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Savory

 

Historically, savory has a reputation for regulating sex drive. Winter Savory is said to decrease sex drive, while Summer Savory is said to enhance it. Romans used Savory as an herb and seasoning even before they used pepper. They used it as a

 

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History

Historically, savory has a reputation for regulating sex drive. Winter Savory is said to decrease sex drive, while Summer Savory is said to enhance it. Romans used Savory as an herb and seasoning even before they used pepper.

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They used it as a medicine, a bee sting treatment, and an aphrodisiac. When the Romans brought it to England, it was used as an ingredient in stuffing rather than as an herbal remedy.

Growing Savory & Varieties

Summer Savory is an annual herb, Satureja hotenis, belonging to the mint family. Its dark-green, narrow leaves are dried and crushed.

Appearance: Narrow, dark green, spice-scented leaves on low, bushy plants up to 18 inches high. They are topped with tiny, pale pink flowers in summer.

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Growing Know-How: Plant summer savory in well-drained, moderately fertile soil and full sun. Space plants 12 inches apart. To ensure fresh summer savory all season, start a second crop in early summer for late harvests.

Propagation: You can start summer savory from seed, sowing it outdoors in spring. Or start seeds 4 to 6 weeks early indoors.

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Potential Problems: Prevent root rot by providing good drainage.

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Related Herbs: Winter savory (S. montana) is grown as a perennial in zones 5 to 9. It has foliage similar to summer savory but is spicier and evergreen in mild climates. The plant forms a mat 12 inches high.

White flowers appear in late summer. You can propagate winter savory by layering or cuttings. A low-growing form, creeping winter savory (S. montana 'Procumbens'), is also available.

Medicinal

Savory contains oils and tannins that have mild astringent and antiseptic properties that can be useful in medicines. Summer Savory is the type most often used for medicinal purposes.

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Teas can be made for occasional colic, diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence, stomach upsets, mild sore throats, and as an expectorant. It is also sometimes used in a tea by diabetics to alleviate excessive thirst. Capsules can also be made from dried leaves for internal use.

Externally, rubbing a sprig of Savory on wasp or bee stings provides instant relief. Try using an ointment made of Savory for minor rashes and skin irritations.

Cooking

Try savory as a substitute for black pepper. Harvest summer savory as you need it. The rich aroma will be most intense just before the plant flowers.

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Use it fresh or dried for a pleasant sweet, spicy flavor to vegetables, meats, pastas, and rice.

A favourite for tossing with beans and adding to soups. Add a bite of summer savory in salads, lettuce salads, potato salads, whatever and served chopped as a topping to hot dishes. You can also use the leaves in tea.

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