Greek Police Detain Six Albanians for Harvesting Rare Herbs

Six Albanian men were arrested by the Greek police near the border that separates the two countries for illegally harvesting a wild mountain herb.

Police seized 10 horses and more than 130 kilograms (250 pounds) of primula veris, or cowslip, which can garner €100 ($121) per kilogram and is traditionally used to cure various ailments.

For conservation reasons, it is illegal in Greece to pick anything other than a small amount of wild herbs for personal use.

Ten horses were confiscated

Greek police have stepped up patrols in the more remote areas of the north-west to prevent gangs crossing the Albanian border to harvest rare herbs.

Cowslip has been used in folk remedies to reduce blood clotting and is sometimes used as an antirheumatic.

In Europe, it is widely used for whooping-cough, and its effectiveness as an expectorant has been widely documented.

Current research is looking into the usefulness of the plant in treating asthma and allergies.

The plant’s antispasmodic properties could make it useful in treating epilepsy, tremors and may even be developed as a treatment for Parkinson’s Disease