(Avena sativa) Dreaming of oats is an omen of success (Hewett). It used to be said that a girl who wants children should wear a straw garter. She can even determine the sex of the child - wheat straw will bring a boy, but oat a girl (Waring). A drop of rain or dew hanging on an oat head is a sign of a good crop to come (Addison. 1985).

Oats are much used in domestic medicine, especially in Scotland, where oatmeal poultices serve for a number of complaints. For example, minor boils and suppurations are treated with an oatmeal poultice made with water and a slight dressing of salt butter. For "difficult" boils urine would take the place of butter (Beith). Oatmeal used to be reckoned good for colic, too, and there is a recipe for sore eyes from Scotland. A handful of oats would be put into a bowl of water, stirred, and left for a while. Then the mixture would be strained through a cloth, and the meal water put to the eyes (Beith, Parman). A bath prepared with about a pound of oat straw is prescribed for neuralgia (Thomson. 1978). There is even a wart charm using oats. You could cure your own warts by taking 81 (9 x 9, that is, a magical number) stems of oats (which are bumpy, like warts), binding them in 9 bundles of 9 each, and hiding them under a stone. As the stems rotted, so the warts would disappear (Beith, Parman). Freckles and spots can be washed away with a preparation of oatmeal boiled in vinegar (Addison. 1985).

Ocimum basilicum > BASIL

Ocimum tenuiflorum > HOLY BASIL — but see TULSI, rather.

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