SAVORY (Satureia hortensis), an herb of the mint family with a peppery flavor, native to southern Europe, has been used since early antiquity as a salad green and for seasoning poultry. Steeped in wine, it was considered a potent stomach tonic...
SAVORY (Satureia hortensis), an herb of the mint family with a peppery flavor, native to southern Europe, has been used since early antiquity as a salad green and for seasoning poultry. Steeped in wine, it was considered a potent stomach tonic and a support for complaints of the liver and the lungs. Powdered, it was used as a flea repellent.
The essential oil contains carvacrol, rho-cymene, beta-phellandrene, beta-pinene, limonene, and other monoterpenes. Winter savory oil also contains thymol. The oils are antifungal and disinfectant. Fresh leaves rubbed on an insect sting will relieve pain.
The leaves of summer savory are highin vitamin A and contain niacin, iron,calcium, and potassium.
Savory tea is carminative, antispasmodic, and expectorant. The tea is gargled for a sore throat, used for diarrhea, indigestion, and as an aphrodisiac.
General Herb Information *Note: Savory (Winter) Pure Essential Oil is not to be taken internally.
This genus has about thirty species, including both yerba buena and calamint. S. hortensis, summer savory and S. montana, winter savory are discussed here.
Summer savory is a hardy annual growing to 1 1/2 feet tall, native to the Mediterranean region. Its leaves are linear to lance-shaped, up to an inch long, entire, with the edges slightly rolled back underneath. The stems have a purple cast. The one-fourth inch long, light lavender to white flowers are borne on sparse whorls.
Winter savory, also a Mediterranean native, is a fairly hardy perennial growing from six to twelve inches tall. The leaves are similar to summer savory, though they are shinier and thicker. The white or pink flowers are shorter than summer savory's.
Summer savory is easily grown from seeds sown directly in the garden in spring as soon as the ground can be worked. It seif-sows freely. Seeds germinate in a week or so. Winter savory can be started from seeds sown six to eight weeks before the last spring frost but is best propagated from cuttings or layering.
Summer savory likes a moderately rich, sandy soil with a good supply of moisture for the seedlings and full sun. Soil pH should be around 6.5 to 7.5. Winter savory prefers alight, chalky soil with good drainage. It makes a nice low border. An acre may produce as much as three tons of summer savory.
Harvest the flowers as they begin blooming. Winter savory has a woody stem which needs to be removed from the dried leaf. Summer savory should be dried quickly with adequate circulation.
Savory is best known as a flavoring for beans-from lentils to green beans. The fresh or dried leaves are good with cabbage, turnips, brussels sprouts, potato salads, pea soup, and tossed salads. Winter savory has a stronger biting flavor. Both make good pepper substitutes.
Savory - Two forms of savory are used in cooking and in medicine; one is the annual Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis) and the other, perennial Winter Savory (S. montana).
Propagation: Summer Savory by seed, easy germination; Winter Savory by seed, slow germination; by cuttings in spring from side shoots; by layering.
Nature of Plants: Summer Savory is grown for culinary seasoning, grows to 18 inches, rather weak woody stems inclined to fall over when mature and easily beaten down by rain, a mass of plants in flower looks to be covered with pinkish snow;
Winter Savory is a sub-shrub about 15 inches high, stems so weak that they fall over and make the plant suitable for edgings to cover artificial boundaries, self-sows and spreads so that a few plants may be the beginning of a long stretch of edging, leaves are stiff and do not blend so well in food as Summer Savory; flowers, like those of Summer Savory, are tiny and give the appearance of a plant covered with a light fall of snow, lilac in color, good for rock gardens.
Spacing of Mature Plants: Summer 6 inches; Winter 1 foot.
Cultural Requirements: Summer - dry, moderately rich soil in sunny spot, leaves very narrow, 1/2 inch long, for a good crop make several sowings 3 weeks apart; Winter - poor, light, well drained soil in full sun, winterkills if soil is too damp or rich, keep well clipped to induce new growth.
