Oxeye Daisy

(Leucanthemum vulgare) There is very little folklore attached to the Ox-eye, which is surprising in view of its frequency. We do find that it was used in a spell to bring back an unfaithful lover in Somerset (Tongue.

1965), and there is a record of its use in north-east Scotland in a charm to increase one's own milk supply without injuring that of one's neighbours. The way to do it was to boil white gowans, the local name for the plant, and to wash all the milk utensils with the decoction (Gregor), which seems merely homeopathic in intention, using colour as the link. Ox-eye had its medicinal uses, though they too are few. In the Highlands, the juice boiled with honey was used for coughs, and the same preparation was applied to wounds, while the plant was sometimes made into a tea to treat asthma. Elsewhere, in Russia, it was used as a household remedy for external haemorrhages (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk), while in America, the

Menomini Indians used it for fevers (H H Smith. 1923). There is one veterinary usage, and a very odd one it is. Coughs in cattle were treated at one time by putting a piece of the root in a hole made in the cow's ear or dewlap (Drury. 1985).

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