Galium odoratum

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Sweet woodruff

Sweet woodruff – growing

Really easy to grow – can take over! Ideal in a living wall because it’s a great filler. Lovely little white flowers in spring/summer. Perennial.

Sweet woodruff – health benefits

Used for preventing and treating lung, stomach, liver, gallbladder, urinary disorders, heart problems and other circulation problems (pause for breath…) other uses include treating anxiety and trouble sleeping (insomnia). Apply sweet woodruff directly to the affected areas for skin diseases, wounds, vein problems, hemorrhoids, and swelling…😳Read more… 

Sweet woodruff – cooking

Sweet woodruff pesto

Sweet woodruff – more information………..

While sweet woodruff’s French name, musc de bois (wood musk), and German name, Waldmeister (master of the woods), reflect its habitat, the common name bedstraw, applied also to other members of the genus, refers to its use, dating at least from the Middle Ages, as a fragrant strewing herb and mattress filling. It was also hung in churches as a symbol of humility and placed among stored linens to repel moths and other insects. Read more..

 was much used as a medicine in the Middle Ages. The fresh leaves, bruised and applied to cuts and wounds, were said to have a healing effect, and formerly a strong decoction of the fresh herb was used as a cordial and stomachic. It is also said to be useful for removing biliary obstructions of the liver.

The plant when newly gathered has but little odour, but when dried, has a most refreshing scent of new-mown hay, which is retained for years. Gerard tells us:
‘The flowers are of a very sweet smell as is the rest of the herb, which, being made up into garlands or bundles, and hanged up in houses in the heat of summer, doth very well attemper the air, cool and make fresh the place, to the delight and comfort of such as are therein. It is reported to be put into wine, to make a man merry, and to be good for the heart and liver, it prevaileth in wounds, as Cruciata and other vulnerary herbs do.’

In Germany, one of the favourite hockcups is still made by steeping the fresh sprigs in Rhine wine. This forms a specially delightful drink, known as Maibowle, and drunk on the first of May.

The dried herb may be kept among linen, like lavender, to preserve it from insects. In the Middle Ages it used to be hung and strewed in churches, and on St. Barnabas Day and on St. Peter’s, bunches of box, Woodruff, lavender and roses found a place there. It was also used for stuffing beds. Read more…