MEADOWSWEET (Spiraea ulmaria L or Filipendula ulmaria Maxim)

It’s a vivacious, perennial plant with a thick horizontal underground rhizome, from where leaves and stems sprout out in spring, reaching up to 1.5 m in height. Stems are sharp-cornered and prismatic in section, tinted in red with an inner spongy medulla. Leaves are alternate, pinnate-shaped; basal ones are found in 8-20 pairs of large folioles and plenty of small ones. The upper ones, not so many, are found in 2-3 pairs of large folioles and many pairs of smaller folioles. All folioles are oval-shaped, with an asymmetrical base, sharp apex and double-serrated margin, of 2-8 cm. They are usually dark green, glabrous above and silverish tomentose beneath (densely covered by long, plain and entwined hairs). The terminal foliole is most of the divided into three parts. Stipules are exposed, well developed and auriculate. The yellowish-white flowers are up to 5 mm in diameter and are displaced in corymbose branched inflorescences. Outer branches are longer than the inner ones, slightly scented with 5 sepals firmly attached to the base. The corolla has 5 white petals of 2-3 mm in length; it has numerous long stamens with rounded anthers and 6 or 7 whitish styles. Fruits are achenia, apocarpous gynoecium, with 5 to 10 free carpels, elongated and slightly spirally twisted, holding brown seeds within. Ovaries are polyfollicular. It belongs to the Rosaceae family.

Meadowsweet blooms in spring It grows in swamps, marshes, meadows by slow flow rivers and ponds. From sea-level up to 1,500 m altitude. Harvest is made in summer, before flowers completely open.

Part used
The flowers.

Internal use
> Joints inflammation: arthrosis and arthritis, especially when fluids retention is present, along with joint and vessel congestion.
> Hyperuricemia, gout.
> Oliguria, kidney lithiasis, edemas, urethritis, Meniere’s disease and cellulite.
> Fever conditions, cold and flu, bronchitis.
> Thromboembolism and atherosclerosis.
> Headaches.
> Diarrhea.

External use
> As hot compresses applied directly on the affected zones.
> As a cicatrizant in cuts, burns, insect bites and ulcers.

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