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The roots and the flowers have somewhat of the odour of Anise, due to their containing some volatile oil identical with Mannite. Their acrid principle is Saponin.
Medicinal Action and Uses
Sedative, antispasmodic. In olden days, Cowslip flowers were ingreat request for homely remedies, their special value Iying in strengthening the nerves and the brain, and relieving restlessness and insomnia. The Cowslip was held good 'to ease paines in the head and is accounted next with Betony, the best for that purpose.' Cowslip Wine made from the flowers, as above described, is an excellent sedative. Also, 1 lb. of the freshly gathered blossom infused in 1 1/2 pint of boiling water and simmered down with loaf sugar to a fine yellow syrup, taken with a little water is admirable for giddiness from nervous debility or from previous nervous excitement, and this syrup was formerly given against palsy. In earlier times, the Cowslip was considered beneficial in all paralytic ailments, being, as we have seen, often called Palsy Wort or Herba paralysis. The root was also called in old Herbals Radix arthritica, from its use as a cure for muscular rheumatisrm.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Nov 14;
Screening of plants used in Danish folk medicine to treat epilepsy and convulsions.
Jager AK, Gauguin B, Adsersen A, Gudiksen L.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2 Universitetsparken, 2100 Copenhagen O, Denmark.
Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of 42 plants used in Danish folk medicine for the treatment of epilepsy and convulsions, or for inducing sedation, were tested for affinity to the GABA(A)-benzodiazepine receptor in the flumazenil-binding assay. Ethanolic extracts of leaves of Primula elatior and Primula veris and aerial parts of Tanacetum parthenium exhibited good, dose-dependent affinity.