European meadowsweet

European meadowsweet

European meadowsweet

Specification & Spread

European meadowsweet leaves — flores filipendulae ulmariae
European meadowsweet — filipendula ulmaria (l.) Maxim.
Rose family — rosaceae
Other names: dropwort, meal monger.

It is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant up to 2 m tall. The root system is fibrous, thin filiform roots have thickenings in the form of nodules.
The leaves are intermittently pinnate with 2-3 (5) pairs of lateral lanceolate, serrate along the edge of the segments, green above, often whitish from the bottom of the felt pubescence.
The flowers are yellowish-white, fragrant, clustered in paniculate inflorescence (antibody). The fruit is a multiple face of 6–10 non-opening spirally twisted leaflets.

It blooms in July – early August, bears fruit in August – September.

Spreading. It is spread throughout the European part of the country (except for the lower Volga regions), in Western and Central Siberia, and also in the Caucasus.

Habitat. It grows in floodplain meadows, in damp places, swamps, rivers and streams, wet forests, clearings, edges and among bushes. It mostly forms thickets.


The chemical composition of meadowsweet

The flowers contain:

  • up to 0.2% of essential oil,
  • salicylic acid methyl ester,
  • tannins,
  • flavonoids (spireoside – quercetin glucoside),
  • phenologlycosides (monotropitin, spirein, isosalicin),
  • coumarins,
  • ascorbic acid,
  • trace elements.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The inflorescences without leaves are cut with a knife, scissors, shears, loosely folded into baskets.

Drying. It is dried in attics with good ventilation, under the eaves, laying out a thin layer. The drying in dryers is possible at a heating temperature not higher than 40 °C.

Storage. It is stored in a dry and dark place.

Whole raw materials.

A mixture of flowers, its parts, buds, underdeveloped fruitlets, pedicels and thin (up to 1 mm) sprigs of inflorescences.
The flowers are regular, pentamerous, with a diameter of 6-8 mm. The calyx is five-lobed, with triangular-ovoid lobes bent downward, outside weakly lobular. The nimbus is a two-tiered, 2-2.5 times longer than the calyx. The stamens are numerous, longer than the petals.
The underdeveloped fruit is spirally twisted leaflets up to 3 mm long, single or several together with the calyx.
The colour of the petals is yellowish-white, the buds are greenish-yellowish, the cups, the pedicels and the twigs are dark green, the fruitlets are brownish-green. The smell is honeysweet. The taste is bitter and slightly astrictive.

The crushed (threshed) raw materials.

The pieces of flowers, pedicels, thin branches, buds and underdeveloped fruitlets are passing through a sieve with holes of 5 mm in diameter.

Properties and application

The pharmacological properties. The total extracts from the meadowsweet flowers have anti-inflammatory, hemostatic, diuretic, antihemorrhoidal action. The experimental studies have revealed a wound healing, anti-ulcer effect.


The flowers of meadowsweet is used in the form of decoctions (1:20 and 1:50), as well as hot infusions (1:50 and 1: 100).

It has anti-inflammatory, astringent and wound-healing effect in the form of rinses, baths, wet-drying dressings.
It is recommended for diseases of the oral cavity, for eczema of the extremities, trophic ulcers, pruritic dermatosis, bedsores, abrasions, diaper rash. When hemorrhoids it is used in the form of enemas.

Individual intolerance to the components, pregnancy, breast-feeding.

It is not recommended for people with a tendency to constipation, hypotension, people with the threat of bleeding.