By: Blonde Two

I was off work yesterday with a nasty cold (sympathy please as I still feel grotty) and ending up drinking lots of Lemsips.  I hate the taste of Lemsip but they do relieve symptoms a bit. I prefer the taste of the real version – whisky, honey and lemon but that just sends me to sleep.  This got me thinking about natural remedies.

There are lots of medicinal things up on Dartmoor, I am not an expert but I can tell you about a couple.  Tormentil for example (one of the first Dartmoor plants the Two Blondes learnt about) has been used for a bewildering number of treatments including diarrhoea, burns, mouth ulcers, loose teeth and even piles.  Now, I am not usually fussy, but I am not at all convinced that something you put on your behind should also be used in your mouth.  No, I am not about to go and try a bath of mouth wash to see if it is beneficial.  Neither am I going to brush my teeth with Arse-You-Like or whatever the latest pile cream is called.

Another exciting Dartmoor contribution to the medicine cabinet is Sphagnum Moss. Sphagnum Moss comes in different varieties and loves peat (I am sure Peat is a nice bloke).  It is absorbent and acidic which make it very good for dressing wounds – the acidity hinders the growth of bacteria and fungi (nobody loves a wound mushroom).  It was harvested on Dartmoor in large quantities during the First World War and sent around the country and overseas (excellent article here http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/moss_gatherers.htm).  Apparently the Vikings used it for toilet paper so if you are a Viking and ever find yourself caught short on the moors, feel free!

So, it would appear that, along with its amazing fresh air which makes everyone feel better, Dartmoor could replace just about everything I carry in my First Aid box.  Maybe I should leave it at home and go natural for a change.  I can just see the look on the faces of the kids with blisters when I offer to stuff their shoes with moss!