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Ash
Bogbean
Comfrey
Dandelion
Dock
Elder
Houseleek
Ivy
Mallow
Nettle
Ribwort plantain
Thyme
Yarrow
Houseleek
Sempervivum tectorum
Houseleek
Long-lived, rosette-forming succulent, planted and more or less naturalised on roofs and old walls.

'My parents were farmers. My then 4-year-old brother had his hand bandaged. A gypsy came to the door and she asked what was wrong with the wee boy. My mother said "ringworm from the cattle." The gypsy said, "You have the cure on your wall. Take the leek, boil it and then dab the boy's hand with the water." It was also used for warts.'
Armathwaite, Cumbria 1988

Houseleek

'My father-in-law was brought up in Norfolk. When he was suffering from impetigo [bacterial skin infection] a visiting gypsy woman recommended breaking off a piece of houseleek and rubbing the sores with it. The houseleek was growing on the cottage roof. My father-in-law (who is still alive) says the cure did work.'
Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, 1991

'If I burn myself... I dash out and pluck a leaf of houseleek and keep painting the juice onto the burn – it cools the burn and prevents blistering.'
Washingborough, Lincolnshire, 1994



Houseleek has also been used to produce abortion, and treat 'almost any kind of sore'. Europe's equivalent to Aloe vera, it is not currently used by herbal medicine practitioners.




Cures featured in this exhibition and on the website should be used only with advice from a qualified medical herbalist.