Everything you need to know about the benefits of meadowsweet

May 19, 2016

Did you know that meadowsweet could relieve your digestive system or treat your joint and muscle pains? Learn more about this versatile herb.

Everything you need to know about the benefits of meadowsweet


  • From the time of the Druids, meadowsweet, with beautiful fragrant flowers, was one of the most sacred herbs, and deemed the most powerful. In the Middle Ages it covered the floors of rooms.
  • It was also the favourite herb of Queen Elizabeth I of England, who required that they be scattered around her bedroom.
  • Other common names: false spirea, filipendula
  • Parts used: flowers, leaves


  • Meadowsweet is a hardy perennial with a basal tuft of pinnate leaves and long stems measuring up to 1.2 metres (4 feet) with effervescent, white cream flowers with an almond scent.
  • When crushed, its leaves exude a wintergreen fragrance.
  • It came from Asia and Europe and is found in wet grasslands and near rivers.
  • It is perfect for peaty terrain and edges of ponds.


Among the ornamental varieties with medicinal properties, include, especially:

  • Flore Pleno, with double flowers;
  • Aurea, with golden foliage;
  • Variegata, with variegated, creamy white leaves.
  • Formerly used as a diuretic, filipendula vulgaris is related to meadowsweet. Its flowers are similar, and it has finely divided leaves.
  • The beautiful red filipendula (filipendula rubra), or meadowsweet native to North America is larger, measuring up to 2.5 metres (eight feet): it bears pink flowers.


  • Sow in the autumn, while providing a time of stratification.
  • The species and varieties can be divided in the spring.


  • Cut the dead stems in winter.
  • Every three or four years, pull and divide the large clumps in autumn.


  • It likes full sun and soil that is very moist, highly enriched, and rich in limestone.


  • Mildew is the main problem, especially for forms with double flowers.
  • To prevent this, consider keeping the plants permanently moist.

Harvest and storage

  • Cut and dry the flowers in full bloom for medicinal uses.
  • Use fresh plants in cooking.
  • Harvest the leaves all at once.

In cooking

  • The flowers are used to flavour jams, stewed fruit and wine, as well as mead.

Herbal medicine

Parts used: flowers, leaves.

  • Meadowsweet is considered to be one of the essential herbs for the digestive system, especially in case of inflammation or excessive acidity. It helps to balance the production of stomach acid, and to calm or care for the upper gastrointestinal tract. It is prescribed in cases of acid reflux, indigestion, gastritis and stomach ulcers.
  • Meadowsweet contains compounds with effects that gives it analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and helps to reduce fever, hence its use in cases of cold or flu.
  • It is also effective against joint and muscle pains.
  • Do not take meadowsweet if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Meadowsweet may provide you with different health benefits. As with any new treatment, it's important to check with your doctor before starting.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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