Thursday, 10 October 2019

The old saying ‘ an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ shows that our forbears knew 
what they were doing as the apple is a natural remedy for the stomach; aiding digestion 
and keeping the bowels regular! It is also good for the heart.
The bark can be used as a tonic and a stimulant, it will also help reduce fever.
To use the bark strip a small piece of bark from an apple tree,but  be careful not to 
ring the tree as you might kill it.
Boil the bark in water for 15 minutes and leave to infuse overnight. 
Take 1-4 fl oz 100-150 ml of the infusion daily. 
Boiled or roasted fruit will help with burn marks and it can be applied to sore eyes.

There are many superstitions 
surrounding apples and orchards, 
these beliefs were taken 
seriously in earlier days: felling 
an apple tree would bring the death
 penalty as it was believed to bring 
bad luck.
Apple blossom must not be brought 
into the house as it will bring 
sickness and the evil influence, 
and if blossom appears on a 
tree late in the season it 
foretells a death in the family.

‘A bloom on the tree when the apples are ripe,
Is a sure termination of some ones life.

The apple symbolises fruitfulness so barren women would roll on the 
ground in orchards in an effort to conceive, 
they also believed that wearing pieces 
of bark pinned to their clothes would 
bring them a child, and if it 
was good year for apples then 
they could expect to have twins.
The main tradition of the orchard is the 
custom of wassailing the apple trees 
during the winter months. 
This is still prevalent today and has been revived in many 
country areas.

The owner of the orchard, along with friends,  gather in the orchard singing, firing shotguns into the branches and beating the trunks with sticks to drive out the evil spirits to ensure a good crop for the coming year.
Cider is drunk from the wassailing bowl which contains hot spiced cider, lumps of apple and pieces of toast.
The remains from the bowl is poured over the roots as an offering to the Apple Tree Man, and the cider soaked toast is placed in the forks of the trees.

‘Old Apple Tree we wassail thee, and happily thou wilt bear,
For the Lord knows where we shall be,
Till apples another year’

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