The medicinal properties of plants have been recognised for centuries, but while some herbal cures are recorded in books, many others are only remembered. Country Cures shows examples of these, collected over the past 20 years by Roy Vickery of the Museum's Department of Botany or contributed by readers of Country Living Magazine.
The plants featured are listed on the left, and can all be found growing in the Museum's only living exhibition, the Wildlife Garden.
How you can take part
Country Cures forms part of an on going project to survey all aspects of the folklore and traditional uses of plants. You can take part in this survey by sending in your herbal cures, which will be added to the Survey of Plant-lore, helping to record these stories for future generations to explore.
People who believe in traditional remedies will often turn to them before conventional medicines. Although not all are scientifically verified, they are thought to cure a wide range of ailments from warts and earache to ulcers and infertility. It is important to record these cures before they are lost forever, not only for reasons of posterity but also so that their curative properties can be studied.
If you know of any herbal remedies, however well documented, please select Send us your cure above. Alternatively, email Roy Vickery or write to Roy Vickery, Department of Botany, The Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD, UK.