Wild Cherry

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(Prunus avium) To dream of cherries means misfortune, according to Dyer. 1889, but:

A cherry year,

A merry year (A C Smith; Swainson. 1873).

The wild cherry had some magical uses; to get rid of a fever all one had to do was to lie naked under the tree on St John's Day, and to shake the dew on one's back (Dyer. 1889). This was from Germany, but there was a very similar usage from the south of France, the tree being the peach this time. There were genuine attempts at medicinal usage, though. "The distilled water of Cherries", according to Gerard, "is good for those that are troubled with heate and inflammation in their stomackes, and prevaileth against the falling sicknesse given mixed with wine". He also noted that "the gum of the Cherry tree taken with wine and water, is reported to helpe the stone ...", something on which Lupton had already reported. Cherry gum dissolved on wine was a remedy for coughs and colds (Earwood). Wild Cherry seems to maintain normal uric acid levels in people suffering from gout, and was much used for the purpose before synthetic treatment was available (Lewis & Elvin-Lewis).

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