(Oryza sativa) It seems that sailors once thought that the regular use of rice as food would lead to blindness, and they called it Strike-me-blind (Brand/Hazlitt). To Hindus, Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, and so rice is identified with the goddess. In rural areas, a basketful of unhusked rice is represented as the goddess herself (Gupta). Brahmans, when performing marriage ceremonies, after the prayers, consecrate the union by throwing rice flour coloured with saffron over the newly-married couple (Pandey).


The split ASH (see entry under Hernia) ceremony has been performed for rickets in places as far apart as Norfolk and Jersey (Glyde; Le Bas). In Bavaria, a decoction of acorns, referred to either as acorn coffee or acorn cocoa, was taken as a cure for rickets (Rolleston).

An old name for WALL RUE was Tentwort or Taintwort, 'tent' being the name rickets was known as at one time (Coats. 1975). It follows, then, that this fern must have been used to treat the condition, in some way that has been lost now. O Suilleabhain quotes an Irish use of SHEPHERD'S PURSE for rickets.

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