We Need Your Feedback
We want you to tell us what you would like to see on our posts; more recipes, more information about the same herbs and spices, or do you want to know about different ones?If so,which? Please leave answers to these questions in the comments boxes.We have made it easier for you to do this (today). If you have any other advice or a recipe that you would like us to include, tell us (recipes will be attributed to you).
Thursday, March 8, 2012
OXLIP - NOW RARE: HISTORY, USES AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF OXLIP
For centuries people have been commenting on the oxlip’s similarity to cowslips (Primula veris) and they have been described as cowslip stems with primrose flowers. They are members of the Primulaceae family of plants and so are related to moneywort or creeping Jenny and the scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), all of which are native to
Europe, including the British Isles. However oxlips are now mainly found in eastern counties, and are rare further south than Hertfordshire.
The young leaves may be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable, like spinach, or added to soups and stews. They have a mild flavour and can be found in woodlands in late winter and early spring.
Oxlips can mainly be found in ancient woodlands which have oak, ash, field maple and hazel as dominant tree species. Oxlips have a preference for shady places and are sometimes confused with the false oxlip (Primula x polyantha), but these have shorter stems and a deeper yellow or golden flower.
“Government and virtues. It is a plant of Venus, and is good against disorders of the nerves. The root has the principal virtue; the country people boil this in ale, and give it for giddinesses of the head, with success. The juice of the plant, mixed with veinegar, is also used to snuff up the nose against head-achs. It is less violent than the juice of the primrose root, and answers the same purpose very well.”