In German it has also been known as Waldmeister, which translates roughly into "Master of the woods." The herb is widely known for its strong, sweet scent that is actually derived from the chemical coumarin as it is produced in the herb, and grows stronger as it wilts, persisting after it is dried. Because of this, it is often used in potpourri and other such products. Of old, it was also used to flavor numerous products in Germany, such as May Wine, beer, brandy, sausages, jelly, jam and even ice cream. It is also sometimes used in spiritual traditions as an herb that possesses powers of healing.
Today it is most of often known in folk recipes and herbal traditions, where it is best known as an herb that can keep insects away, particularly in the preservation of linens where its sweet smell becomes imbued in the fabrics. Some herbalists also use to produce an herbal tea which is said to possess mild sedative properties. It should be noted however that the herb has been banned in Germany since 1981 for use in drinks and food, as some studies have shown it to possess a degree of toxicity when imbibed in large amounts.