Sue McDowall is a former committee member of The Folklore Society. She has written several articles and papers on various aspects of plant lore and has recently published her first book, Plants before the Revolution: Food, Remedies, Festivals & Beliefs in Pre-Industrial England, now available from her website.

Plants play a major part in the many customs surrounding the Christmas festivities. The Yule log for example, was essentially

Until the 20th century, the inadequacies of orthodox medical services left a large proportion of the population dependent upon traditional