Meadowsweet is common in damp woods and meadows, in fens and by riversides throughout Europe, including the British Isles.
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Meadowsweet - Herborium - The White Goddess

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Saturday, 15 December 2018

Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet

(Spiraea Ulmaria)

Meadowsweet is common in damp woods and meadows, in fens and by riversides throughout Europe, including the British Isles. It has fernlike foliage and tufts of delicate, graceful, creamy-white flowers, which are in blossom from June to almost September.

The leaves are dark green on the upper side and whitish and downy underneath which pinnate, with 5-11 fine-toothed leaflets. The flowers are small, clustered close together in irregularly-branched inflorescence, and have a very strong, sweet smell. The whole herb possesses a pleasant taste and flavour, the green parts partaking of the aromatic character of the flowers. It has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times and it remains popular as a herbal remedy.

Folk names: Meadsweet. Dolloff. Queen of the Meadow. Bridewort. Lady of the Meadow.

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Jupiter

Powers: Love, attraction, calming and release of tension.

Magical Uses:

Used for love magick, and to help with happy energy. This is a subtle, but aromatic herb which can be used as the symbol for love when casting a spell for attraction. You can also burn the dried herb in your home to get rid of negative tension, and provide a warm, uplifting atmosphere. Linked with Water and Jupiter.

Tradition said that this was a sacred plant to the Druids, and certainly it was much used as a strewing herb because of its pleasant smell. John Gerard describes it thusly: 'The leavs and floures farr excell all other strong herbs, for to deck up houses, to straw in chambers, halls, and banqueting houses in Summer time; for the smell thereof makes the heart merrie, delighteth the senses...'. And it was said, too, that 'Queene Elizabeth of famous memory, did more desire it than any other herb to strew her chambers withall.'

It is one of the fifty ingredients in a drink called 'Save,' mentioned in Chaucer's Knight's Tale, in the fourteenth century being called Medwort, or Meadwort. The common name, Meadowsweet, is said to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon word medu (= mead) because the plant was once used to flavour the drink made from fermented honey.

Medicinal Action and Uses:

Actice ingredients include; compounds of salicylic acid, flavone-glycosides, essential oil and tannins. Aromatic, astringent, diuretic, and sub-tonic. It is used as a diuretic and to treat fever, flu and rheumatism and infusions of flower tea used to treat stomach ulcers and headaches. It was in the flowerheads that salicylic acid was first discovered in 1839. It was from this substance that aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) was later synthesised.

Meadowsweet

(Photograph taken 29/07/2002 ©2002-2008 Ryewolf)

DISCLAIMER:
Please be aware that this information is provided solely for informational purposes only. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to using any herbs or treatments made from herbs.

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