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Primula is a relaxing, sedative remedy, indicated in states of tension and nervous excitability. The flowers, which contain most of the essential oil known as "primula camphor", are indicated in insomnia and nervous tension. The main active constituents are the flavonoids which exhibit anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic activity. They inhibit the release of histamine and act as free radical scavengers. The flowers also have a reputation for treating measles, and ointment made from them brings relief to sunburn. The high saponin content in the root probably accounts for its reputation in the treatment of pertussis and bronchitis, while the salicylates explain its use in the treatment of arthritic conditions: the roots was known as Radix arthritic in the past. The root is also thought to be mildly diuretic and to slow blood clotting.
Primula may be combined with Humulus and Passiflora in insomnia, with Valeriana in hysteria and with Cypripedium and Scutellaria in anxiety states.
Flowers; Leaves; Tea.
Young leaves - raw or cooked in soups etc[4, 7, 115, 148, 183]. They are not that tasty, but are available in late winter which adds somewhat to their value[K].
The fresh or dried leaves are used as a tea substitute[177, 183].
Flowers - raw, cooked or used in conserves, as a garnish etc[4, 183]. They make an ornamental addition to the salad bowl[238, K]