Meadowsweet - Filipendula Ulmaria
Meadowsweet can be found all over Europe as well as in Asia and North America. Meadowsweet is a perennial which grows to be over one meter tall (three feet). It has beautiful creamy-white flowers. The flowers have an absolutely lovely almond scent which is very pleasing indeed.
Meadowsweet grows in moist fields and thrives close to creeks, ponds and lakes. If you have wet areas on your property meadowsweet would be a perfect herb to cultivate.
Meadowsweet has been a favored herb for centuries. The nickname “Queen of the Meadow” speaks for itself.
Flowers are preserved and used to add flavor to stewed fruits and jams. Meadowsweet leaves and flowers are used to add flavor to beverages such as beer and liqueurs.
Meadowsweet tea is tastes wonderful and has a lot of benefits. Both flowers and leaves are used when making meadowsweet tea.
The old botanical name for meadowsweet was “Spiraea ulmaria”. That is where aspirin got its name from. Back in 1838 salicin was isolated from the salicylate compounds found in meadowsweet. Felix Hoffman from Germany found a way to synthesis it to make acetyl salicylic acid. At least that is the official version from Bayer. According to others this was the work of Arthur Eichengrun. It was given the name aspirin.
Meadowsweet does contain aspirin-like properties that are pain relieving. This compound also helps bring down fever. For this reason meadowsweet tea may be used to as a remedy for colds and the flu.
Meadowsweet is known as a digestive remedy. It is used when having problems like indigestion and gastritis. This herb helps to balance stomach acid production.
Meadowsweet may be used to help stop diarrhea.
Meadowsweet tea is used to help fight headaches.
Meadowsweet tea may help ease the discomforts of rheumatism and arthritis.
Meadowsweet is rich in Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and silica.
Warning: You should never use meadowsweet if you are sensitive to aspirin. Women who are pregnant or nursing should never use meadowsweet.
Meadowsweet was a favored herb of Queen Elizabeth I of England. She loved the sweet scent and insisted on having meadowsweet as a strewed herb in her bed chambers.
Meadowsweet was one of the three most scared herbs of the Druids. The other two were water mint (Mentha Aquatica) and vervain (Verbena Officinalis).
During the Middle Ages meadowsweet was often used to flavor mead. For this reason it was often called “meadwort”.
Meadowsweet has a long history of being associated with romance. In earlier times it was not uncommon to use meadowsweet in wreaths for the bride. It was also used scattered at weddings. For this reason meadowsweet also had the nickname “bridewort”.