What is Spirea
Spirea olmaria, or more simply meadowsweet, is a perennial herb plant with diuretic , anti-inflammatory and calming properties. Frequent in northern Italy – sporadic elsewhere and absent in the islands – spirea prefers wet and fresh soils; for this reason it is commonly found near watercourses, especially in mountain and subalpine regions. It is also known as queen of the meadows or spirea.The meadowsweet blooms in May-August, producing small, white flowers, pleasantly scented and gathered in a widely branched terminal panicle.
Just the dried flowers, sometimes collected together with the aerial parts, constitute the drug known as spirea olmaria. Inside we find good concentrations of salicylates , substances deriving from salicylic acid , endowed with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects .
The best known of these is aspirin (or acetylsalicylic acid *), whose therapeutic effects are broadly common to spirea; the latter, however, is devoid of gastrolesive effects and in this sense, it can be considered a valid alternative to synthetic aspirin.
Bayer called this compound “Aspirin”, using the prefix a for acetyl and the root – spir , from the Latin name of meadowsweet .
What it is used for
The spirea is therefore recommended to relieve minor and medium-sized pains of any origin; in particular, its anti-rheumatic , anti-gout (ease of elimination of uric acid ) and diuretic (useful in the presence of cellulite and water retention ) activities are highlighted .
In addition to salicylates, spirea contains flavonoids (0.5%), vitamin C and tannins .
Meadowsweet is considered a safe drug; however, it must be used with caution by those who are undergoing anticoagulant treatment and avoided in cases of ascertained sensitivity towards salicylates.
How to use
Since salicylates are not very soluble in water, infusions based on meadowsweet are not considered salicylate-based remedies, but simple aromatic complements.
The hydroalcoholic extract (to be taken in drops) and the dry one (to be taken in the form of capsules) have aspirin-like propertie