Key Definitions

Antiemetic – Preventing or reducing vomiting or nausea.
Astringent – A substance that causes the skin or other tissue to tighten.
Diuretic – A substance that causes an increase in the production of urine.
Gastritis - An illness in which the stomach walls become swollen and painful.
Perennial – A plant that lives more than 2 years.

Meadowsweet in a field

Introduction

Meadowsweet is a perennial that is part of the Rosaceae family. It grows to approximately 1.5 m in length and consists of toothed leaves and clusters of creamy, almond-scented flowers. Meadowsweet is native to Europe and grows in damp places, like ditches and the banks of waterways (Chevallier, 2016).
Meadowsweet contains salicin, which helps reduce pain and inflammation and acts as a natural antacid. Salicin is a compound that is like aspirin, without the negative side effects (e.g., blood-thinning) (Chevallier, 2016) (Easley & Horne, 2016).

Tincture labelled Salicylic Acid that contains a fluid

Constituents, Actions & Indications

Constituents

Volatile oil; salicylaldehyde, ethylsalicylate, methylsalicylate, phenolic glycosides (spiraein, monotropin, gaultherin); flavonoids (flavonols, flavones, flavanones and chalcone derivatives); polyphenolics and other tannins; miscellaneous: phenylcarboxylic acids, coumarins, vitamin C (Hoffmann, 2003) (Chevallier, 2016).

Actions

Antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, antacid, antiemetic, astringent, diuretic, stimulates sweating (Hoffmann, 2003) (Chevallier, 2016).

Indications

Poor digestion, nausea, heartburn, hyperacidity, gastritis, peptic ulceration, diarrhoea in children, fever, pain from rheumatism in muscles and joints (Hoffmann, 2003) (Chevallier, 2016).

Beakers with a Plant in the Background

Scientific Research

A study completed by Farzaneh, et al., 2022 describes the beneficial effects of Meadowsweet on humans. The following summarises their findings:

  1. Anti-arthritis and analgesic activity: Meadowsweet has been shown to relieve arthritis, joint, and rheumatic pain.
  2. Anticoagulant activity: Meadowsweet may help reduce the formation of blood clots, which aids in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
  3. Anti-inflammatory activity: Many of the constituents in Meadowsweet have been shown to relieve pain and inflammation.
  4. Anti-cancer effects: Meadowsweet has shown promising results for the treatment of breast tumours, spinal cord tumours, central nervous system tumours, and colorectal tumours.
  5. Gastro-protective effects: Meadowsweet has been shown to offer protection to the digestive system, especially when used to treat dyspepsia.
  6. Hepato-protective effects: Meadowsweet may offer protection to the liver by stabilising the structure of the liver cells and their functions.
  7. Immunomodulatory properties: Meadowsweet may enhance the body’s immune system response time.
  8. Anti-microbial activity: Meadowsweet offers antibacterial activity to some bacterial strains.
  9. Anti-oxidant activity: The constituents of Meadowsweet have been shown to help your body fight off harmful free radicals, which are linked to diabetes and cancer.
Glass bottle containing amber liquid surrounded by meadowsweet

Preparations & Dosage

Tincture – Soak a pad in 25 mL tincture for painful joints and apply it to the area (Chevallier, 2016). Oral tincture dosage of 1-5 mL can also be taken 1-4 times a day (Hoffmann, 2003) (Easley & Horne, 2016).
Tablets – Take for rheumatic aches (Chevallier, 2016). Tablets should contain between 1 000-2 000 mg of Meadowsweet and should be taken 3 times a day (Easley & Horne, 2016).
Infusion – Pour 1 cup of freshly boiled water over 1-2 tsp of dried herb and infuse in a covered container for 10-15 minutes (Hoffmann, 2003). For indigestion take 100 mL every 2 hours (Chevallier, 2016).
Decoction – For diarrhoea, take 150 mL 2-3 times a day (Chevallier, 2016).
Powder – For acidity take ½ tsp mixed with a little water 3 times a day (Chevallier, 2016). The powder should contain between 1 000-2 000 mg of Meadowsweet and should be taken 3 times a day (Easley & Horne, 2016).

Meadowsweet cordial in a glass with ice

Recipe

Meadowsweet Cordial Recipe

This recipe was taken from https://craftinvaders.co.uk/meadowsweet-cordial/ (Craft Invaders, 2016).
Ingredients

  • Large bunch of Meadowsweet (about 50 heads)
  • 2 lemons
  • 500 g sugar (split in 2)
  • 2 L of water

Instructions

  1. Dissolve 250 g of sugar in boiling water and add lemon juice.
  2. Strip the Meadowsweet flowers from the stems and add the flowers to the boiling water.
  3. Turn the temperature down and simmer the mixture.
  4. Once the mixture begins to simmer, remove the pot from the stove, stir the mixture and leave the mixture covered overnight.
  5. Strain out the flowers the next day using a cheesecloth.
  6. Add the other 250 g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil for 5 minutes.
  7. Whilst still hot, decant the mixture into a sterilised and warmed glass bottle. Warm the glass bottle by placing the glass bottle in the oven for 10 minutes at the lowest setting.
  8. Once the contents of the glass bottle have cooled, you can seal the bottle.
  9. The cordial can be kept for between 4-6 weeks in the fridge.

Image source: https://craftinvaders.co.uk/meadowsweet-cordial/

The word Safety highlighted in Green

Safety Considerations

Meadowsweet should not be consumed by people with salicylate sensitivity or an allergy to aspirin (Chevallier, 2016) (Hoffmann, 2003). Persons with G6PD deficiency are also cautioned to avoid Meadowsweet (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013).

Contraindications

None known (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013).

Drug Interactions

None known (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013).

Adverse Events & Side Effects

None known (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013).

Disclaimer spelled out wusing Scrabble Tiles

Disclaimer

The information presented in this post is intended as an informational guide. The remedies, approaches and techniques described herein are meant to supplement, and not to substitute for, professional medical care or treatment. They should not be used to treat a serious ailment without prior consultation with a qualified health care professional.

References

  1. Chevallier, A., 2016. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. 3rd ed. New York: DK Publishing.
  2. Craft Invaders, 2016. How to Make Wonderful Meadowsweet Cordial. [Online] Available at: https://craftinvaders.co.uk/meadowsweet-cordial/ [Accessed 11 July 2024].
  3. Easley, T. & Horne, S., 2016. The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide. California: North Atlantic Books.
  4. Farzaneh, A. et al., 2022. Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim. (meadowsweet): A review of traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology. Research Journal of Pharmacognosy, 9(3), pp. 85-106.
  5. Gardner, Z. & McGuffin, M., 2013. Botanical Safety Handbook. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
  6. Hoffmann, D., 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. 1st ed. Vermont: Healing Arts Press.
Meadowsweet Infographic
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