Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Black currant

1.  As children (in south Scotland) my mother made black currant concentrate as prevention against colds (many black currant bushes in our garden [Lichfield Wildlife Group, Staffordshire, September 2014].

2.  During the [2nd World] War they used black currant leaves to make tea [South London Botanical Institute, London, July 2011].

3. Black currant tea was for hoarseness and sore throats [Grosmont, Gwent, November 1994].

4. Boil the fruit taken from a black currant bush and drink it piping hot for to cure the common cold [Ballymote, Sligo, May 1994].

5. [Cornwall] My great-grandmother died at 86-years-old in 1932, her knowledge of vitamins would be nil, obviously, but in winter she always kept a jug of hot water with big dollops of black currant jam in it on top of the ‘slab’ (Cornish name for the kitchen range) and we always as children had to drink a cup of black currant tea ‘to protect our lungs and keep away colds‘ daily [Alicante, Spain, December 1991].

Image: cultivated, Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Cumbria; July 2015.