Meadowsweet - Best Herb for Headaches


Filipendula ulmaria (Spirea ulmaria) Rosaceae Also called Queen of the meadow.

Growing in abundance in the temperate parts if Europe and Asia, meadowsweet loves damp places, where it grows up to around 2m tall. The fern-like leaves, made lip of three to nine pairs ofáindented leaflets, grow alternately along the hollow, red-veined stem. Clusters of sweet-smelling, creamy white flowers blossom from June to September. Their fragrance made them a popular flavoring for beers and wines in the middle Ages.

Parts used

  • Stems, leaves and flowers
  • The aerial parts are picked in June and July, as the first flowers appear.
  • They are dried in a shady, well-aired place, until they turn slightly yellow, then used for infusions and tinctures.


Meadowsweet is rich in tannins, hence its sharp astringent taste. It also contains flavonoids and a fragrant essential oil, largely made up of salicylates, which have an antiinflammatory effect.

Medicinal uses

Meadowsweet is highly effective in treating flu symptoms, headaches, toothache, and joint pain caused by rheumatism and gout. It can also stimulate sweating. Its salicylates confer its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving powers and the flavonoids also contribute to this effect, as well as helping to soothe muscle spasms and digestive tract problems, including gastric ulcers. Studies in the Ukraine have confirmed the plant's benefits in ulcer treatment.

Meadowsweet has antibacterial and healing powers, in which its tannins and flavonoids playa major role. For centuries, it has been prescribed for urinary tract infections and as a diuretic - often being recommended for overweight and bloating due to water retention.


  • Avoid if allergic to aspirin.
  • Do not use meadowsweet in combination with standard 300mg aspirin tablets, to avoid overdose. It can, however, be taken by those on low-dose aspirin (75mg a day).
  • Meadowsweet may constrict the airways: it should never be taken by people with asthma.
  • Do not take when pregnant or breastfeeding.


Meadowsweet can be grown from seeds. They should be planted in spring in moist. water-retentive, rich alkaline soil, in a sunny or lightly shaded plot.


For internal use

TO TREAT influenza, headaches, rheumatism, water retention INFUSION Put 1 tablespoon of herb into a cup of water that is just beginning to simmer. Cover; infuse for 10 minutes and strain. Drink 3-4 cups a day, the first on an empty stomach.

TINCTURE (1:4 in 25% alcohol) Take 20 drops in water, three times a day, after or between meals.

For external use

TO TREAT joint pains COMPRESS Make the infusion as above. Apply on a compress to the affected area, three to four times a day. TO TREAT wounds. ulcers DECOCTION Put 40-50g mixture of stems, leaves and flowers into 500ml of water and simmer for 20 minutes. Apply on a compress to the affected area, three or four times a day.



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