SO SWEET IS MEADOWSWEET
In Herbal, John Gerard wrote “The smell [of meadowsweet] thereof makes the heart merry and joyful and delighteth the senses”. The enjoyable aromatic properties described are just icing on the cake for this power-house herb.
Druids, members of a special priesthood in Europe dating back to 200 BCE, found meadowsweet to be one of three sacred herbs (along with mint and vervain). For centuries this herb has continued to demonstrate a powerful ability to reduce inflammation, soothe irritation, stimulate the healing of tissues, and alleviate pain.
This influential herb was, in fact, a precursor to aspirin. The name aspirin is derived from meadowsweets previous name, Spiraea. Salicylic acid was extracted from meadowsweet and willow bark in the 1830’s, catapulting the pain-relieving medical market into what we see today.
Regardless, meadowsweet still has the upper-hand on factory-made medicinals. This herb is much gentler on the stomach than pain medications and contains naturally occurring buffering agents.
No wonder they call her ‘The Queen of the Meadow’.