Page 4, 20th April 1945

20th April 1945
Page 4
Page 4, 20th April 1945 — Earth and Ourselves Southernwood

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Earth and Ourselves Southernwood

TNIS year I am going to try

southernwood as a moth preventive, primarily because I am assured on good authority that the creatures really do hate it, hut also, l must honestly confess, as an excuse for cutting and gathering the long, tool, softly feathery strips of 'this most fragrant of all garden herbs which. for some quite inexplicable reason, has always seemefi to me both alien and mysterious. I remember sniffing at it as a child, sniffing, and then sniffing again, convinced. that its smell didn't really belong to it; and even now, with a stalwan clump perennially flourishing in our garden, I still feel the same faint shock of surprise flutt those soft unassuming leaves should have so pungent, so unexpected and so inexplicable a scent. The plant, I feel, ought to have some Inysterious history, but if it has It keeps Its secret well, blooming in every cottage garden, requiring no attention (t11014gh if Cu, well back in early spring it will amply reward its owner) and keeping its fragrance for those who press the softness of its sprays between thumb and forefinger, press and sniff and then go back for one more mysterious thumbful.

'" qouolTdircEuRIpeNrewoop, is,"a gastirr Mk:ref:Hat plant, worthy of more esteem that, it hath." Apart from its proved efficacy against math (the French call it garderobe), it is said to keep ants away from 'Indoor cupboards and larders, while the smell of its burning leaves is strongly obleered to by snakes. II boiled with barley it makes an excellent drink for the pimply, and oil of southernwood was, at one time, rubbed into the spines of people suffering from ague. It was also used to cure insomnia. the leaves, stripped fromdofaromn ot of star. d staiks,e.heai and g finely chopped and mixed with a, boiling water (hall a Pin( in (2 heaped teaspoon/id) poured on to Culpeper made frequent use at the dried ash of southermvood: " it dried, up and healeth old ulcers," lw says, " although by the sharpness thereof it bireth sore." And if mixed to a smooth paste ' with salad nil " he! petit those that have their hair fallen and are bald." No wonder he urged that it be held in 'higher

esteem ! '

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