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As one of the first flowers of the year, the bright yellow flowers of the cowslip can be seen from around March / April. The plant has been used as a medicinal plant for many centuries, and its medicinal effects have now been proven in scientific studies. However, the plant is under nature protection in the wild and may therefore not be collected.

Cowslip tea helps against coughs

Cowslip as a medicinal plant

Both the cowslip (Primula veris), the common cowslip (Primula elatior) and, more rarely, the stalkless cowslip (Primula vulgaris) show an expectorant and antispasmodic effect. For this reason, the plants are preferably used for bronchial infections with persistent coughing, such as bronchitis, but also for migraines, neuralgia and nervousness.


In addition to essential oils, tannins, silicic acid and flavonoids, cowslips contain saponins, the main medicinal substances. There are also phenolic glycosides as well as primulaverine and primaverine.

areas of application

Cowslips are considered to be expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic, stimulating the metabolism, styptic and blood-purifying as well as calming. For this reason, the plant is used in naturopathy primarily against the following diseases:

  • Respiratory diseases: colds, bronchitis, sore throat, laryngitis, cough and whooping cough, runny nose
  • Disorders of the mind and head: headaches, migraines, toothache and tooth decay, gingivitis, mouth rot, stomatitis, insomnia and sleep disorders, nervousness, neuralgia, dizziness
  • Organic diseases: pneumonia, myocarditis, cardiac insufficiency, constipation, rheumatism, gout
  • External diseases: bruises, edema


The roots and flowers of the cowslip are primarily used, which can be harvested between March and June - but not from wild collections, because the cowslip is a protected plant. The ingredients are used internally as a tea or syrup and externally in the form of poultices.

Cowslip tea for coughs

Take about a heaping teaspoonful of dried cowslip blossoms and pour a quarter liter of boiling water over them. Let the brew steep for about ten minutes and then strain it. If necessary, the tea is drunk lukewarm several times a day, possibly sweetened with honey.

Is the cowslip poisonous?

Sometimes you can read in various internet forums that the cowslip is poisonous. That's not true, because cowslips contain no toxins. However, the saponins it contains can irritate the stomach and lead to stomach problems and even nausea. In addition to sensitive people, pregnant women and nursing mothers should also refrain from using cowslip. Long-term use is also not advisable.


However, the cowslip is not only used as a medicinal plant. Their young leaves and flowers are also edible.

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