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Can you help plant medicine project?

A scientist from the Royal Botanical Gardens wants North Walian farmers and plant lovers to help with a unique research study.

Dr William Milliken is conducting an ethnoveterinary medicine project looking into natural plant remedies for ailing animals.

If you understand the properties of Wormwood, traditionally used to treat cuts to cows' udders, or you have your own remedies passed through the generations, Dr Milliken would like to hear from you.

He said much of the information about how to treat livestock with natural remedies was passed down orally within families.

So the intention of the project is to record what data there is before it is lost.

The use of wild or cultivated plants as animal medicines (ethnoveterinary use) is common across the world.

For many years scientists collected information from farmers in places such as India, Ethiopia and Uganda, to study the effect of treating animals with certain plants.

Similarly, wild plants used as feeds were thought to influence the health, behaviour or flavour of meat or milk.

Tufted vetch (Vicia cracca) was used as a fodder plant in South Uist, and it was believed a cow that ate it would 'take the bull' more easily - and earlier in the season.

On the Isle of Colonsay, Sea plantain (Plantago maritima) was thought to improve the cream and butter yield of cows and was also gathered as food for domestic rabbits.

If you can help Dr Milliken's research email

Alternatively, write to: William Milliken, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, RH17 6TN.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Aug 29, 2019
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