While at a festival the other day, I came across a wine maker that had a sweet woodruff wine. I’ve had sweet woodruff in my garden for years and never had any idea it could be used in such a way. I had to try it! While this particular wine had a very interesting flavor, it wasn’t quite all I had hoped it to be, but it got me curious. What else could sweet woodruff be used for beside a splash of light green color and it’s smell in my garden?
What I found is that it has been used in syrup for beer (Berliner Weisse), brandy, sausages, jelly, jam, a soft drink (Tarhun), ice cream, and in Germany a powder that is then mixed with Vodka. It has holistic properties that I was unaware. Apparently woodruff has healing properties for jaundice and aids in preventing bladder stones. It’s said to have slight sedative properties when drank as a tea. The tea is also used to help relieve stomach pain, regulate heart activity, and as a light diuretic & lightly diaphoretic. But take caution if you choose to use it for holistic healing. Large quantities can produce side effects resembeling symptoms of poisoning, headache, dizziness and vomiting.
Drying sweet woodruff increases its aroma. It’s a lovely addition to potpourri and can be made into wreaths or “brooms” for hanging.
A little information about the growing properties, in case you are interested in simply adding it to your garden. It prefers well watered, shady areas. It will survive in the sun and with less water though. The drier, sunnier conditions just slow its growth. It can really grow anywhere from 6 to 12 inches high and it will SPREAD when in its most ideal conditions. It can be easily divided when you feel you have too much. So share. Many people may not know about sweet woodruff as a regular garden plant. It is super easy to grow and requires no maintenance.
It’s a great plant that not everyone has. My family has grown it in our gardens, sharing it with each other again and again as we acquire new properties. We also have dried it for years because of the pleasant aroma. The use properties…I had no idea about them! In the most unexpected place, I learned something about a plant I had known for years. I wonder what will prompt new discovery today?