Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)


Sweet woodruff was widely used in herbal medicine during the Middle Ages, gaining a reputation as an external application to wounds and cuts and also taken internally in the treatment of digestive and liver problems. Today, it is valued mainly for its tonic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory affects.
It is native to Europe where it can be found from the Scandinavian countries to Britain. It is very popular in Germany where it is called Waldmeister or Master of the Forest. Sweet woodruff leaves are commonly used to flavor May wine in Germany and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers sweet woodruff safe when taken in alcoholic beverages.

Related Terms

Asperula odorata, Galium odoratum, herb walter, kiss-me-quick, master of the forest, master of the woods, our lady's lace, sweet scented bedstraw, Waldmeister, wood rove, wuderove.

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.