Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Sow thistle

0621.  My mother always had me use thistle milk as a remedy for warts.  This was in the 1980s in rural north-west Victoria, Australia [Imperial College London, June 2015; description of plant provided].

2.  When I was growing up on farms in South Devon during the war we always called the milk thistle ( I think it is really the smooth sow-thistle) a Milky dashel. I don’t know where the name came from I’ve never heard any one else use the name, except now my children and grandchildren, I don’t even know how to spell it [e-mail, September 2012].

3. For at least three generations in my family we have used sow thistle to remove warts. That’s in Bromley, Kent [Natural History Museum, London, May 2003].

Images: main, St Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery, Leytonstone, London Borough of Waltham Forest, April 2014; inset, St Mary’s Gardens, Bedford, Bedfordshire, August 2015.