Old fashioned Cowslips

My maternal Grandma (1896-1955) would go into the swamps and harvest a plant called 'Cowslips, according to my mom (1922-2014). She also collected Dandelion greens to feed her family during the great depression.
Wild butternuts, walnuts, chestnuts as well as black berries, raspberries, black raspberries were gathered as food, plus she had a garden. It was amazing what this woman accomplished…but I digress.


This perennial herb, the flowers and roots of which contain flavonoids, glycosides, and saponins; it is analgesic, antispasmodic, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, and sedative. It has been used internally for arthritis, headache, insomnia, measles, paralysis, respiratory tract infections, and restlessness, and topically for sunburns.


cowslip ( plural cowslips )

English Wikipedia has an article on:


  1. A low-growing plant, Primula veris , with yellow flowers. quotations ▼
  2. Any of several other plants related or similar in appearance
  3. Primula deorum , a flowering plant known as God’s cowslip and rila cowslip
  4. Primula florindae , a flowering plant known as giant cowslip and Tibetan cowslip
  5. Primula sikkimensis , a flowering plant known as Himalayan cowslip and Sikkim cowslip
  6. (Canada, US, regional) marsh marigold, Caltha palustris , a plant in the buttercup family, growing in wet, boggy locations.
  7. Pulmonaria angustifolia , blue cowslip or narrow-leaved lungwort
  8. Short for cowslip tea : a kind of green tea; an herbal tea made with cowslip flowers.


Wiktionary - Cowslip

Moderator Edit – Source link added for Wiktionary.


Where did your Grandma pick the flowers?
BTW Love the info :heart:


She lived on a hilltop in the tiny village of Ischua, in Western NY.
She found them in swamps and near cow plops, ergo the name…cow slips. Although a distant cousin of the primrose, it is also fond in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. It has different names depending on where it is grown.
PS, population was about 75.


I’m drooling thinking about all these tasty natural goodies :drooling_face: :two_hearts: :plate_with_cutlery:

I’ve eaten Dandelion greens before, but to the best of my knowledge I haven’t tried Cowslips! Thanks so much for this wonderful information, @Garnet :pray::heart:


Only the flowers are eatable. but the roots can be used medicinally