For Witchcraft at Lammas

"William Withering and the Purple Foxglove: A Bicentennial Tribute" Jeremy M. Norman

J. Clinical Pharmocology 25 (7) 1985

In the year 1775 my opinion was asked concerning a family receipt for the cure of the dropsy. I was told that it had long been kept a secret by an old woman in Shropshire

Withering first learned of the use of Digitalis in treating "dropsy" (congestive heart failure) from an old woman who practiced as a folk herbalist in Shropshire, who used the plant as part of a polyherbal formulation containing over 20 different ingredients to successfully treat this condition. Withering deduced that Digitalis was the "active" ingredient in the formulation

for Mist over Pendle

Foxglove, a cottage garden favourite contains digoxin, a toxic compound used, in carefully monitored doses, to treat heart failure patients.

Overdosing results in nausea, convulsions and hallucinations, and can lead to a heart attack.