Common Name: Meadowsweet

Scientific Name: Filipendula ulmaria

Family: Rosaceae (Rose)

A common tall herb of wet meadows and ditches, very popular with pollinators.

The tall stalks are reddish and support divided lower leaves with 2-5 pairs of sharply toothed leaflets, green and hairless above, downy and pale below. In summer, its frothy heads of tiny cream-white flowers are profuse and release a heady aroma

Food & Living
Its common name derives from “Meadsweet”. It was used in making mead and beer as it was believed that the heady aroma would get people drunk quicker! The flowers make a delicious tea or syrup, helping to cool your down in hot weather. Its long stems and aroma made it a popular strewing herb to cover earth floors.

Medicine use
This plant was the original source of aspirin (acetylsalicylate) and was named for Meadowsweet’s original scientific name Spirea. Both the flowers and leaves can be drunk as tea (the flowers are tastier than the quite medicinal tasting leaves) for diarrhoea and digestive upsets, fevers, headaches and joint pain. It is very effective in treating heartburn, reflux and acid indigestion, so you could think of it as “nature’s Rennie”. Thanks to the tannins it contains, meadowsweet is also used to treat stomach ulcers.

Meadowsweet flower tea
Collect flowers from meadowsweet in June-July when open. Use 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried flowers per cup of tea. Place into teapot or tea ball, pour over boiling water and cover with a lid/saucer (To retain the essential oils and scent from the plant) and steep for 10mins. Then strain and drink, sweetening with a little honey if desired.

(Part of Douglas Tidy Town’s Foraging Trail)