The essential oil contains carvacrol, rho-cymene, beta-phellandrene, beta-pinene, limonene, and other monoterpenes. Winter savory oil also contains thymol. The oils are 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: 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 help 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.
Botanical Name:Satureja obovata
Extraction Method: steam
Plant: flower tops
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