A native perennial with beautiful white flowers that contains precursors of salicylic acid – the anti-inflammatory compound aspirin was originally made from.
Meadowsweet may be best known for its association with aspirin, but from a herbalist’s point of view it is its beneficial effects on digestion for which it is most highly prized.
It is a relatively common plant in the UK; it thrives in damp places and is often found growing alongside river banks or roadside ditches, lighting up the roadways at the end of summer. Its affinity for dampness makes it a good herb to grow in heavy clay soils, although it does seem to tolerate most soil types. It can grow in full sunshine or partial shade.
Harvest the blossoms and leaves on a sunny day when they come into flower in mid-summer.