Meadowsweet is one of the most common herbs, growing wild throughout Europe and Asia, and naturalized to grow throughout North America’s Eastern coast. The fragrant Meadowsweet is one of the best known wild flowers, decking our meadows and moist banks with its fernlike foliage and tufts of delicate, graceful, creamy-white flowers, which are in blossom from June to almost September. Meadowsweet is one of the fifty ingredients in a drink called ‘Save,’ mentioned in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, in the fourteenth century being called Medwort, or Meadwort, i.e. the mead or honey-wine herb, and the flowers were often put into wine and beer. It is still incorporated in many herb beers. It was one of the three sacred herbs renowned by Druids, along with vervain and water-mint. Meadowsweet was the favorite strewing herbs of Queen Elizabeth I. Aromatic, astringent, diuretic, and sub-tonic. It is a valuable medicine in diarrhoea, imparting to the bowels some degree of nourishment, as well as of astringency. It is also considered of some service as a corrector of the stomach, and not without some power as an alterative, and is frequently used in affections of the blood. It is a good remedy in strangury, dropsy, etc., and almost a specific in children’s diarrhoea. Historical medicinal uses of Meadowsweet are confirmed enough that it is licensed as a standard medicinal tea in Germany by the German E Commission.
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