Learn the traditional way of herbal infusion by macerating the primrose flowers in wine. This simple extraction method will allow you to enjoy a delicious and flowery taste of primrose wine as well as its medicinal benefits.
Infusing various herbs in wine is a pleasant and simple process that doesn’t require any specific equipment or skill.
I was walking with my dog the other day and discovered a carpet of primroses just growing in the wild. I couldn’t believe to see such beauty. Knowing its medicinal benefits, I wondered how I could use this gift of nature at its best. Choosing the easiest way, I decided to infuse the flowers in wine to make herb-infused wine, primrose infused wine in particular.
Herbal infusions have a long tradition…
Herbs and spices have been infused in wines since ancient times to preserve, flavour or to sweeten sour and tasteless wines.
Moreover, many of these herbs have been used for their medicinal properties.
While lavender infused wine was used for stress relief and sleep aid,
sage infused wine was used for its antiseptic and stimulant properties.
Lemon grass wine infusion was used to help with stomach disorders
and Primrose wine has been used for centuries as a “nervine,” wine that promoted wellbeing and calmed the nervous systems and anxiety.
Tea or wine?
One can wonder why to use alcohol if we can safely use hot water and make a herbal tea.
Alcohol (ethanol) is for some herbs a more effective medium than water. That is why tinctures are a popular way of healing with herbs.
By infusing the herb in wine that contains ethanol and water, you will get additional properties that you might not get when you infuse in tea.
You can make wine using just one herb or a combination of herbs. Also, red wine infusions, as well as white wine infusions, are beneficial, it just depends on your taste.
Primrose (Primula vulgaris), Primrose, Common Primrose, Wild Primrose, or English Primrose belongs to the primrose family. I can’t think of any other spring flower that blooms before these cheerful signs of spring. An important nectar source for butterflies, primroses produce yellow coloured flowers that bloom from March to May. Both leaves, as well as flowers, are edible. Leaves taste between mild lettuce and more bitter salad greens and can be added to a salad or cooked in soup or dry in tea. Flowers can be made into primrose wine.
Tips when foraging Primrose
Make sure you can identify primrose. Otherwise, leave it out
When you spot it, take just a few flowers from each plant. Don’t clear the patch so the plant can grow and others can also benefit.
Don’t forage on private properties, you can see primroses in private gardens or parks as they can make a nice blooming carpet but don’t forage these. These are usually treated with pesticides and it would be stealing. You can find them abundantly in wild nature so target those.
Choose less polluted places, not around highways.
When you collect the flower, gently pinch the flower head between your thumb and fingers and pull out the green sheath where the flower petals sit. That way you will leave the stalk behind and you will not damage the delicate petals. So the plant can still produce seeds and reproduce itself.
How to make herbal wine?
Harvest 5 handfuls of primrose flowers. Just choose a sunny day as we want the flowers to be dry and clean of any dirt or pesticides.
To increase the transfer of flavour from the herbs into the wine chop the flowers into small pieces and place them in a sterilised and dry jar or bottle.
Select a wine of your choice, dry or sweet, red or white and pour it in the jar to cover the flowers completely. Close the jar lightly with a lid.
Place the jar on a shelf that is easily accessible as you will need to shake it every day three times.
Let it macerate for 2 weeks. Starting the second week I also like to taste it to see if I like the flavour.
When you are happy with its taste just strain the wine through cheesecloth, fill it into the bottle and keep it in the fridge.
The recommended and safe use is 2 times a day 50 ml for women and 2 times a day 100 ml for men
Once the bottle is open you better finish it within 3 weeks. An unopened bottle can last up to 3 months if kept refrigerated.
Health Benefits of primula infused herbal wine
The wine itself serves to stimulate the bloodstream, have an overall warming as well as soothing impact on the body.
Health benefits really depend on the selection of the herb. In our case primrose
Considered as nervine herb, primula calms the nervous system, anxiety and general weakness. It also may help treat insomnia, it has a mild sedative effect.
Primula contains saponins and may, therefore, help as a potent expectorant. Relieving mucous congestion and dry cough.
This study confirms its antioxidant activity and cytotoxic effect of primula that might help with cancer treatment.
As an anti-inflammatory herb, primula may relieve the pain of rheumatism and arthritis.