Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


2014-07-20 18.28.151. In France rue can’t be bought in large quantities because it can be used to produce abortion [Rambouillet, France, September 2011].

2. A few items passed to me by my mother, who is now in her sixties, and what she was told as a young girl …
The bitter herb rue is supposedly good for the kidneys, but I am not clear how this should be used [Marple Bridge, Cheshire, March 1998].

3. My mother … who died last year at the age of 88 … when she was small she was considered ‘sickly’ though she never knew why, as she was not ill. Perhaps because of this, each spring my grandmother would make rue tea. She picked the rue leaves from the garden and poured boiling water over them; when the infusion was cold it was given to my mum to drink. Grannie considered this necessary ‘to clear the blood’. My mum said it tasted quite nice, better than she expected. It certainly didn’t do her any harm as she lived to a healthy old age [Rolleston-on-Dove, Staffordshire, February 1998].

3. Rue keeps flies clear from any room [Stoke Fleming, Devon, October 1996].

Images: main, cultivated, Crewkerne, Somerset, May 2015; inset, cultivated, Terrapin Road, Tooting, London Borough of Wandsworth, July 2014.