Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. Herbal remedies … cloves: toothache [Cliftonville, Kent, January 2012].

2. According to my mother Mrs Anne Wilks (b.1918), ot Whitstable, Kent, paint oil of cloves onto a child’s aching tooth using a child’s toothbrush and the pain soon goes [Upminster, Essex, April 2011].

3. Cures known to me as having been used in St Davids and local area …
Cloves (as oil) for earache and toothache [St Davids, Dyfed, October 1991].

4. [As a boy I] wandered the countryside with a poacher just after World War II. Now at 54 I have all kinds of bits and pieces in my files …
For – or rather against – toothache poacher would wedge cloves down into the pained area to cure the pain. This works for I have tried it [Barnstaple, Devon, May 1991].

5. Years ago when I was a lad (I’m now 74) it was a practice amongst carters to add a few drops of oil of cloves to a horse’s fodder, the end result being a nice smooth shiny coat [Abbotts Ann, Hampshire, August 1989].

Image: Córdoba, Andalucia, Spain; August 2014.