Cowslip

Well-being for mind and body

Cowslip – also known in European languages as ‘key flower’ – is a true herald of spring. Its golden yellow flowers revive the spirits after winter. But it’s not just its appearance that is refreshingly cheerful. The active ingredients also drive out the winter blues from the body and strengthen the immune system.

Why ‘key flower’?

The Cowslip resembles an old, hollow key.
Thanks to its versatile active ingredients, in metaphorical terms, this plant is also a key to vitality, happiness and strength.

In brief

Plant family: Primrose family (Primulaceae)
Nearest related plant: Oxlip (Primula elatior)
Height: 10 to 25 cm
Flowering season: April to May
Appearance: Flower with yellow corolla, 5 orange-reddish blotches on the inside
Harvest: For the roots: spring (before the stems form), or autumn (after the stems die back)
For the flowers: April to May
Uses: As a medicinal plant in tea (flowers, leaves and roots), as a herb extract in capsules, candies, juices and drops and as an ornamental plant.

Helpful for the body

Cowslip is generally a warming substance, helping cure the after-effects of the winter chill. Be it a tenacious head cold or aching limbs due to cold weather, Cowslip acts as an expectorant, warms the body and helps clear the head and chest making it easier to breathe properly once more. It is also used to treat gout, rheumatism, cardiac insufficiency and vertigo. Its detoxifying powers should also not be overlooked: it acts as a diuretic and promotes perspiration as well as being ideally suited to use in detox plans.

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Helpful for the mind

Cowslip also has a warming, reviving and inspiring effect for the mental faculties. It is an ideal remedy for lethargy, fatigue in springtime and melancholy.

Helpful plants and animals

As a spring flower, Cowslip played quite an important role in folklore. In Middle Franconia, people believed that barley ripened if Cowslips grew on long stems. If they had short stems, however, the barley yields would be low. Cattle with ailments should also be treated with a powder made from Cowslips gathered on Walpurgis Eve (or around May Day).

An endangered species

In Switzerland, cultivated Cowslips are only grown in small areas. Wild Cowslips are an endangered species – so remember: it’s important not to pick them.