Sweet Woodruff Herb Profile
Also known as
Galium odoratum, Hay Plant, Wild Baby’s Breath, Bedstraw, Sweet Grass, Star Grass, and Woodruff.
Sweet Woodruff is an herbaceous mat-forming perennial native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia. Sweet Woodruff grows 6-12 inches white flowers in partial to full shade that typically bloom in April or May. The plant has a sweet, hay-like fragrance derived from coumarin.
A number of species in this genus contain asperuloside that can be converted into prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels), making the genus of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
Leaves and flowers
The aromatic intensity of woodruff intensifies when it is dried, making it a popular addition to sachets and potpourris. Sweet woodruff plants have also been used commercially in perfumes. The leaves are used to flavor teas and cold fruit drinks. The flowers (usually fresh) are used in the preparation of May wine (called "Maiwein" or "Maibowle" in German), which is a punch made from white wine flavored with woodruff, orange and pineapple and sweetened with a little sugar.
Should not be taken internally in large amounts due to a minor toxicity which may produce headaches.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.