Latin Name: Filipendula ulmaria syn. Spiraea ulmaria, Ulmaria pentapetala.
Plant Family: Rosaceae
Other Names: Meadsweet, Meadwort, Dolloff, Queen of the Meadow, Pride of the Meadow, Bridewort, Little Queen, Meadow-Wort & Lady of the Meadow.
Description: This herbaceous perennial is a native of Europe and reaches a height of 1-2 metres. The stems are rutted and have a burgundy-red hue when mature; the pinnate leaves are dark-green on the upper side with a pale downy coating on the underside with serrated margins. The flowers form irregular branched cymes of wispy, creamy-white inflorescences.
Brief History: Disocorides in the 1st century A.D. was familiar with the properties of meadowsweet, it was a sacred herb of the druids and in the Middle-Ages this herb was known as Meadwort and was a popular addition to mead and beer recipes. Felix Hoffmann, a German chemist, successfully synthesised salicin from meadowsweet in 1897 the new compound caused less digestive problems than salicylic acid did. Salacin was patented and given the name aspirin after the old Latin name for meadowsweet Spiraea ulmaria.
The aerial parts make a refreshing tea or tisane, the leaves and flowers can be added to pot pourri and moth repellent sachets. Black dye can be obtained from the root and a yellow dye can be obtained from the aerial parts of the plant. The essential oil is used in the cosmetic and perfume industries.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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