Summer - Leaf: (Culinary) In salad, sauce, meat dishes, sausage, poultry stuffing, scrambled eggs, soup, string beans, garnish; (Household) crushed on bee stings to relieve pain, for aromatic baths.
Winter - Leaf: (Culinary) Though not as delicate as Summer Savory, can be used in bouquet garni.
Winter Savoury Satureja montana L.
Other Names: Sarriette des montagnes (French); Bergbohnenkraut (German); santoreggia, erba peverella (Italian).
Description: Winter savoury is a small, perennial shrublet of up to 0.3 m in height, with small, dark green leaves borne in opposite pairs and small white or pinkish flowers in oblong clusters along the branch ends. Summer savoury (Satureja hortensis, an annual plant), is a popular culinary herb also used to some extent in traditional medicine. It is rich in volatile oil with carvacrol (spasmolytic, carminative properties) as the main ingredient.
Origin: Southern Europe and North Africa (S. montanis); southeastern Europe (S. hortensis).
Parts Used: Dried flowering tops (Saturejae montanae herba) or the essential oil (Saturejae montanae aetheroleum).
Therapeutic Category: Stomachic, carminative.
Uses and Properties: Winter savoury is mainly used to treat stomach disorders, including indigestion, flatulence and colic. It is also used as an antiseptic to treat infections of the respiratory and urinary tracts, as well as fungal infections. The herb or the essential oil is used in much the same way as lavender, to treat wounds, burns and skin infections. In central Europe, summer savoury is used in much the same way as winter savoury or thyme. Mixed with honey, it is taken as a tea to treat cough and asthma. It is used as a cosmetic in soap and washing powder.
Preparation and Dosage: A tea may be prepared from 2 - 4 g of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water (taken two or three times per day). The essential oil or extracts of the plant are applied topically or added to bath water.
Active Ingredients: The essential oil is rich in in carvacrol (40-60%), accompanied by p-cymol (10-20%) and gamma-terpinene (15-20%), with smaller amounts of linalool and thymol. The level of essential oil in the commercial product should not be less than 0.7%. The herb contains rosmarinic acid and derivatives of hydroxycinnamic acid.
Pharmacological Effects: Carvacrol and the other monoterpenes are lipophilic and easily interact with biomembranes and membrane proteins. These properties plausibly explain the observed antispasmodic, diuretic, antimicrobial and secretomotoric effects.
Status: Traditional medicine.
Savory: Historical Usage
Both winter and summer savory possess similar medicinal properties (the former, however, being less effective). The herbs were mainly used for stomach and bowel complaints, intestinal disorders and flatulence. They were also used to relieve tired eyes and insect stings. Infused as a tea, savory stimulated the appetite, eased indigestion, and served as a gargle for sore throats. The plant should not be taken during pregnancy.
A hot peppery-flavoured herb, savory was added to salads, sauces, stews, soups, stuffings, meats, vegetables, syrups, conserves, vinegars and liqueurs. Because it helped prevent flatulence, savory was widely used in bean dishes.
A native of southern Europe and the Mediterranean, savory was valued by the Romans who classed it as a spice, and also introduced it into Britain. The plant was known to the Anglo-Saxons, and was listed by Aelfric. Its botanical name Satureja is thought to be derived from the Latin for satyr, a term referring to the herb's aphrodisiacal reputation for encouraging indulgence. It was also used in perfumes, and as a strewing herb.
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All pure essential oils should be used with care. Do not apply directly into skin. A 2% dilution of essential oils to a base of carrier oil or lotion is recommended for all skincare and massage preparations.
Avoid contact with sensitive areas, such as eyes. Citrus oils are photosensitive and should not be applied prior to sun exposure. During pregnancy, use only with advise from a trained aromatherapist. For external use only. Keep all bottles out of reach of children.
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