The Meadowsweet herb, also known as the “queen-of-the-meadow” or the “drop word”, or “the bridewort” or if you like “the lady-of-the-meadow,” is a herbaceous perennial shrub that is native to Europe.
The herb can also be found in the Northern America. It has ornamental wildflowers that are creamy, yellow-white and have a similar aroma to that of the oil of wintergreen.
The lady-of-the-meadow is among the best-known wildflowers that decks the fields and the moist banks with the tufts of delicate flowers and fern-like foliage that blossom between June to just about September.
Its leaves are dark-green from the above side and white and downy from underneath. The leaves are much divided and uninterruptedly pinnate. The whole herb has a pleasant flavor and taste with the greener parts sharing the flower characteristics.
1. The flowers of the herb can be used as an additive to stewed jams and fruits. This gives them a subtle almond flavor with medicinal properties.
2. A naturally black dye can be obtained from the roots of the plant by using copper mordant.
3. The whole plant can be utilized as a traditional medicine that treats acidic stomachs.
4. The fresh root of this herb can be used in infinitesimal quantities to make homeopathic preparations.
5. When peeled and crushed, a small section of the root of this herb can be used as a remedy for relieving headaches. The peeled and crushed root smells like Germolene.
6. When the flowers are dried, they can be used in potpourri.
7. It is also a regularly used spice in the Scandinavian mead varieties.
The chemical constituents of the herb include tannins, volatile oils that have salicylaldehyde, phenolic glycosides, including monotropin, gaultherin and also spiraein, flavone glycosides, salicylic acid and the essential oils. Some of the chemical constituents of this plant are used to make aspirin.
MEDICINAL USES AND ACTION OF MEADOWSWEET
1. The herb is a helpful drug for treating diarrhea. It is also useful in imparting the bowels to a remarkable extent of nourishment, as well as that of astringency. The herb is an excellent digestive remedy because it protects and also soothes the mucous membranes of the digestive tracts. By reducing the excess acids and elevates nausea.
2. The herb or the flowers have been used in the Austrian tradition medicine internally as a tea for treating gout, infections, fever and also rheumatism. Its anti-inflammatory action of the salicylates makes the herb-effective against the rheumatic pains.
3. In Germany, the herb is used as a supportive treatment for the common cold. The salicylic acids help to reduce fever.
4. It is also a recommended herb for bladder and water retention and kidney ailments.
5. The external infusion can help to wash inflamed eyes and clean wounds.
6. It is also a perfect match to heal ulcers. The herb is an astringent and helps to tone and tighten the stomach lining
The herb has a dosage of three times daily. You can use 2g to 6g or by infusion.
The Meadow-sweet herb can also work well with tincture or alcohol extract. Usually, a small amount of glycerin will be able to extract the tannins.
The herb can also be used in tea. Its botanical ingredients can be made into an herbal tea by infusing the ingredients in boiling water. For 5 to 15 minutes.
Apart from tea and infusion, the plant can also be used prepared as a strewing herb, for bathing, like glycerin and tincture.
When taken properly, the Meadowsweet is considered safe for a lot of people. However, one may experience lung tightness, skin rashes and also complain about the stomach and have nausea. Meadow may not be safe, however, when taken for a long time and in large amounts. A lot of the herb may cause vomiting, blood in stool, kidney problems, ringing in the ear among other side effects.
If you are breastfeeding or even pregnant, use of this herb may be unsafe. The herb may cause the uterus to contract and cause a miscarriage. There is little information to indicate that it is not safe during breastfeeding, this it is better to avoid it to be on the safer side.
The herb has chemicals similar to those present in aspirin, thus, if you are allergic to aspirin, chances are high you will react to the Meadowsweet. The herb can also cause lung spasms and could also make asthma worse.