Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Horse radish

2014-07-07 16.23.081.  My now ex husband and I lived in a Steiner community near Middlesborough for about a year.  During that time he was very depressed and often angry.  He was advised by a senior member of the community to wrap horse radish leaves on his feet to draw the heat from his head.  It didn’t work and we were divorced six months later [Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, London, May 2016].

2.  For sale in Sainsburys supermarket, Clapham, south London, 1 April 2001: ‘Kosher Horse Radish’ – presumably for use as the ‘bitter herb’ at Passover meals on 8 April.

3. At the Passover Jews must drink wine and eat bitter herbs – in English that’s horse radish [Streatham, London, October 1996].

4. From my maternal grandparents, John Holder (b.1856) and Mary Surman (b.1858) …
Horse radish was grated and you inhaled the vapour for heavy colds
Dandelion root was dug up, boiled and taken for kidneys. Horse radish was used likewise for worms – a common complaint in those days of insanitary cottages [Cinderford, Gloucestershire, November 1993].

5. My Polish husband said they used horse radish leaves to relieve headaches [Plymouth, Devon, January 1993].

Images: naturalised, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, February 2016; inset, naturalised, Stamford Hill station, London Borough of Hackney, July 2014.