If you are looking for the health benefits of meadowsweet, you’ve come to the right place. This herb is a safe and natural aspirin and can help with many different problems. This article will look at all of them and prove each claim with:
- Expert opinion
Let’s start with the rich history of meadowsweet.
Background Information And History
Genus and species: Filipendula ulmaria, formerly Spiraea ulmaria
Common names: Spiraea, bridewrot, meadowwort, dropwort, and queen-of-the-meadow
Parts Used: Leaves and flowers
History: This great smelling herb has a long history, dating back to the Middle Ages. Then it was used to freshen the air in homes where people rarely bathed and space was shared with farm animals.
Queen Elizabeth 1 spread the flowers throughout her living chambers because of their pleasant aroma.
Eventually people caught onto to its medicinal value and began boiling it in wine to lower fevers and ease itching. In time herbalists began recommending it for:
- Respiratory ailments
Colonists brought the herb over to the the Western Hemisphere and American Eclectic physicians prescribed meadowsweet for diarrhea, menstrual cramps and vaginal discharge.
The most interesting historical fact about meadowsweet is it’s responsible for the creation of aspirin. There’s a chemical in the herb, salicin, that has powerful pain relieving, fever reducing, and anti-inflammatory qualities.
In order to make this chemical safer, a German researcher added a molecular acetyl group to meadowsweet extract and created acetylsalicylic acid. That’s a tough name to say so the researcher added the “a” from acetyl and “spirin,” from meadowsweet’s Latin name, Spiraea. The resulting name was “aspirin.”
50 years later, when aspirin had been completely forgotten, another German chemist, named Felix Hoffman, discovered an article about it in an obscure German medical journal when researching a cure for his fathers arthritis.
He deemed it effective and eventually got his superiors at Bayer to sell it. Bayer Aspirin was born and it quickly became one of the most popular drugs in the world and still is today.
What Do Modern Scientists And Herbalists Have To Say?
The most respected government authority on herbs isn’t the FDA. In fact, most people consider America a third world country on the topic. The German counterpart to the FDA, called Commission E, is the most respected government authority when it comes to herbs.
Commission E endorses meadowsweet for colds and fevers.
Modern herbalists recommend meadowsweet for:
- Colds and flu
- Childhood diarrhea
- Digestive ailments
- Muscle aches
- Congestive heart failure
- Urinary tract infections
Let’s take a look at a few studies, expert opinions and some science to back up these claims.
Pain, Fever, And Inflammation
Aspirin may pack a bigger punch, but meadowsweet is safer to use; it’s less likely to give you aspirin’s main side effect, upset stomach.
If you are sensitive to aspirin or don’t want to risk the side effects of other pharmaceuticals, meadowsweet can serve a potent alternative. It’s particularity helpful for headache, low grade fever, arthritis and menstrual cramps.
The chemical in this herb, salicin, is what makes it helpful here. Another herb you may want to consider for these problems is juniper.
Besides the trusted opinion of Commission E, well respected and well known herbalist James A. Duke recommends meadowsweet for colds.
It’s endorsed in the popular book The New Healing Herbs by Michael Castleman too.
Meadowsweet contains astringent tannins, making it useful in diarrhea. One European study showed it’s effective against Shigella dysenteriae, which is a bacteria that causes infectious diarrhea.
Urinary Tract Infections
The main bacteria that causes UTI’s is Escherichia coli (E. coli). Meadowsweet is active against E. coli and reports describes this herb as a urinary antiseptic.
Ulcers And Digestive Issues
In high dosages, aspirin can cause ulcers. This is because it’s too high in salicylates. Meadowsweet contains some salicylates but not enough to cause ulcers.
In fact, David Hoffman, author of The Herbal Handbook, claims “while pure salicylates do indeed cause ulcers, whole meadowsweet helps prevent them despite its salicylate content.”
A few other chemicals in meadowsweet give it an anti-ulcer effect too. Some of them include:
- Phenolic glycosides
- And the herb’s essential oil
Hoffman approves meadowsweet for heartburn and maintains it’s one of the best digestive herbs too.
How To Take And Dosages
There’s a few ways to prepare this herb. To make an infusion, use 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried herb per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes and strain if you wish. You can drink up to 3 cups a day.
If you want to use as an extract, take 10 to 20 drops in water or juice, a few times a day. As a homemade tincture, take 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful, 3 times a day.
Don’t use meadowsweet if you have asthma. Aspirin is well known to trigger asthma attacks and research has shown meadowsweet has the same effect.
In children under 16 who have a cold, flu or chickenpox, aspirin is associated with Reye’s syndrome, which is a rare but potentially fatal condition. Meadowsweet as never been linked to Reye’s syndrome but it’s reasonable to think it can have the same effect.
Women who are pregnant should not use and don’t give to children under 2.
Did You Find The Answer You Were Looking For?
Meadow sweet has many benefits and has been admired and used for hundreds, if not thousands. Today, many people take it as a safe and natural alternative to aspirin and are very satisfied with the results.
Whether it’s a fever, headache or arthritis, meadowsweet can be an asset. If you are looking to purchase this wonderful herb, I would like to suggest my favorite supplier of herbs, Starwest Botanicals. They offer extremely high quality herbs and I have never been disappointed with their products.
If you would like to learn more, click below:
If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. Comment below if you do and I’ll respond as fast as possible. If you want to spread the message about this helpful herb, share on social media for friends and family to see.
Thanks for reading and make sure to check back for more trustworthy herbal information!