6 Interesting Uses for Conkers!
Conkers must be one of the great autumn signs that everyone loves! But apart from the ancient game, played by so many generations of children, there are some other age-old uses for conkers:
Keeping spiders at bay
The tradition says that if you put conkers around your house they will keep the spiders away. Now it has been tried, only not under scientific conditions, and that year, there did seem to be far fewer spiders around and none in the windows where the conkers were, but sadly there is no scientific data to back that up so you'll just have to take our word for it.... or try it for yourselves! Do let us know whether it worked!
Natural moth balls
Now, there is scientific data for this one! if you pop conkers in the pockets of the clothes you want to protect, as the conker dries out it produces a chemical called Triterpeniod saponin which actually repels moths! Again, do let us know whether it works for you!
Treating a sprain
No evidence, except old wives tales! Apparently the conkers have anti-inflammatory effects, and were used years ago to treat horses (hence the name Horse chestnut).
The creamy-substance found in a conker can be boiled/soaked out to make a rather fine washing liquid, by all accounts, but we definitely haven't tried this one as the process takes days and days!
The Victorians rather liked the conker flour but, a word to the wise: Do NOT try this at home as conkers can be toxic to us humans as well as being not very popular with spiders and moths!
But if you just like the look of these beauties, just collect for fun, making sure you leave some for the rest of the wildlife (and local children) too. Put them in a rustic bowl and enjoy the autumnal colours.