Widespread tree, especially on moist alkaline soils; an early coloniser of waste ground.
'Ash leaves are used to combat viper bites. When an animal has been bitten, farmers boil ash leaves and give the animal the resulting liquid and place the boiled leaves as a poultice on the bite. Works on people, too!'
Dorchester, Dorset, 1992
'My grandfather had an intriguing cure for earache or inflammation in the ear. He would gather a bundle of green ash saplings, about half a metre in length. He would place one end of it in the fire. From the other end he would collect the liquid, which fell drop by drop into a container. He would then pour the liquid into a bottle with a dropper to use when necessary, having placed the bottle in a warm place before use.'
Worsthorne, Lancashire, 2002
Ash is also used as a treatment for ringworm and practitioners of herbal medicine use it to treat, among others, rheumatism, gout, oedema (build up of watery fluid in the body) and bad breath.