Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is a species of plant belonging to the Rosaceae family. It is native to almost all of Europe.
Meadowsweet species are persistent, herbaceous perennial plants with horizontal rhizomes. They reach a height of about 100 cm. The strong stem is red with alternate leaves.
The leaves are pinnate: The leaves alternate between larger and smaller leaflets along the leaf spindle. The leaflets are serrated at the edge and clearly silvery hairy on the underside. The small flowers, which have a particularly intense fragrance in the evening, are clustered at the end of the stem in a umbelliferous inflorescence.
The German name “Mädesüß” comes from Mahd, or “Mede” and is an ancient term for grassland and the sweet scent of flowers that bloom during haymaking.
Meadowsweet grows mainly in damp and moor meadows and ditches, which are rich in nutrients.
Effect of meadowsweet
Because of its intense vanilla smell, meadowsweet has long been used for flavouring, for example in drinks, beekeeping and in the household.
The main active ingredient in the plant is a precursor of salicylic acid (salicylaldehyde), which is converted in the liver. This substance has anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties and is used in folk medicine in animals and humans in this sense.
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