You know the feeling…
As soon as spring hits, you’re sniffling, sneezing, and coughing just as much – if not more – than you are in the wintertime!
If it’s not seasonal allergies from all the trees and flowers in bloom… it’s an upper respiratory infection that just couldn’t wait a few more months for the cold weather to hit.
Sometimes it feels like you can’t catch a break…
But there’s a way you can ease the cough and congestion that arrives when April goes out like a lion…
And it comes from a flower that blooms right at the start of spring!
Give allergies and colds the slip
Cowslip is known as the first flower of Spring (a.k.a. Primula veris)…
This early-blooming wildflower in the primrose family has been found growing in the unlikeliest of places — cow pastures — for thousands of years.
Celtic druids treasured cowslip for its pharmaceutical benefits… as well as its spiritual significance.
But they weren’t the only ancient religious leaders to acknowledge the value of cowslip.
In Medieval times, the plant was called Herb Peter after Saint Peter, whose emblem is a bunch of cowslip flowers – an icon thought to resemble the keys to heaven’s gate.
The apothecaries of Florence also sought after this sacred “key flower” for its healing powers…
And when it comes to ailments of the upper respiratory tract, it’s just as precious today as it was in the Middle Ages.
Cowslip is primarily known as an antispasmodic… hence its nicknames “Palsy Wort” and “Herba paralysis.”
Don’t worry, it won’t paralyze YOU – just the muscles that are tightening your chest and keeping you from breathing freely.
The polysaccharides (a.k.a. complex sugars) in cowslip are known for their antitussive potential – that is, the power to calm a cough.
Cowslip also contains considerable amounts of expectorant compounds known as triterpene saponins, which thin and loosen mucus.
And its main constituents – flavonoids – take on a double duty.
First, they inhibit the release of histamine – the culprit behind a lot of the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
And second, they’re powerful anti-inflammatories – which is a GODSEND when your nasal passages and sinuses are inflamed!
Cowslip has been shown to relieve the swollen and painful sinuses associated with sinusitis – especially when combined with other herbs such as gentian root, European elderflower, verbena, and sorrel.
And since sinusitis is usually caused by a virus… and can’t be cured with antibiotics… you’ll want as much herbal power on your side as possible to clear it up!
You can find an herbal extract of cowslip as a tincture or powder – sometimes labeled as Primula officinalis.
Cowslip is also one of the cough-combating ingredients included in Ricola herbal lozenges.