Thrift

(Armeria maritima) In spite of being so common, there is very little folklore attached to the plant. "For sympathy, give thrift" (Freethy), is one doubtful piece of symbolism. Its use in folk medicine is equally limited, though it has long been used for epilepsy and obesity (Schauenberg & Paris), and the leaves are still used in slimming foods (Usher). Even Gerard could produce no "vertues". The only other record comes from South Uist, where a sailor's cure for a hangover was to pull a bunch, with its root, and boil it for an hour or more. It had to be left to cool, and then was drunk slowly (Shaw). The name Thrift apparently means that which thrives, or is evergreen (Grigson. 1974), and has nothing to do with economy, though, as a pun, the plant figures on the back of the old English threepenny bit.

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