surround them: from predicting the weather with seaweed to using Deadly Nightshade to make ladies' pupils dilate appealingly, and from ensuring a husband's faithfulness with the plant Butterbur to warding off witches by planting a Rowan tree.
Filled with stories, folklore and remedies both strange and practical, this is a wonderfully different guide to the richness of Britain's heritage.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 05 / 2009
- 128 x 198mm