Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. January 2022.  On sale at White Witch, a shop in Waltham Abbey, Essex, small polythene bags of dried horsetail, ‘uses: fertility’, £1.20. [No longer on sale there, October 2023].

2. A  friend in Bulgaria says they use Equisetum arvense as a sore throat gargle, but people are warned not to swallow it [St Mary Cray, Kent, February 2019].

3. September 2015.  On sale at Spellbound, a shop ‘for all your pagan needs’, College Street, Gloucester, small polythene bags full of fragmented horsetail: ‘Horsetail, £4.99, used in fertility mixes or placed in the bedroom for this purpose’.

4. Horsetails put in bath water to relieve bad backs [Addingham Moorside, West Yorkshire, April 1993].

Images:  main, Mill Pits, Arlesey, Bedfordshire, September 2015; inset, field horsetail, Equisetum arvense, Tooting Common, London Borough of Wandsworth, April 2020.