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Wednesday 28 February 1917 – Growing medicinal herbs

Category World War I: The Home Front
Gloucestershire Echo
Transcription of article

A smallholders’ association in Badsey, Bretforton, the Littletons and Offenham, villages close to Evesham, has successfully entered upon the growing of medicinal herbs since the war cut off Continental imports.  It has recently decided to erect a new drying shed equipped with scientific means for drying the herbs expeditiously.  Government permission has been given, as the work is regarded as of national importance, and a sum of about £1,000 is required for the work.

In 1915 belladonna, henbane and stramonium were grown.  In 1916 the area under belladonna was increased to about 11 acres, and there were about 1½ acres of henbane, no stramonium being grown.  In 1916 the receipts were:  belladonna, £1300; henbane £150, and blessed thistle £150; but from the total must be deducted £300 to £400 for drying and packing, seed, labour, rent, etc.  This year the association proposes to confine its attention to the cultivation of belladonna.  Rapid drying at a proper temperature is necessary, and this problem has been the association’s greatest difficulty.