Cow Parsley

On my glorious bike rides through the back lanes, Cow Parsley, Anthriscus sylvestris, is starting to fill the hedgerows.

It was used in traditional medicines and is said to help treat various ailments, such as stomach and kidney problems, breathing difficulties and colds. It has always been used as mosquito repellent.

Common names nowadays are cow parsley, Queen Anne’s lace, mother die, fairy lace, lady’s lace, hedge parsley.

The name ‘Mother die’ or ‘Mummy die’, was used to frighten children into thinking that if they picked cow parsley, their mother would die. This was intended to deter children from potentially picking deadly hemlock.

“We were terrified of mother-die”

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