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filipendula ulmariaFilipendula ulmaria/Spiraea ulmaria (Rosaceae)

MEADOWSWEET, QUEEN OF THE MEADOW

 

The herb is used whole as a painkiller and for problems of digestion, such as peptic ulceration.

 

Meadowsweet was one of the plants from which salicylic acid, the aspirin-like painkiller, was extracted. Using the whole plant, however, is safer than using the extracted drug, as it does not cause stomach bleeding, which is common with aspirin and related drugs. Native to Europe and Asia but now naturalized in North America, it is a perennial with reddish stems, serrated leaflets, and tiny white or cream, sweetscented flowers in mid- to late summer.

 

PARTS USED

Whole herb.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Salicylic glycosides, including spiraein and gaultherin; flavonoids, including rutin, spiraeoside, and hyperoside; tannins; coumarin; ascorbic acid.

 

ACTIONS

Stimulates the stomach; anti-rheumatic; neutralizes excess stomach acid; induces sweating; anti-inflammatory; astringent; urinary antiseptic.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Used for peptic ulceration and other damage to the lining of the stomach associated with excess acid, such as indigestion and heartburn. It is also given for rheumatic pain, and for diarrhoea in children.

 

PREPARATIONS

Infusion, tincture.

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