Information about the herb Meadowsweet

Spiraea ulmaria, also known as Bridewort is part of the Rosaceae plant family. Native to Europe Meadowsweet is a perennial plant and English wildflower and is very common in European damp meadows. It is also found in the eastern U.S. and Canada.

General Information

Botanical Name: Spiraea ulmaria, Filipendula ulmaria (Dropwort)

Plant Family: Rosaceae

Common Names: Bridewort, Dolloff, Lady of the Meadow, Meadow Queen, Meadow-wort, Meadsweet, Pride of the Meadow, Queen of the Meadow

History: The botanical name ulmaria comes from Ulmus, Elm Tree because of the similarity of leaf structure. 

  • Meadowsweet was mentioned in Chaucer’s, ‘A Knight’s Tale’ in the 14th century.
  • Meadowsweet, Water Mint and Vervain were the three most sacred Druid herbs
  • It has been a longstanding folk remedy in much of Europe
  • Nicholas Culpeper wrote in 1652 that “it helpeth speedily those that are troubled with the cholic being boiled in wine; and stayeth the flux on the belly.”


During the Middle Ages the leaves were strewn in houses because of their fragrance and Gerard writes, ‘for the smell thereof makes the heart merrie and joyful and delighteth the senses’.

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Plant Constituents of Meadowsweet


  • coumarins
  • essential oil
  • flavonoids (high in the flowers)
  • rutin
  • heparin
  • glycoside
  • minerals
  • mucilage
  • salicylates including
  • gaultherine
  • hyperoside
  • opiraein
  • salicin,
  • salicylaldehyde
  • salicylic acid
  • spireine
  • spiraeoside
  • methyl salicylate
  • The salicylate salts are said to soften deposits in the body
  • sugar
  • tannins (astringent action in the bowels)
  • vanillin
  • volatile oil
  • vitamin C


  • alterative [an agent capable of favorably altering or changing unhealthy conditions of the body and tending to restore normal bodily function, usually by improving nutrition]
  • analgesic [a drug which relieves or diminishes pain without causing loss of consciousness]
  • antacid [an agent to ease acid conditions]
  • anti-inflammatory [an agent to ease inflammation]
  • antiseptic [an agent for inhibiting the growth of microorganism on living tissue or destroying pathogenic or putrefactive bacteria]
  • aromatic [a substance having an agreeable odor and stimulating qualities]
  • astringent [a binding agent that contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges of mucous and fluid from the body]
  • diaphoretic [an agent that promotes perspiration]
  • diuretic [an agent that increases the volume and flow of urine which cleanses the urinary system]
  • relaxant [soothes griping]
  • sub-tonic

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Usage of Meadowsweet

Medicinal Parts Used: Herb,Aerial parts, flowers.

Meadowsweet is used for:

Bacterial/Viral Conditions

  • eruptive infections such as
  • chickenpox
  • measles

Blood Conditions

  • affections of the blood

Brain and Nervous System Conditions

  • release spasm and induce restful sleep
  • relieves headaches
  • relieves neuralgia

Female Conditions

  • menstrual cramps

Gastrointestinal Conditions

Meadowsweet is one of the best antacid remedies for acid conditions.

  • acid indigestion
  • colic
  • diarrhea in children
  • dyspepsia
  • excess acidity
  • gastric ulceration
  • gastritis
  • headaches
  • heartburn
  • helps to heal and to reduce acidity
  • hiatus hernia
  • indigestion
  • inflammatory condition of the stomach or bowels
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • peptic ulcers
  • protects and heals the mucous membranes
  • rebuilds the digestive system during recovery from drug and alcohol abuse
  • relieves enteritis
  • relieves wind and distension
  • stomach and duodenal ulcers
  • stomach problems

Genitourinary System Conditions

  • atherosclerosis in the arteries
  • bladder and kidney ailments
  • cystitis
  • dropsy
  • fluid retention
  • gout
  • gravel
  • helps eliminate toxic wastes and uric acid from the system
  • incomplete urination
  • kidney problems
  • kidney stones
  • urethritis
  • water retention

Inflammatory Conditions

  • arthritis
  • combats infection
  • joint problems (which are associated with acidity)
  • rheumatism
  • swollen joints

Muscular Conditions

  • aches and pains
  • muscle and joint pain

Respiratory System Conditions

  • influenza
  • respiratory tract problems

Skin Conditions

  • clears the skin
  • resolves rashes


  • antidote to infections and poisons
  • reduces fever 
  • helps to soothe pain
  • promotes sweat
  • protects and soothes mucous membranes

It may be used instead of White Willow Bark or aspirin, but without the side effects of stomach irritation. Its additional tannins and mucilage protect the gastric lining.

Externally it is used as a wash for:

  • sore eyes
  • wounds

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Drug Interactions:

Do not use Meadowsweet without first talking to your practitioner or healthcare provider if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • None indicated


Global Herbal Supplies has Meadowsweet available in the following forms:

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