Thorns And Splinters

A poultice used to be made in the Highlands from HEATH SPOTTED ORCHID (Dactylorchis maculata) for drawing out thorns or splinters from the flesh (Beith). One of the wonders ascribed to SCARLET PIMPERNEL was that it had the power of drawing out thorns and splinters (C J S Thompson. 1897), and PRIMROSES too had the power - it "draweth forth of the flesh any thorne or splinter, or bone fixed therein" (Gerard). A 15th century leechdom reckoned that "a plaster of southernwood" with fresh grease will "draw out stub or thorn, that sticketh in the flesh" (Dawson). DAFFODIL bulbs or roots, used as a poultice with honey and darnel meal, would "draw forth thorns and stubs out of any part of the body" (Gerard).

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