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Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium verum)
I was amazed when I came across this plant on one of my walks, as it drew my attention with a lovely honeyed scent. The clouds of soft yellow flowers were in a large sunny patch on the top of a small hill and were very inviting to sit next to and rest.
Lady’s bedstraw was once used for stuffing mattresses before the days of wire springs or feathers, as the dried plant retains a scent of fresh hay. The name appears to come from a medieval Christian legend about the birth of Christ, rather than it’s usefulness in mattresses. I’ve read two versions, either that it was used to line baby Jesus’ cradle, or that the Virgin Mary made a bed of Lady’s Bedstraw to lie on when she gave birth.
As well as being used in cheese production, to give an added sweet flavour and a delicate yellow colour, Lady’s Bedstraw was also used as a medicine. The famous 17th century physician Culpeper says a decoction of the flower eases urinary infections and the crushed plant can be used as a compress to staunch a nosebleed. He also recommends a decoction of the whole plant to bathe the feet of weary travellers and ‘lacquies’ (servants) "whose long running causes weariness and stiffness in the sinews and joints".
There doesn’t seem to be a flower essence of Lady’s Bedstraw, which seems a shame, as it seems a very sunny and restful flower.
[Complete Herbal, Culpeper; A Modern Herbal, Mrs M Grieve]

Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium verum)

I was amazed when I came across this plant on one of my walks, as it drew my attention with a lovely honeyed scent. The clouds of soft yellow flowers were in a large sunny patch on the top of a small hill and were very inviting to sit next to and rest.

Lady’s bedstraw was once used for stuffing mattresses before the days of wire springs or feathers, as the dried plant retains a scent of fresh hay. The name appears to come from a medieval Christian legend about the birth of Christ, rather than it’s usefulness in mattresses. I’ve read two versions, either that it was used to line baby Jesus’ cradle, or that the Virgin Mary made a bed of Lady’s Bedstraw to lie on when she gave birth.

As well as being used in cheese production, to give an added sweet flavour and a delicate yellow colour, Lady’s Bedstraw was also used as a medicine. The famous 17th century physician Culpeper says a decoction of the flower eases urinary infections and the crushed plant can be used as a compress to staunch a nosebleed. He also recommends a decoction of the whole plant to bathe the feet of weary travellers and ‘lacquies’ (servants) "whose long running causes weariness and stiffness in the sinews and joints".

There doesn’t seem to be a flower essence of Lady’s Bedstraw, which seems a shame, as it seems a very sunny and restful flower.

[Complete Herbal, Culpeper; A Modern Herbal, Mrs M Grieve]