View Full Version : Meadowsweet. Has anyone used it?

David Baldwin
01-18-2006, 06:43 PM
Has anyone flavored a mead with Meadowsweet?

If so, what were the results? What would you describe the falvor of meadowsweet as?


01-18-2006, 08:04 PM
I've not heard of it... found the following link


If you've got access to this botanical, use the infusion method... soak in vodka, and extract the essence. Then add to taste.


06-15-2006, 06:17 AM
Hi, I am planning to use meadowsweet in my recipe based on a anlaysis of the contents of a Bronze Age beaker:


A brief history of Meadowsweet
Spiraea ulmaria (L.) aka: Bridewort, meadow queen, meadow-wort, pride of the meadow, queen of the meadow, lady of the meadow, dollof:

It seems the use of MS in mead and braggott was quite popular during this era as it has been found in other Bronze Age beaker residues dating back to 1550BC. See this article from British Archaeology: http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba19/ba19feat.html

During the Iron Age MS was one of the 3 most herbs sacred to the Druids - the others being vervain and water-mint. It was also popular with the Anglo Saxons as the name actually derives from medu-swaet ie mead-wort. Its use in mead was so widespread that it took its name from the drink.

It was common up until the 16th C. In 1597, John Gerard said of Meadowsweet in his Herbal, "the smell thereof makes the heart merry and joyful and delighteth the senses". Queen Elizabeth I is said to have adorned her apartments with meadowsweet.

As for its medicinal properties:
Extract: "The plant was used in folk medicine for cancer, tumors, rheumatism, and as a diuretic. Today, it is used as a digestive remedy, as supportive therapy for colds, for analgesia, and other indications.
In 1838, salicylic acid was isolated from the plant. In the 1890s, salicylic acid was first synthesized to make aspirin."Aspirin" is derived from "spirin," based on meadowsweet's scientific name, "Spiraea."

Fancy that - a mead additive that contains its own hangover cure!

As for taste, I haven't yet tried it in mead but out of curiosity I made some dried leaves into tea. I found it had a golden colour and a warm peaty flavour not unlike whiskey :D

I plan to start a batch using local honey when i can get some and wild yeast. It made a pretty strong tea so i think i'll add it to the must in this form using 1oz of dried leaves. if you go ahead with yours let's know how it turns out.

06-15-2006, 12:04 PM
Great info, Inigo, thanks! Please keep us posted on any meads you make with this herb!