Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria): Medicinal Herb

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Medicinal Herb: Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)

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Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)

Meadowsweet is a stout perennial herb that grows to 60-120 cm tall on thick, pink aromatic root-stock. Its stems are erect, reddish, bearing alternate, acute, ovate leaves, irregularly pinnate with 2-5 pairs of leaflets, 2-8 cm long, glabrous above and whitish and tomentose beneath (1).

The flowers are faintly aromatic, white or cream in colour and display small (1-5 mm), 5-petalled, irregular paniculate cymes. Flowering occurs between mid-summer to early autumn (1).

Medicinal Herb: Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)

 

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)


Floral parts of plantBiological Name:
Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim.

Family:
Rosaceae

Other Names: 
Queen of the Meadow, Bridewort, Dropwort, Filipendula ulmaria, Lady of the Meadow, Spirea, Spirea ulmaria.

Parts Used:
Roots and Flowers

Active Compounds: 
Filipendula ulmaria contains the following constituents:
Tannins (to 10%); volatile oils comprising, salicylaldehyde (to 10%) also methyl salicylate; vanilin, heliotropin, ethyl benzoate; also flavonoid glycosides including spiraeoside; slicyclic glycosides, comprising gaultherin and spiraein; Vitamin C; Sugars; minerals salts (1).

Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:

Actions:
Bitter tonic, stimulant, nervine tonic, emmenagogue (2).

Root extract:
Primarily used in the treatment of diarrhoea (1).

Flower extract:
Useful in the treatment of influenza, fluid retention, rheumatism and arthritis(1) and is used to treat the pain associated with bursitis (3). Also considered a herb of choice for the treatment of heartburn, hyperacidity (1,2), nausea, gastritis and peptic ulceration (2).

 

References:

  1. Stuart, Malcolm (1979). The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1979.
  2. Hoffmann, David (1983). The Holistic Herbal: A herbal celebrating the wholeness of life. Findhorn Press, Scotland.
  3. University of Maryland Medical Center (2006) Bursitis. Online Article, accessed June, 2007.

 

 

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