Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)


Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is native to Europe and is found as an introduced plant in the northeastern region of the United States. Meadowsweet has historically been used in traditional medicine to treat symptoms of the common cold, stomach complaints, and inflammatory conditions. Herbalists recommend meadowsweet as one of the best digestive herbs for the treatment of ulcers and heartburn. Further research on the uses of meadowsweet is needed.
Two prominent constituents of meadowsweet that are theoretically responsible for much of its pharmacological activity are salicylates and a plant heparin. Meadowsweet also contains high concentrations of phenolics, theoretically responsible for some of its antibacterial activity.
Although meadowsweet shares chemistry, history, and proposed uses with the drug aspirin, its efficacy and place in pharmacotherapy compared to aspirin have not been evaluated in well-designed clinical studies.

Related Terms

Ascorbic acid, avicularin, bridewort, brideswort, chalcones, condensed tannins, coumarin, dolloff, dropwort, English meadowsweet, ethylsalicylate, European meadowsweet, Filipendula occidentalis, Filipendula rubra, Filipendula ulmaria, Filipendula vulgaris, flavonoids, gaultherin, hydrolyzable tannins, hyperoside, lady of the meadow, Mädesüss (German), meadow queen, meadow sweet, meadow wart, meadow wort, meadsweet, methoxybenzaldehyde, methylsalicylate, monotropin, mountain spirea, mucilage, nature's aspirin, phenolic acids, phenolic glycosides, phenylcarboxylic acids, philipendula, plant heparin, pride of the meadow, queen of the forest, queen of the meadow, queen of the prairie, Rosaceae (family), rutin, salicin, salicylaldehyde, salicylates, salicylic acid, spiraea flos, spiraea herba, Spiraea ulmaria L., spiraein, spiraeoside, tannins, ulmaire (French), ulmaria (Spanish/Italian), vanillin, volatile oil.
Note: Meadowsweet and its relatives (Filipendula spp.) are not related to water dropwort (Oenanthe crocata) even though members of both genera may be referred to as "dropworts." Filipendula spp. are members of the Roseaceae family, while the Oenanthe spp. are members of the Umbelliferae family.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.