Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. My mother grew up in Guyana (born there in 1953, left the country 1966) told me that they believed there was an evil witch in the jungle who would chase children after dusk. To avoid capture my mum and other children used to run home then throw a handful of rice behind them which would cause the witch to stop, pick the rice up and count it [East Ham, London, May 2003].

2. For an upset stomach: plain boiled rice and lemon [Citrus limon] juice, all stirred together. Remedy from Rome, Italy [Natural History Museum, London, May 2003].

Image: boiled long-grain rice, Tooting, London Borough of Wandsworth; May 2015.