Those who have a working knowledge of cows will no doubt have heard of Uddermint, a product developed to enhance udder health. This liniment is rubbed into the affected quarter/s to soothe and clear (what it clears is not specified and it is perhaps better not to speculate!) It does not contain antibiotics and can be used alongside them. It is also a valuable ointment for massaging muscles and joints and at calving times, particularly for heifers, the primigravidae of the bovine world. It contains 35% Pure Japanese Peppermint Oil so it smells fresh and wholesome too. The tube has a handy hook allowing the user to suspend it from a convenient hanger.
I don't know any cows, though I once taught a little girl whose house cow gave birth to twins, which I gather is quite a remarkable event; therefore anyone reading this blog may wonder how I came to acquire a tube of Uddermint salve. My son-in-law meets an interesting range of people through his work and one is a Dorset dairy farmer. I don't know how big his herd is, or whether he still milks by hand, but he had occasion to use the udder balm on one of his cows. Now this poor man has arthritic joints in his hands and he noticed that they were less painful after he had massaged the afflicted cow's mammary gland. The cow's problem was alleviated and life went on as usual. A while later another cow required treatment so the farmer duly applied the fragrant unguent to her udder and again noted afterwards that his hands were not aching so much. It seemed to him that this was too much of a coincidence so he continued to rub the emolument into his hands.
Our son-in-law has some problems with his hands, not least being a lack of complete fingers on one of them but that's another story, so the farmer gave him some cream to try. Knowing it works he now carries some with him at all times and persuades others to try it for their various muscular and joint ailments. He's heard all the jokes but still manages to smile through the shouts of 'Holy Cow!', 'You're barmy (balmy)' and everyone's favourite, 'Pull the udder one.' The back of the tube carries important information.
If you're going to try it, read the advice on the back of the tube and avoid ointment contact with eyes and nose . . . oh yes, and keep it out of the reach of children. I thought it said 'chickens' before I put my glasses on and was imagining all sorts of poultry(or even paltry) reactions. I should think it ought to be kept away from sheep too – they don't like mint, maybe because they know they'll be keeping close company with it at the dinner table!