06 August 2014

M....

...is for Meadowsweet...


...a perennial herb that grows all over the place.  It spreads by its roots, sending up a long reddish stem and can be up to 120cm tall.  The flowers are a spray of cream and have a heady perfume, garlands of it were traditionally worn at Lammas.  The dark green leaves have a similar smell and were used as a strewing herb to give rooms a pleasant aroma in the days when such things were needed.  The leaves and/or flowers can be used to flavour wine, beer, vinegars, stewed fruit and jams. Medicinally it is helpful for stomach upsets and many other digestive problems, and is a good anti-inflammatory for arthritis and rheumatic conditions.  In the 1890s anti-inflammatory chemicals were extracted from this plant for the world's first patent drug, an 'aspirin' it was less irritating to the stomach lining than modern aspirin.  Natural dyes can be obtained from this plant, black, reds and yellows depending on the mordant used.

Joining in with the Alphabet Photography Project

22 comments:

  1. I love the name and indeed the plant which is beautiful and smells divine. Interesting that it is so useful too. It's a shame that so many of us have lost the knowledge of what common plants could be used for and prefer to buy products such as flavourings, medicines, air fresheners and so on isn't it?

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    1. It is a shame, I am slowly learning all the 'lost' knowledge it is fascinating :)

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  2. I've been encouraging a patch of meadowsweet in our plant dye garden. Always loved the scent in the hedgerows. Just waiting for the year that I have enough to harvest. In the meantime, I'm more than happy to enjoy the scent. #AlphabetPhoto

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    1. Wow, you have a plant dye garden, I am coveting that!

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  3. That's a lovely name for an herb! Thanks for sharing all it's medicinal properties as well.

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  4. i'm not familiar with meadowsweet??? wondering if it doesn't grow here in the states? maybe goes by a different name? maybe i'm just ignorant, but wishing i could take a little whiff! so many are talking about the dye garden....does make me want to give a hand to it and try!!! i'm fascinated with how many colors can come from the same plant....so much to do----just not enough time!!! thanks for sharing this!

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    1. It does grow in the States but not everywhere I believe. I am sure I read somewhere, not sure where tho' that it grew as far as Ohio but don't quote me on that. It was introduced there so maybe has not spread that much!

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  5. so wispy and airy! I do not believe it grows around here and if it does I haven't seen it.

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  6. I'm sure I have had meadowsweet in a herbal remedy. I think we have spied it on a nature walk near the crook o'lune.

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  7. This is really interesting stuff. I love the idea that everything we need is already there - all around is in nature.

    I love your new little photo by the way. Is it a honeysuckle? xxx

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    1. It is, I thought it was time for a change :)

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  8. Gorgeous shot and I had no idea it could be used for so many different things!

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  9. I have never heard of meadowsweet. I will have to see if we have it in Australia, maybe too hot here in parts. Sounds very versatile :)

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  10. It is such a pretty herb, I had no idea it was quite so useful though :) #alphabetphoto

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  11. It's amazing just how many things a plant can be used for when you look in to it.

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  12. What a lovely sounding name 'meadowsweet' - and a useful sounding plant too. Going to see what it's called in french now...

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  13. That's just beautiful - thank you for sharing :-)

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  14. Gorgeous photo. Strangely it is not a plant I have seen growing wild, it is really useful

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  15. Lovely photo. I don't seem to ever see it, though, which I find a tad odd.

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  16. Lovely photo, I don't think I've seen it growing around here, very pretty plant. #alphabetphoto

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  17. What an interesting and informative post, I'm so glad you shared this! xo

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  18. How pretty - this reminds me of my childhood.

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