Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria, NL: Moerasspirea) is a waterloving perennial herb which contains an active ingredient called Methyl salicyclate, which when taken in combination with tannins and mucilage within the plant can bring about stomach healing. In contrast, when methyl salicyclate is used alone (Aspirin) it causes stomach bleeding. As with most herbs, it is the natural combination of chemicals which work so well together to bring about healing.
Here’s a link to an extract from a wonderful book called Hedgerow Medicine, by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal. It is one of my favourite and most consulted books. This extract explains how to make a useful and tasty, Meadowsweet glycerite. Meadowsweet is also traditionally associated with love, peace and harmony. There is an old custom of tossing a Meadowsweet flowerhead into water if you are seeking the identity of a thief. If it floats the thief is a woman, if it sinks it is a man.
Meadowsweet will flower later in the year, from around midsummer. The flowers produce a scent which is one of my favourites, a strong and heady sweet almondy aroma which really pleases my spirits. As you can see in the photo. Meadowsweet can be found in the watery regions of Frankendael park. It’s spikey leaves are difficult to miss as you walk across the modern wooden bridge, in the woodland area.