Meadowsweet

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Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)

Filipendula ulmaria, also known as Meadowsweet, Queen of the Meadow or Bridewort, can be found throughout North America, preferring to grow in damp environments, such as banks and ditches. The plant was originally native to Europe, growing as large perennials up to 1.5 metres tall with toothed leaves and cream coloured flowers. Once the plant is in full bloom, the leaves and flowers, known to contain salicylaldehyde, are harvested in the summer.1 
 
Meadowsweet was known in medieval times as a strewing herb, due to the sweet almond smell it emits. During the 1800’s, salicyclic acid was discovered and extracted from the plant and then synthesized in 1860’s for medicinal purposes. Once synthesized, salicyclic acid was later forumulated and developed it what is now widely known as aspirin.1, 2 
 
Due to salicylaldehydes medicinal properties, meadowsweet is used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, such as in joint pain and arthritic conditions.3,4  Meadowsweet can be used to assist in gastrointestinal conditions, particularly with acid indigestion by reducing acidity and help with healing irritated gastrointestinal lining such as in peptic ulcers, gastritis and gastroesophageal reflux disease.4,5 It is also used in children experiencing diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome, and is considered to be a very safe digestive remedy.1
 
References:
 
1. Chevallier, Andrew. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. DK Publishing, 1996. Print.
2. Lust John. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, 2nd Edition. CRC Press, 2002. Print.
3. Weiss, RF. Herbal Medicine. England: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1998. Print.
4. Bone, Kerry. The Ultimate Herbal Compendium: A Desktop Guide for Herbal Prescribers. Phytotherapy Press, 2007. Print.
5. Hoffman, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press: 2003. Print.

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