Cowslip (Huang Hua Jiu Lun Cao)Cowslip (Huang Hua Jiu Lun Cao)

Botanical Name: Primula officinalis, P. veris Cowslip flowers have been added to vinegars and used to make wine and syrups. The plant is best known for its sedating properties and as an expectorant that is useful for treating phelgmy coughs and asthma. Safe for children, the herb is used to calm hyperactivity and help young people sleep. The plant is famous for its restorative and soothing properties. The roots are excellent at loosening old stuck pheglm associated with chronic bronchial conditions, and arthritic conditions with inflammation and pain. Below is an overview of Cowslip (Huang Hua Jiu Lun Cao), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Cowslip (Huang Hua Jiu Lun Cao).

Have we sparked your interest?

Sign up, FREE, for access to all of WRI Healing Herb Fact Sheets and Exclusive Member Only Offers! Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Find Out More!

Take full advantage of the healing powers of herbs! What do they treat? How can they be used? Get an Eastern and Western perspective about how and why healing herbs works. Get recipes, gardening tips, insights, and much, much more.


Western Name: Cowslip

Also Known As: Key of Heaven, Key flower, Herb Peter, Fairy Cups, Petty Mulleins, Buckles, Mayflower, Password, Paigle, Peggle

Organs/Systems: Lung, Heart, Nerves

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Antioxidant, Expectorant, Sedating, Antispasmodic, Astringing. Lowers blood cholesterol, enhance immunity, coughs, insomnia, bronchitis, asthma, tremors, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, acne, circulatory system, urinary tract infections, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular pain.


Pin Yin: Huang Hua Jiu Lun Cao

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Lung, Bladder, Heart

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Moves Qi/Expels Wind/Resolves Phelgm: coughs, bronchitis, whooping cough, urinary tract infections, tremors, circulatory disorders.  Calms Shen: insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity, stress.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

A member of the Primrose family, cowslip is a small plant with yellow sweet smelling blossoms. It has a small rhizome from which the thick short roots start and end in buds. The buds bloom in early spring. The leaves first appear in tight rolls that unroll as they grow and lie nearly flat on the ground in a rosette, from the center grows a long stem that ends in a crown of flower, forming an umbel.

Cowslip grows in temperate zones throughout Asia and Europe. It is not common in Northern latitudes, but likes shade and clearings.

Cowslip (Huang Hua Jiu Lun Cao)Parts Most Frequently Used: Flowers, Roots, Leaves, Yellow corolla

Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Salty, Pungent, Bitter

Caution: Considered safe.

History/Folklore: Cowslip has been a popular remedy for anxiety and insomnia. Safe for children, the milder flowers have been used to help calm hyperactive children and help them sleep. It was thought the flowers strengthened the brain and nerves.

Both the flowers and roots are useful for their expectorant properties. It has been used as a home remedy to treat whooping cough, bronchitis, coughs, allergies, asthma and colds.

The flowers have been used to make a popular and tasty fermented liquor called cowslip wine. The young leaves have been used in salads and mixed with other herbs to make stuffings. The roots are used for their expectorant properties and can be dried and powdered.

The flowers yellow corolla contains antispasmodic and sedativing properties and is used to treat insomnia and hyperactivity, especially in children.

A simple in fusion is made using 2 teaspoonfuls of cowslip petals added to a cup of boiling water. Let the tea steep for 10-15 minutes, filter and enjoy. This recipe can be taken 3x a day. It can also be added to your bath to ease muscle and arthritic pain.

The corolla of the flowers, without the green calyx are harvested between March and May. The roots or rhizome are harvested before the plant blooms or later in the autumn. The leaves are harvested when young before the plant blossoms.

An oil created by crushing the flowers through maceration was used to treat bruises.

As a homeopathic remedy, cowslip is used to treat catarrh and kidney problems.

In old Norse mythology cowslip is dedicated to Frcya, a Key Virgin and said to give the bearer access to her treasure palace. This legend was transferred to the Virgin Mary, with flower then called, “Key of Heaven or Key Flower.” These common names and the additional common name, “Herb Peter” are all said to have derived from the legend that the plant sprang up where St. Peter dropped the keys to heaven.

In the Victorian Era, cowslip was associated with winning grace, fairies and magic.

The famous 17th century herbalist, Culpeper said, “An ointment made with the flowers taketh away spots and wrinkles of the skin, sunburnings and freckles…..The leaves are good in wounds and the flowers take away tremblings.”

The English have long associated cowslips with fairies.  Shakespeare referred to the plant as many as seven times.

The plant is becoming scarce in the wild due to over picking and pesticides.

Key Constituents:

Flowers: Beta carotene, Vitamin C. Leaves and Flowers: Potassium, Calcium, Sodium, Salicylates, Volatile oil (Mannite), Saponoids, Flavonoids, Phenolic acid, Glycosides, Phenol, Primulaverin.
Did you know?

Pimples and Acne

Cowslip is added to lotions to help clear up blemishes and acne.

Cowslip Syrup

A syrup made of the crushed flowers, honey and water is used to treat asthma and coughs.
Fun fact!

Heart Tonic

Cowslip flowers soaked in white wine is said to benefit the heart.

FREE Trial!

Get a NEW Healing Herb Fact Sheet each week!

Sign up for immediate access to your first Healing Herb Fact Sheet and a one month free trial. Find out for yourself why over 50,000 people have already signed up.

Sign Up Now

Choose the Right Herbs for You!

Take FULL Advantage of the Healing Powers of Herbs!

Our Healing Herb Library is a collection of How to Use Herb Health Sessions that guide you through individual herbs, helping you to take full advantage of each herb’s unique healing powers.

Learn More

Flower Your World with Healing Herb Fact Sheets!

Get 300+ Fact Sheets,
Right Now!

Get IMMEDIATE access to Our Complete Collection of 6 eBook Volumes containing 300+ Healing Herb Fact Sheets.

Learn More

Want to Learn More?

Join us for FREE to receive Special Offers and updates about our upcoming courses, FREE materials and more.
Join, FREE!

Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

Health Break: Detox, Strengthen & Cleanse

Join our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge!

A Health Boost and Reset to Balance Body, Mind, & Spirit Using Traditional Chinese Medicine. You'll also recieve our Free Healing Herb Fact Sheets and latest news. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Thank you, you have joined our wait list! We'll let you know when our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge is open.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.

Complete the form below for immediate access to ALL our Herb Fact Sheets.

Thank you for joining us! Please check your email for details on how to access our free Healing Herb Fact Sheets. Be sure to check your spam folder and promotions tab if you have one.

You have Successfully Subscribed!