MEADOWSWEET (Filipendula ulmaria)

Family: Rosaceae

Parts commonly used: Aerial.

Properties/energetics: Antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, stomachic, antacid, astringent/Cool, moist; slightly sweet, bitter, astringent.

Systems predominantly affected:  Digestive, musculoskeletal.

Uses: Meadowsweet is a salicylate anti-inflammatory, and therefore works to some degree like an herbal aspirin. (As a matter of fact, its original genus name, Spiraea, is the basis for the term aspirin.) Besides the effects of its salicylates, which reduce fever and inflammation and block pain, Meadowsweet’s main effect on the body is in the gastrointestinal tract. Although the mechanism is poorly understood, it is one of the best herbs for balancing hyperacidity in the stomach, and its mild astringent action helps maintain the integrity of irritated, burning, inflamed membranes in the stomach and small intestine. Meadowsweet tones the lining of the small intestines, significantly enhancing the ability of the body to absorb nutrients. It relieves nausea, heartburn, gastritis, and peptic ulcer. The use of Meadowsweet is indicated at times when one is suffering with the combined symptoms of upset stomach and headache. It possesses a gentle astringent action appropriate for treating diarrhea in children, especially in food-related cases. Concerning the musculoskeletal system, Meadowsweet is anti-inflammatory in the joints, but does not irritate the stomach or thin the blood. It is appropriate for relieving osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pain and any acute traumatic inflammation.

Combinations: Combines with Marshmallow and Chamomile for treating stomach conditions and with Wild Yam for treating rheumatic pains.

Affects on specific body types: Meadowsweet is primarily a tonic for Warrior conditions of the upper gastrointestinal tract manifesting as hyperacidity of the stomach with concurrent gastrointestinal irritation. Symptoms may include heartburn, sour eructation, and a tendency to feel better right after eating. Although not a major tonic, this herb can be useful for the Warrior, especially if there is associated headache or inflammation of the musculoskeletal system. Acute and chronic arthritic, rheumatic, and gouty conditions giving pain, redness, and swelling are well treated with this plant, yet the gentle nature of this plant also makes it an appropriate deep-acting remedy for the sensitive Seer type, along with children and the elderly.

Preparations/dosage: Infusion: 1 cup three times a day, or as needed. Tincture: 20 to 40 drops three times a day.

By James Green, Herbalist, copyright 2008

For more information please refer to James Green’s book, The Male Herbal, 2nd Edition