Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


Illustration_Elytrigia_repens01. Couch – tragwire (probably corruption of dragwire) [Barnby-in-the-Willows, Nottinghamshire, October 2023].

2. My late friend, born in 1905, told me of a gypsy remedy for colic and digestive disorders in children and, presumably, adults. Take a large handful of couch grass, place in a stone jar, cover with water and allow to steep for several hours on top of the old kitchen range. Give several teaspoonsful of the liquid as necessary. My friend was subject to tummy troubles as a child and a dose of this remedy was often administered [Broadstairs, Kent, August 1996].

Images: main, Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, September 2014; inset, O.W. Thome, Flora von Deutschland, Osterreich und der Schweiz, 1885.