HOUSELEEK is a protector against fire and lightning, so similar ideas would account for its use against the fiery diseases - "they are good against

5 Anthonie's fire [erysipelas], the shingles ... (Gerard), who made the same claim for OLIVE "branches, leaves and tender buds". A Hertfordshire remedy was to mix the blood from a black cat's tail with the juice of houseleek and cream, warm it all, and apply it three times a day (Jones-Baker. 1974). It sounds like the fusion of two traditions, for styes on the eye used to be treated in old wives' lore by rubbing them with the tail of a black cat. (see Woodforde for example). Homeopathic doctors sometimes prescribe POISON IVY for the complaint (Homeopathic Development Foundation). A compress made of the infusion of SCENTED MAYWEED is another possibility (Fluck). Thomas Hill, in 1577 was of opinion that PURSLANE "helpeth the shingles", so, he claimed, does CHICORY. WHITE HOREHOUND was made up in Wales as an infusion, to be used both externally and internally, for eczema and shingles (Conway), and MARIGOLD is still used by herbalists for both chickenpox and shingles (Warren-Davis).

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