Potato used as a cure for rheumatism.
Place details: EUROPE. UK. England Oxfordshire Oxford Cowley. Cultural Group: European English Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Foodstuff / Potato Starch Plant / ?. Processes: Dried / ?. Dimensions: Max L = 122 mm When Collected: By 1897 Acquired: Loaned March 1897 ?Bequeathed 1939
KEYWORD: Medicine / Amulet / CLASS: Medicine / Plant / Religion / ?.
Object description: Description taken from Conservation Card by Heather Richardson 13/06/2002 - Dried potato in a small circular glass fronted tin. Carried as a cure or rheumatism. (Heather Richardson 13/06/2002) [LKG 26/02/2009]
Publications history, trails & websites: Mentioned in Ellen Ettlinger, Folklore vol 54, no. 1, (March 1943) pp 227-249, 'Just as crampnuts, "the woody out-growths, common on beech- or ash-trees were carried in the pocket as a cure for cramp," potatoes were frequently worn against rheumatism. Some examples, used by Oxford citizens about 1900, can be found in the Pitt Rivers Museum together with the name of their owners, which I do not like to reveal, because the potatoes had to be stolen, if they were to prove curative. I am indebted to Mr James Walton for the information that "atrupine, a reputed cure for rheumatism is found in potato "Eyes" which renders some justification for the belief."[ MS "Charms against Evil and Illness" p 4]' [p.238]