Primula veris L. - syn.Primula officinalis (L.) Hill - Primulaceae
cowslip, Frühlings-Schlüsselblume, (Echte, Wiesen-) Schlüsselblume, Himmelsschlüsselchen
Perennial herb, up to 30cm high, native to Europe, West Asia, Sibiria, naturalized in North america, cultivated as ornamental; vegetative parts pubescent; leaves nearly cordate at the base, with deep reticulate veins; inflorescence umbel-like on a long stalk; flowers yolk-yellow with 5 orange-red spots inside, fragrant.
„This species frequently hybridizes with other Primulas such as Primula vulgaris to form False Oxslip (Primula x polyantha) which is often confused with true Oxslip (Primula elatior), a much rarer plant. Botanists have found at least twenty-five of these hybrid-forms in the Austrian Alps.“ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primula_veris
The dried flowers with calyces (Primulae flos cum calycibus) and the dried rhizomes and roots (Primulae radix) are used as expectorant and secretolytic to treat bronchitis, cough, colds and catarrh of the nose and throat. „The root contain large amounts (5-10%) of saponins, present as glycosides of several structurally similar aglycones such as protoprimularigenin A [of Primula elatior] and priverogenin A,B. Also present are phenolic glycosides such as primulaverin (=primulaveroside) and primverin which gave the characteristic 'wintergreen' smell to the roots when broken down by enzymatic hydrolysis to methoxysalicylate methyl ester. The flowers have small amounts of saponins and flavanoids. Saponins… are responsible for the mucous-expelling and secretolytic action… promoting in a reflectory way water secretion in the bronchia… Salicylates show anti-inflammatory activity.“
[Medicinal Plants of the World. Ben-Erik Van Wyk and Michael Wink, Pretoria 2004, 255]
The European Community herbal monograph (2013) on 'Primula veris L. and/or Primula elatior (L.) Hill, radix' allows the use of comminuted herbal substance as herbal tea and other herbal preparations in liquid and solid dosage forms for oral use as an expectorant in cough associated with cold (based upon long-standing use, special preparations also for children between 4 and 12 years).
Primula veris as Primula officinalis, Masclef, A., Atlas des plantes de France, vol.3 t.211