Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. [In my childhood, I’m now 86] I remember my mother giving me orange peel to combat constipation. I didn’t like it, but in those days we didn’t dare argue with parents.
I tried it on my children, but not very successfully; they only said it was like poison and wouldn’t eat any. But never the less it did work and did what it was supposed to do [Lawrence Weston, Bristol, March 2012].

2. My dad uses orange peel to keep cats out of our garden. Apparently it works! [Wallington, Surrey, September 2004].

3. When I was doing fieldwork in the Brazilian Amazon, orange peel was dried to make a medicinal tea, the aim of which was to reduce nausea and calm the stomach [Natural History Museum, London, September 2004.

4.  You can put orange peel into tobacco to keep it moist, or to restore it.  I used to do it when I was a student, and I did it again recently when I found some old tobacco [South London Botanical Institute, March 1996].

Image: Campo Santa Margarita, Venice, Italy, January 2014.