Filipendula ulmaria

Other names: Bridewort, Dolloff, Meadsweet, Meadow Queen, Meadow-Wort, Queen of the Meadow, Lady of the Meadow, Spireaea ulmaria

The fragrant Meadowsweet is one of the best known wild flowers. Meadowsweet, water-mint, and vervain were three herbs held most sacred by the Druids.

MeadowsweetOne can consider Meadowsweet to be an herbal aspirin. On March 6th, 1899, aspirin was patented by Felix Hoffman of the German company, Bayer. The word was coined from a- for acetylsalicylic and -spirin for Spirea, the original genus name of meadowsweet.

Meadowsweet is an herb that has been used for centuries and has been granted “approved” status by the German Commission E.

Meadowsweet as an Herb for Medicinal Uses

The medicinal parts are the dried flowers, the dried aerial parts of the flowering plant, and the fresh underground and aerial parts of the flowering plant. The leaves smell very different from the flowers, having a pleasant, almond-like fragrance.

The meadowsweet herb is used to treat headaches, fever, arthritis, rheumatism, menstrual cramps, and flu, as well as diarrhea in children. Use it in place of aspirin, or white willow.

Meadowsweet is also used to rebuild the digestive system during recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.

An infusion of 1 ounce of the dried herb to a pint of water is the usual mode of administration, taken in wine glassful doses. Sweetened with honey, this beverage is a very pleasant diet drink.

In folk medicine Meadowsweet is used as a diuretic, for rheumatism of the joints and muscles, for gout, for bladder and kidney disease and for headaches. Meadowsweet herb is used for stomach complaints with hyperacidity, prophylaxis and therapy of stomach ulcers and for diarrhea in children.

Approved by Commission E for:

  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Fever and cold

Meadowsweet is used as supportive therapy for colds, for febrile colds, and as a diuretic.

Culinary Uses of Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet is one of the fifty ingredients in a drink called ‘Save,’ mentioned in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, in the fourteenth century being called Medwort, or Meadwort, i.e. the mead or honey-wine herb. The flowers were often put into wine and beer. It is still incorporated in many herb beers.


Few toxic events have been reported. Do not use in patients with salicylate or sulfite sensitivity, and use caution in asthmatics.

Toxicology: The German Commission E Monographs lists no known side effects, contraindications (except those with salicylate sensitivity), or drug interactions with use of Meadowsweet. The FDA has classified the plant as an “herb of undefined safety.”

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