Cowslip is mostly used in treating respiratory issues, relieving arthritis and allergies, and for treating anxiety and insomnia, even in children! It is also excellent for your skin and as a "natural aspirin" - it offers pain relief for spasms, cramps and rheumatic pains.
Cowslip, a traditional Scandinavian medicinal herb, has been used as a common home-remedy for colds, coughs and fevers, but also as a gentle sedative herb that soothes anxiety and insomnia. One of the greatest benefits is that it's suitable for hyperactive children, since this honey-tasting herb is as gentle and mild as it is sweet.
Cowslip is great for:
Cowslip has a relaxing effect on bronchial airways and mucous, so it is a great remedy to relieve coughs and colds. It is particularly useful to relieve age-related coughing, a nagging cough resulting from a weaker heart, causing fluid to build-up in the lungs.
It is used in the treatment of chronic coughs (especially those associated with chronic bronchitis and catarrh), flu and other respiratory issues, and it's very good for inflammation. Also, it helps increase sweating, so it's a good way to combat a fever.
Modern herbalists still make a skin cleaning lotion from cowslip. It is useful in treating acne, pimples, and other skin blemishes.Its unique cleansing properties remove dirt and open the pores of the skin, allowing for a fresher, smoother look.
Cowslip helps calm down feelings of anxiety and depression. Because of it's sedating effect, generations used it in Europe as a home remedy for insomnia and emotional disturbances.
It intensifies the feelings of love, balances the inner being, and improves focusing power and concentration.
Cowslip has been used in preparation of sedative tea to treat hyperactivity and insomnia, as well as spasms or convulsions.
The flowers are milder, and the tea made out of them is known to calm hyperactive children and put them to sleep.
For those having trouble sleeping or falling asleep, it's best to drink this tea just before going to sleep. Additionally, you can make a sleep-well combination of cowslip, lavenderbalkanherb.com/products/lavender-flower-lavandula-angustifolia, hops and St. John's wort.
Cowslip helps to detox and cleanse the toxic elements responsible for rheumatism and arthritis. Since it's mildly diuretic it also helps keep your urinary tract and kidneys functioning well and relieving any complaints or infections.
In the Ayurvedic tradition, cowslip is often used to treat allergies and hayfever and all the unpleasant symptoms that come with them.
It is particularly beneficial if you combine it with elder flower, vervain and gentian root.
Since cowslip has a high level of salicylates, it acts as a natural aspirin, helping you to relieve any kind of troubling pain.
Dosage and preparation:
Tea - Pour a cup of boiled water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of cowslip leaf and flower. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Drink 3 times a day. A tea made only from flowers is milder and great for children. For adults, it can be combines with the roots, for a stronger effect.
Tincture - 20 to 30 drops, 3 times a day.
Combinations for: Cervicitis: Boil 10-12 flowers of cowslip in a liter of water for 15 minutes on a low flame. Let it cool. Use it to wash the vagina both outside and inside. If it's possible sit in this water for 15 minutes. Repeat as long as necessary.
Allergy: Make a mixture of elder flower, vervain and gentian root. Use a teaspoon of this combination to make a cup of tea two times a day.
Insomnia: You can make a sleep-well combination of cowslip, lavenderbalkanherb.com/products/lavender-flower-lavandula-angustifolia, hops and St. John's wort.
Colds: for colds, cowslip is best combined with anise seed or fennel.
Skin lotion: You can add a tablespoon of cowslip to a cup of apple cider vinegar, let it rest for 2 weeks and use it as a face lotion!
The taste: The flowers have a pleasant honey-sweet taste and are even traditionally used as candy.
Precaution: Cowslip contains high levels of salicylates and is not recommended for anyone with a known allergy to aspirin. It should also not be used by anyone who is undergoing anticoagulant treatment - it can stop the blood from clotting so speak to your doctor if you are on any medication and stop using it at least 2 weeks before surgery. Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is based on research from the internet, books, articles and studies and/or companies selling herbs online. Statements in this website have not necessarily been evaluated and should not be considered as medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. for diagnosis or treatment consult your physician.Use herbs in moderation and watch for allergic reactions.If you are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breast feeding or suffering from a medical condition and/or are at all concerned about any of the advice or ingredients consult your doctor before taking the herbs.Remember that diet, exercise and relaxation are equally important to your health..
Cowslip primrose has its roots in Scandinavia, so it was not a part of ancient medicine on continental Europe.
Nevertheless, it slowly spread all around Europe and was once as common as the buttercup, but suffered a decline between 1930 and 1980. This was mostly due to the relentless advance of modern farming, particularly the ploughing of old grassland and the extension of the use of chemical herbicides.
Luckily, it is now showing signs of recovery. It has begun to return to unsprayed verges and village greens as well as colonizing the banks of new roads.
As an early spring flower, it is closely associated with much English folklore and tradition, including being strewn on church paths for weddings and adorning garlands for May Day.
William Shakespeare was so taken by the beauty and benefit of cowslip that he immortalized it no less than 8 times throughout his plays.
“Where the bee sucks, there suck I. In a cowslip’s bell I lie.”—William Shakespeare, The Tempest, act 5, scene 1
In addition to The Tempest, the ‘freckled cowslip' also appears in Shakespeare's Henry V as a sign of a well-managed pasture and in the 17th century, the famous English botanist Nicholas Culpepper asserted that anyone who used the distilled water from cowslip, or an ointment made from its flower, would become more beautiful.
Some of the many enchanting names of cowslip include Freckled face, Golden drops, Bunch of keys, Fairies' flower, Lady's fingers, Long legs and Milk maidens. Welsh names include dagrau Mair, 'Mary's tears'.
The nodding flowers suggests the bunch of keys which were the badge of St. Peter. One legend is that Peter was told that a duplicate key to Heaven had been made and therefore let his keys drop. The Cowslip broke from the ground where the keys fell.
Similarly, in German it is called Schlüsselblume, which directly translated also means “Key Flower”. Hildegard (a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany) referred to it as “Heaven’s Key”.
She believed that this plant with the bright yellow blossoms received its power from the sun, and could suppress melancholy in man, i.e. “When the cowslip primrose is heated and placed on the chest, the forces of the sun radiate back and cheer the heart.”.
In Hildegard’s later writings of monastic medicine, cowslip primrose was often referenced as a cardiac tonic, for colds and wound treatment. The tincture produced from the flowers was also used as nourishing skin treatment.
Cowslip has a delightful apricot smell and fruity, honey-like flavor. They were even traditionally used as a candy - the flowers were boiled in sugar and eaten as a sweet snack. Tea made from the flowers is also especially good for insomnia, headaches and nervous tension. The scented flowers also make delicious wines.
Apart from it's medicinal benefits, cowslip is rich in calcium, potassium, sodium, Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, salicylic acid, enzymes, and flavonoids.
Common Names: Cowslip primrose, key flower, key of heaven, palsywort, fairy cups, primrose.