primula vulgaris (HUDS),N.O.Primulaceae,herba paralysis, an early name shared with the cowslip.
This plant grows wild in Great Britain but is rarely to be seen even in the gardens of North America. A cultivar is often to be found in florists around Easter. From the Latin name prima rosa, meaning the first rose of the year. Leaves are also the diet of silkworms.
Roots used medicinally are dug after two or three years of growth. The roots must be cleansed in cold water with a brush, and the fibres trimmed off. Roots are then dried, and larger roots are split to facilitate the drying process.
saponins, volatile oil, (roots and flowers contain a fragrant oil, called Primulin) Primulin is identical with Mannite.
expectorant in bronchitis,anti-spasmodic,diuretic, anodyne, vermifuge, emetic, mild sedative for anxiety or insomnia, formerly used topically for skin wounds and blemishes. Candied flowers, boil leaves as greens, Primrose Tea.
A tea made of 5 to 10 parts of the petals to 100 parts of water was drunk in May "..famous for curing the phrensie" (Gerard*)- or the tea is calming and protects one from nervous hysteria**.
** This is probably a bit of Victoriana: who gets nervous hysteria in the spring?
* Gerard is listed in A Modern Herbal with Parkinson, who seems to be a 17th century herbalist
copyright Sue Risk Northdays Image 2004 - 2015