Nodding yellow flower clusters bloom in spring over low rosettes of bright green leaves. Grows 8 inches tall. Prefers a shady damp location with well-drained soil. Perennial.
Traditional Healing Uses: Flowers and roots have been used in herbal remedies. Cowslip flowers have been added to tea or wine to relieve stress, tension, insomnia, nervous headaches, stomach spasms, and constipation. Cowslip root tea has been used for colds, bronchitis, and whooping cough. Cowslip ointment, oil, and lotion have been used for sunburns, swelling, bruises, and to reduce skin spots and wrinkles.
Other Uses: Edible flowers may be used to decorate cakes, crystallized in sugar, or used to flavor wine and vinegar; leaves can be added to salads.
Harvest: Gather flowers in spring, taking the yellow petals but not the green calyces. Dry for use in wine or syrup. Harvest rootlets before or after bloom.
Preparation: Pour 1 cup boiling water on 2 teaspoons of dried flowers and let steep for 10-15 minutes, 3 times a day. For root tea, put 1 teaspoon of grated root in 1 cup of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes, 3 times a day.
Caution: Some individuals react with a skin rash after touching some Primula species.