Herb of the Month: Meadowsweet
The vanilla-almond scent of meadowsweet fills the air this month and her creamy white, frothy flowers polka-dot fields and hedgerows. Known also as Queen of the Meadow, she is a majestic sight, a balm for the eyes and the spirit and medicine for the body. Meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmari, is a member of our beloved rose (roseacea) botanical family and grows heartily alongside her cousins blackberry, blackthorn, hawthorn and wild rose.
Meadowsweet For Healing
Meadowsweet is known, too, as Spirea for her flowery spires and this name is a Latin derivative for the word aspirin. She contains a natural occurring constituent called salicylic acid which is an active ingredient in aspirin. Meadowsweet has been used for hundreds (thousands!) of years to ease a headache or toothache, for general aches and pains and as a treatment for colds and fevers. Meadowsweet soothes both acute and chronic acidic condition in the stomach and eases nausea. She has astringent properties so is lovely to tone the skin and heal spots and blemishes.
Make a Meadowsweet Tea
Make a tea with the flowering tops: fresh plant (1 TBSP fresh herb to 8 oz water off the boil) or dried plant (1 tsp dried herb to 8 oz water off the boil).
Now is the time to harvest and dry her for your home apothecary. Harvest the flowering tops when the flower is fully opened and about 1/3 of the top of the plant. The red stem and leaves have therapeutic properties as well. Bundle the herb together and hang upside down in a dry location. The scent of meadowsweet is said to gladden the heart and it will bring you memories of long summer days.
Because of the salicylic acid properties, a meadowsweet infusion (strong tea) makes a fabulous face spritzer/ mister tonic, especially to heal spots and blemishes, although it is lovely for all skin types to tighten and brighten the skin. The smell is divine and there is nothing like a fresh cosmetic you make yourself!
Meadowsweet Facial Spritzer Tonic Recipe
- 1 cup of water, freshly boiled
- 4 TBSP fresh meadowsweet or 1 TBSP dried meadowsweet
- Optional: 25 drops of lavender OR tea tree essential oil
- Optional: 1 TBSP rose or lavender hydrosol
Make an extra strong tea and steep, covered, for 2 or 3 hours. Remove the herb and bottle for use. The tonic can be applied via a cotton wool although I prefer misting it lightly directly onto the skin. If you add the essential oils or hydrosols it will extend the shelf life of the facial spritzer tonic to about a month. Otherwise, use within a couple of weeks.
Article kindly written by Herbalist (BS, MBA) Tonja Reichley whose website can be found at www.dancingwiththewild.com
Accommodation Close by
(for Friday and/or Saturday night)
In Roscahill Co. Galway- 5 mins drive from Brigit's Garden
Rockfield House B&B, www.connemara-galway.net 091 555586
In Oughterard, Co. Galway: 10 mins drive from Brigit's Garden
Camillaun Lodge, www.camillaun.com 091 552678
The Boat Inn, www.theboatinn.ie 091 552196 (family rooms from €78)
Ross Lake House Hotel, www.rosslakehotel.com, 091 550109
The Connemara Lake Hotel, www.theconnemaralakehotel.com 091 866016
Oughterard Hostel, www.oughterardhostel.com 091 552388
There is plenty of other accommodation listed at www.discoverireland.ie Follow links for accommodation and search for Moycullen or Oughterard.
Please spread the word, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!! Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!
Slán go fóill :)*
Driving along the N59 from Galway city you will pass through a small town called Moycullen. Follow the festival traffic signs.
A few kilometres after this you will reach the small village of Roscahill. You will then see a brown heritage signpost on the left hand side of the road with Brigit's Garden name on it pointing to Turn Right. Take this right and the entrance to Brigit's Garden is on the left approximately 2km from this turn (after the community centre and church on the left hand-side).
For those using GPS or Google Maps, they may direct you turn right at Connemara Motors but it is more efficient if you continue onwards with the festival traffic signs.
GPS Coordinates for Brigit's Garden:N: 53.38558 W: 9.2131
Please pay attention to the signs for the overnight carpark and day carpark during this event.