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The 19th April (today of all days!) marks Primrose Day, Primroses are one of my favourite flowers, not least because they signify that we are out of winter and well into spring, the days are getting longer, lambs appear in the fields and buds on the trees, all of which are positive signs for us. This is particularly true at the moment as we are all experiencing long days indoors due to social distancing with Coronavirus in our midst.
However you are feeling at the moment; sad, frustrated, bored, trapped (maybe all of those!)……. it is worth looking around for the smallest signs of hope.
I had heard of Primrose Day before but hadn’t actually ever looked into where it came from, but apparently Primrose Day is the anniversary of the death of British statesman and prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, on 19 April 1881. The primrose was his favourite flower and Queen Victoria would often send him bunches of them from Windsor and Osborne House. She sent a wreath of primroses to his funeral .(projectbritain.com).
When we use the term ‘Primrose’ it actually includes many different types of flowers that sit in the ‘Primula’ family, one common one is Evening Primrose which is a tall biennial wildflower that blooms at sunset. The flowers will often remain open the next day during cloudy conditions, but fade quickly under bright sunlight.
You may also have heard Evening Primrose being called; Fever plant, Great Evening-Primrose, King’s-cure-all and Night willow-herb.
Although science hasn’t assigned any benefits for Evening Primrose, it is used extensively in herbal medicine and as a dietary supplement for many conditions, and has been for over 500 years, this is because of the precious oil contained in its seeds which contain certain essential Gamma-linoleinc acid (GLA), a very valuable fatty acid that is not found in many plants (altnature.com).
So next time you are out for some exercise keep your eyes on the hedgerows for those small but mighty ‘Primroses’, some varieties have been around for hundreds of years sharing their healing properties with us.
Keep safe, keep healthy and keep smiling at all the little things 🙂