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Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Ascorbic acid, avicularin, bridewort, brideswort, chalcones, condensed tannins, coumarin, dolloff, dropwort, English meadowsweet, ethylsalicylate, European meadowsweet, Filipendula occidentalis, Filipendula rubra, Filipendula ulmaria, Filipendula vulgaris, flavonoids, gaultherin, hydrolyzable tannins, hyperoside, lady of the meadow, Mädesüss (German), meadow queen, meadow sweet, meadow wart, meadow wort, meadsweet, methoxybenzaldehyde, methylsalicylate, monotropin, mountain spirea, mucilage, nature's aspirin, phenolic acids, phenolic glycosides, phenylcarboxylic acids, philipendula, plant heparin, pride of the meadow, queen of the forest, queen of the meadow, queen of the prairie, Rosaceae (family), rutin, salicin, salicylaldehyde, salicylates, salicylic acid, spiraea flos, spiraea herba, Spiraea ulmaria L., spiraein, spiraeoside, tannins, ulmaire (French), ulmaria (Spanish/Italian), vanillin, volatile oil.
  • Note: Meadowsweet and its relatives (Filipendula spp.) are not related to water dropwort (Oenanthe crocata) even though members of both genera may be referred to as "dropworts." Filipendula spp. are members of the Roseaceae family, while the Oenanthe spp. are members of the Umbelliferae family.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is native to Europe and is found as an introduced plant in the northeastern region of the United States. There are two related species native to the United States: Filipendula occidentalis or "queen of the forest", and Filipendula rubra "queen of the prairies." Another European relative is Filipendula vulgaris, known as dropwort. All of these plants were formerly classified in the genus Spiraea.
  • Meadowsweet has historically been used in traditional medicine to treat symptoms of the common cold, stomach complaints, and inflammatory conditions. However, these uses are not supported by evidence from well-designed randomized clinical trials. Further research on the uses of meadowsweet is needed.
  • Two prominent constituents of meadowsweet that are theoretically responsible for much of its pharmacological activity are salicylates and a plant heparin. Many of the uses and side effects of meadowsweet correlate with those of pharmaceutical preparations of salicylates and heparin.
  • Meadowsweet also contains high concentrations of phenolics, theoretically responsible for some of its antibacterial activity. These phenolic compounds are responsible for the purported astringent effects of meadowsweet, but may cause adverse effects when consumed or used at high concentrations.
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Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.