Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. About my grandfather (Sidney Sankey) born 1876.  I have heard from my dad and uncles that he used to cut a small piece of wormwood and hold it in his mouth when going for a country walk …  They said the purpose was to keep his mouth moist.  When my Auntie Teresa was born (prior to WWI) they lived in Adelaide Street, Brierley Hill [Staffordshire, now West Midlands].  As far as I know he never moved from the Brierley Hill/Brookwood area.  His world was a day’s walk around there, say 20 miles [Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, London, August 2018].

2. Fresh wormwood will eliminate fleas [Stoke Fleming, Devon, October 1996].

3. Wormwood was used for an infusion to deal with threadworms, or where this was suspected, i.e. if the patient was scratching the rear end or squirming about instead of sitting good and quiet, as was expected in the presence of one’s elders [Gronant, Clwyd, April 1994].

Image: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames; May 2014.