Other names: Queen of the Meadow

Originally misclassified as a member of the Spiraea family, molecular research has demonstrated it belongs to an entirely different branch of evolution. Salicylic acid, the key ingredient used for the synthesis of aspirin, was first obtained from Meadowsweet flowers in 1839 in Germany. In addition to a pain reliever, it made for a popular tea and home fragrance, even among European royalty.


Löwig, C.; Weidmann, S., 1839, Annalen der Physik und Chemie; Beiträge zur Organischen Chemie (Contributions to Organic Chemistry) (46): 57–83.

Fernald, Merritt L. & Alfred C. Kinsey, Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America, Harper & Row, hardcover, revised, 1958.

Grieve, M. (Maud). A Modern Herbal; the Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-Lore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs, & Trees with All Their Modern Scientific Uses. New York :Harcourt, Brace & company, 1931.