Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. Basil – to keep flies from kitchen [West Dulwich, London, September 2014].

2.  Basil: 1 tsp of the dried herb to one cup of boiling water, left to stand a few minutes, then strained. Sipped before a journey will prevent travel sickness. Sipped when cold is good for morning sickness [Hilltop Garden Club, Eastcombe, Gloucestershire, December 2013].

3. Carrying a sprig of basil keeps gnats away! As does eating basil, as it comes out in the sweat and insects don’t like the smell; it has been traditionally used to keep away mosquitoes as well! [Glamorgan, May 2003].

Image: cultivated on narrowboat moored in the Grand Union Canal Paddington Branch, Ladbroke Grove, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London; July 2014,