Just the smell of the flowers is enough to cure whooping cough, so it is still claimed in Norfolk (Hatfield. 1994). Burns are treated with broad beans on the Greek island of Chios. The beans are roasted, powdered and mixed with oil (Argenti & Rose).

A manuscript of 1610, published in the Gentleman s Magazine, prescribes bean flowers, distilled, as a lotion with which to wash the face, "and it will be fair". Gerard had already said that "the meale of Beanes clenseth the filth of the skin", and much later, Hill wrote that "it has been customary to distil a water from bean-flowers, and use it to soften the skin ...". In China, they used the shoots, boiled in oil and salt, as a medicine to arouse a drunkard from his stupor (F P Smith).

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