Meadowsweet

by Regan Schwartz

meadowsweet flowers

Filipendula ulmaria

Energetics: cool, dry, tonifying

Actions: astringent, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, nervine, digestive, diuretic, anti-rheumatic, anodyne

Meadowsweet is a member of the rose family, and like that famous cousin, it has a cooling astringency and powerful vulnerary capabilities.  Meadowsweet is traditionally worked with internally to help tone and soothe the digestive tract for which it has a natural affinity.  In my workshop, on the other hand, we work together topically in my Herbal Exfoliating Potion. 

Meadowsweet is chock full of salicylates, much like our good friend willow bark.  These are one of the keys to meadowsweet’s exfoliating magic.  That high salicylate concentration helps to loosen the bonds between cells in the topmost layer of the skin, allowing dead cells to slough off and fresh cells to move on up.  Additionally, meadowsweet can help to improve skin tone and barrier function, and cools and soothes while she’s at it!

Magically, meadowsweet is associated with love, fertility, abundance and the summer solstice.  In fact, it is an integral part of my summer solstice incense blend and altar offerings.  Meadowsweet’s desire for damp ground - just like willow, its astringency is born of its affinity for boggier land - reminds us that meadowsweet also has an emotionally supportive facet.  Meadowsweet is a wonderful friend to call on when dispelling negative tension and working to craft an uplifting and emotionally safe and inviting space.