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Cowslip flowers

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Scientific Name: Primula veris (officinalis)

Popular Names: Fairy Cups, Key of Heaven, Lady’s Keys, Key Flower, Cuckoo's Little Boot

Parts used: Flowers, leaves, roots with rhizomes

Uses: Natural remedy for sinusitis, flu, cough, cold, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, rheumatism, gout, headache, migraine, urinary tract infections, insomnia and toothache.

Harvesting Info: Early spring for flowers and late autumn for roots and rhizomes.


Cowslip is a beautiful wildflower that blooms at the beginning of spring. It's fragrance and colors are irresistible for bees, insects and humans alike. The leaves and flowers are safe to eat, taste very good, and provide many health benefits. It has been said in the past that cowslip helps the body and the spirit stay young.

Plant Name Meaning

It's thought that 'Cow' is part of this plant's name because it commonly grows on fields where cows roam, fertile with cow manure. The 'slip' part of the name may be traced to the slippery grounds where it grows, often around riverbanks, bogs and marshes.

The 'Fairy Cups' name is a metaphorical reference to the shape in which the flowers grow, resembling small delicate cups. The plant is also sometimes called 'Key of Heaven' because of the shape it resembles when the flowers are pointing downward, appearing as a bunch of keys hanging down. A key symbolizes a way to unlock mysterious secrets and we believe the cowslip can help us unlock the secrets of great health!

The first part of it's Latin scientific name is "primula" meaning "very first", referring to the early flowering time of this plant, which is one of the first you'll see blooming each spring.  "Officinalis" indicates that this plant offers medicinal healing properties.

Cowslip flowers in green field


Cowslip grows well in temperate climates. It can be found growing in warmer areas of Europe, Asia, and North America. Its preferred growing areas are sunny meadows, big open fields, rivers banks, swamps, bogs and mountain slopes.

Medicinal Benefits

  • Soothes the respiratory tract and clears mucus.
  • Aids detoxification and increases perspiration.
  • Healing effect on bleeding caused by external wounds, cuts.
  • Has a calming effect on the mind.
  • Boost milk production in young mothers.
  • Regulates metabolism and increases immunity.
  • Prevents the effects of aging, promoting youthfulness and longevity.
  • Helps skin to stay hydrated.
  • Prevents muscle spasms.
  • Acts as a sedative, reducing pain.

Active Substances

Cowslip is rich in calcium, potassium, sodium, Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, salicylic acid, enzymes, and flavonoids.

Emotional and Spiritual Support

Cowslip dispels negative emotional states associated with traumas, depression and sadness. It intensifies the feelings of love, balances the inner being, and improves focusing power and concentration. Cowslip's ability to bring us to the present moment makes it easy to overcome problems and forget painful past events.

Natural Remedies using Cowslip

1. Mixed Cowslip Herbal Tea for Insomnia

Herbs for cowslip insomnia tea


  • 50 grams of loose cowslip flowers.
  • 25 grams of loose lavender flowers.
  • 10 grams of loose St John's wort flowers.

Preparing the Tea

  • Mix all the ingredients in the list above.
  • Bring two cups of water to a boil in a pot.
  • Add a teaspoon of mixed ingredients to the boiling water.
  • Allow it to boil for 3 more minutes.
  • Strain and pour in a cup.
  • Add honey to taste.

For those having trouble sleeping or falling asleep, it's best to drink this tea just before going to sleep.

2. Cowslip Detox for Rheumatism and Arthritis

Cowslip, nettle and dandelion herbs


Cowslip helps to detox and cleanse the toxic elements responsible for rheumatism and arthritis. Mixing it with other herbs increases the detoxification effect.


  • 50 grams of ground cowslip flowers.
  • 25 grams of young ground nettle leaves.
  • 25 grams of ground dandelion root.

Preparing the Tea

  • Make a herbal mix using the ingredient list above.
  • Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a pot.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of the herbal mix to the boiling water.
  • Allow it to boil for 3 more minutes.
  • Strain and pour it in a cup.


Drink two cups each day.

3. Cowslip Poultice for Wounds, Cuts and Bruises

Cowslip flowers with leaves


The active ingredients in cowslip promote wound healing and support the following processes.

  • Helps to stopping the bleeding.
  • Helps to reduce pain.
  • Reduces inflammation of the tissues.


  • Prepare a warm poultice using fresh cowslip flowers and leaves.
  • Place the warm poultice on an injured area (wounds, cuts, bruises).


4. Cowslip Herbal Tea

Cowslip herbal tea

Preparing the Tea

  • Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a pot.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of loose cowslip flower and stem mix.
  • Boil for 3 more minutes, then allow to cool for 3 minutes.
  • Strain the tea and drink when it has cooled down enough.


Drink 2-3 cups daily.


Serves as a natural remedy for coughing, bronchitis, asthma, common cold and flu, rheumatism, anxiety, hyper-activity, and more.