Meadowsweet - Materia Medica
Meadowsweet contains salicylic acid, like white willow bark, and has been used throughout history for its pain relieving ability. Along with its medicinal benefits, it has been used to repel lice and fleas, used in potpourri and as a flavoring agent in jams, sorbets, soups and fruit salads. Additionally, this herb is noted for its importance to the Celtic Druids as being one of their three most sacred herbs; the other two being water-mint and vervain. Not only did the druids use it to flavor mead, but the plant also represented the Flowerbride or “Blodeuwedd” – the maiden aspect of the triple goddess.
Common Name: Meadowsweet (Queen of the Meadow, Bridewort, Quaker Lady, Meadow Wort, Pride of the Meadow, Lady of the Meadow, Dollof, Meadsweet)
Latin Name: Filipendula ulmaria
Areas of Origin: Asia and Europe
Botanical Description: An herbaceous perennial that can grow upwards of 6’ in height and up to 3’ in diameter. The yellowish-white flowers bloom from June to August and group in clusters with their stamens growing past the petals, giving them a fuzzy appearance.
Parts Used: Arial parts
Uses: Good for colds, digestive aid, boosts the immune system, pain reliever, helpful with rheumatism, soothes a stomach ache and acid reflux.
Actions: Astringent, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, tonic
Preparations: Infusion, extract, capsules, food, natural sweetener
Taste: Astringent, bitter, sweet
Safety: Not recommended for: pregnant women, with allergic hypersensitivity to salicylates, constipation, with iron-deficiency anemia and malnutrition.
Contraindications (Plant-Medication Combinations): Do not take with iron or other metal ion supplements with thiamine or with alkaloid medications. The flowers may increase the risk of bleeding with warfarin.
Until next time, discover the power of welcoming nature’s healing plants into your life.
Additional history and folklore
10 Proven Health Benefits of Meadowsweet. (n.d.). Healthy Focus. Retrieved from https://healthyfocus.org/health-benefits-of-meadowsweet/
Brinker, F., N.D. (2010). Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions plus Herbal Adjuncts with Medicines. Oregon, Sandy: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Meadowsweet Benefits. (n.d.). Indigo Herbs. Retrieved from https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/meadowsweet