Meadowsweet, mead flower
Meadowsweet is found throughout the British Isles and has been used for centuries in both food and medicine.
The chopped herb.
Meadowsweet flowers are first recorded in food use around 5,000 years ago. They were used to flavour drinks such as mead, an alcoholic honey beverage. Meadowsweet is still traditionally used to make herbal teas, cordials, syrups and liqueurs. Its light, honey flavour also lends itself to light desserts such as sorbets and panna cottas.
Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.
Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.
The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.
100 g meadowsweet flowers
1 litre of boiling water
Put meadowsweet flowers into a saucepan and pour boiling water over the flowers. Leave to infuse for a few hours then strain, keeping the liquid and discarding the flowers. Weigh out 30 g of sugar for every 100 ml of the meadowsweet infusion. Then, on a low heat, gently dissolve the sugar by stirring. Add the lemon juice. Then boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour into sterilised bottles and cap.
Please note: The leaves and stems of meadowsweet contain salicylates which gives them a medicinal antiseptic-type taste. So it is best to strip the flowers from the stems first.
HERB BEERS WITH MEADOWSWEET
Take 60 grams (2 oz) each of Dandelion, Meadowsweet and Agrimony, and boil together for 20 minutes in 900 ml (2 gallons) of water. Strain and, to the strained liquid, add 900 g (2 lb) of sugar and 300 ml (1/2 pint) of barm or yeast. Stand in a warm place for 12 hours. Then bottle in clean, sterile bottles.
A herb beer that needs no yeast is made from 60 grams (2 oz) each of Meadowsweet, Betony, Agrimony and Raspberry leaves boiled in 900 ml (2 gallons) of water for 15 minutes, strained, then 900 g (2 lb) of white sugar added. Bottle when nearly cool.
Used for stomach ulcers and gastric disorders. Protects and soothes the mucous membrane in the digestive GI tract, reduces excess acidity, reduces nausea.
Key actions: Antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, antacid, antiemetic, astringent.
In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat heartburn (GERD), hyperacidity, gastritis, peptic ulcers and diarrhoea in children. It is used to treat fevers in flu-like conditions and rheumatic and arthritic pain. The flowers are more active than the leaves in rheumatic conditions. The root is more astringent than the leaf.
If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.
Infusion: 2 to 3 teaspoons of herb (4 to 6 g) to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.
Tincture: Take 2 to 5 ml (1:5 in 45% tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.
Fluid extract: 1:1 25%. Take 2 to 6 ml, 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.
Dried Herb: Maximum of 18 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.
This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Rosaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist. To be avoided by people with a salicylate sensitivity. not suitable for use when suffering from anaemia, malnutrition and constipation due to the tannin content.
Could cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract and mouth as a result of the high tannin content. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us. Theoretically, as aspirin is made from the active principle, meadowsweet should have the same side effects as aspirin (gastric sensitivity and blood thinning), however, this is not borne out in clinical practice.
Interactions with drugs
Care should be taken using meadowsweet concurrently with anticoagulants. If you are taking mineral supplements (for example, iron), oral thiamine or alkaloid-containing drugs leave at least two hours between taking meadowsweet.
Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.
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