An Herb to Know: Meadowsweet
I love to introduce people to plants they may have never seen before and to share some things about the “common” plants they may not know. To do that opens up an entirely new world and way of seeing the Green Nations. Opening our eyes, expanding our perspective is invigorating to the Spirit. Our world is one of such beauty but we can be so caught up in our daily grooves that we miss so much.
With that in mind allow me to introduce you to Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) some of you may have already made her acquaintance but for those of you who haven’t this is one of the many plants we learn about in the Sacred Heart of Herbalism 8 month herbal intensive and one of my favorites. There are two species of Filipendula that we find in our area Filipendula ulmaria and Filipendula rubra also known as “Queen of the Prairie” such a lovely name! The F.rubra is a native species that today is used primarily as a garden ornamental but was used extensively by Native tribes for all issues of the heart and as a “love medicine”. Native Americans also worked with this plant to utilize its astringent properties, quelling generalized diarrhea as a well as dysentery and as a vulnerary.
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) has been naturalized in the East and is known to herbalists for its salicin constituent although its levels are much lower (.5%) than the willow species (11%). Meadowsweet is used as a pain reliever just as you would aspirin for headaches for example but with few side effects than the synthesized compound. It’s also useful for colds and flus. Meadowsweet’s anti-inflammatory properties are excellent and a salve, this delightfully fragrant plant can help with achy and arthritic joints….what a wonderful plant to know! These are just a few of the wonders that are Meadowsweet…
Caution should still be taken not to overuse just as you would with aspirin. Those individuals that should not take aspirin should not take Meadowsweet.