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Primula veris L. Primulaceae. Cowslip, Herba paralysis Distribution: W. Asia, Europe. Fuchs ((1542) quotes Dioscorides Pliny and Galen, with numerous uses, from bruises, toothache, as a hair dye, for oedema, inflamed eye, and mixed with honey, wine or vinegar for ulcer and wounds, for scorpion bites, and pain in the sides and chest, and more. Lobel (1576) calls them Primula veriflorae, Phlomides, Primula veris, Verbascula. Like other herbals of the 16th and 17th century, the woodcuts leave one in no doubt that Primula veris was being written about. However, other translators of Dioscorides (Gunther, 1959 with Goodyear's 1655 translation

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view Primula veris L. Primulaceae. Cowslip, Herba paralysis Distribution: W. Asia, Europe. Fuchs ((1542) quotes Dioscorides Pliny and Galen, with numerous uses, from bruises, toothache, as a hair dye, for oedema, inflamed eye, and mixed with honey, wine or vinegar for ulcer and wounds, for scorpion bites, and pain in the sides and chest, and more. Lobel (1576) calls them Primula veriflorae, Phlomides, Primula veris, Verbascula. Like other herbals of the 16th and 17th century, the woodcuts leave one in no doubt that Primula veris was being written about. However, other translators of Dioscorides (Gunther, 1959 with Goodyear's 1655 translation

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Credit: Primula veris L. Primulaceae. Cowslip, Herba paralysis Distribution: W. Asia, Europe. Fuchs ((1542) quotes Dioscorides Pliny and Galen, with numerous uses, from bruises, toothache, as a hair dye, for oedema, inflamed eye, and mixed with honey, wine or vinegar for ulcer and wounds, for scorpion bites, and pain in the sides and chest, and more. Lobel (1576) calls them Primula veriflorae, Phlomides, Primula veris, Verbascula. Like other herbals of the 16th and 17th century, the woodcuts leave one in no doubt that Primula veris was being written about. However, other translators of Dioscorides (Gunther, 1959 with Goodyear's 1655 translation. Dr Henry Oakeley. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Beck, 2005) have attributed these uses to Verbascum L. Lyte (1578) calls them Cowslippe, Petie mulleyn, Verbasculum odoratum, Primula veris, Herbae paralysis and Artheticae. Along with cowslips and oxeslips, he says they are 'used dayly among other pot herbes, but in Physicke there is no great account of them. They are good for the head and synewes ...'. Culpeper (1650): ‘Cowslips strengthen the brain, senses, and memory, exceedingly, resist all disease there as convulsions, falling sickness, palsies etc.’ Quincy (1718) writes that they were used for Paralytic and Arthritick complaints, but seldom used, and their juice was used to provoke sneezing. Gradually their uses diminish and Lindley (1838) merely writes 'The flowers possess well-marked sedative properties and make a pleasant soporific wine.' It contains quinones and these may give rise to allergic reactions (Medicine Control Agency, 2002). It is licensed for use in Traditional Herbal Medicines in the UK (UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

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