Meadowsweet — not just for pain

 

The anti-inflammatory effects of this herb make it ideal for treating rheumatoid arthritis, muscle pain, tendonitis, headache, gout and fever.

by Dr. Jennifer Burns — 

Meadowsweet (Spirea ulmaria), a member of the rose family, was one of the sacred herbs used by the Druids. In the early 1800s, a doctor extracted salicylate from the flower part of the plant and used it to treat pain.

The anti-inflammatory effects of this herb make it ideal for treating rheumatoid arthritis, muscle pain, tendonitis, headache, gout and fever. Topically, meadowsweet is used for toothaches and insect bites. Unlike aspirin, meadowsweet protects the inner lining of the stomach, so a person using it does not have to worry about that side effect. As an external application, it is good for healing sores and ulcers, while internally, it has been used to help heal heartburn, gastritis and peptic ulcers.

Meadowsweet works as an antacid, helping with hyperacidity, and has been shown, when used as a digestive remedy, to soothe and protect the mucus membranes. Some research suggests that meadowsweet is effective against different types of bacteria, e.g., Staph. aureus, Staph. hemolyticus, Strep. pyogens, E coli, Shigella, Klebsiella pneumonia and Bacillus subtilis. Meadowsweet even makes a good eye wash for conjunctivitis.

In Germany, meadowsweet is used as a tea to treat diarrhea, especially in children. It helps dry up excess congestion and mucus during a cold or flu. Meadowsweet has been shown to be helpful to promote urine flow in people with cystitis, prostatic enlargement and vaginitis. It promotes sweating during a cold or flu to help reduce a fever. Researchers have found that meadowsweet has an inhibitory effect on cervical dysplasia.

People taking anti-coagulants or with sensitivity to aspirin should not take meadowsweet. It is readily available over the counter or from your naturopathic physician.

 

Dr. Jennifer Burns is a naturopathic physician and a published researcher practicing in Scottsdale, Ariz. She specializes in chronic pain, stress and illness due to heavy metal toxicity by using IV nutrients, botanical medicine and detoxification to help bring the body to optimal health. jjburnsnmd@yahoo.com or 480-607-7999.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 3, June/July 2006.

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