Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1.  Cure for leg cramp:  Don’t ask me how it works – but it really does – but putting a cork in your bedding (I tuck one in to the bottom sheet) seems to do the trick.  It lasts for months.  I had excruciating cramps last week.  Changed the cork and away it went. I don’t really care that it might just be psychological as long as it does the trick – and it does [Upper Tooting, London, August 2015].

2.  My wife keeps a bag of corks at the bottom of the bed to prevent night cramps [Eynsford, Kent, March 1997].

3. A bag of bottle corks were put into the bed at night to prevent getting cramp – a family cure, always used [Felmersham,Bedfordshire, April 1993].

Images:  main, South London Botanical Institute, London Borough of Lambeth, December 2014; inset, bole of cork oak tree, St John’s College, Oxford, January 2018.