Herbs & Plants

Winter Savory

Botanical Name  :Satureja montana
: Lamiaceae
Genus: Satureja
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: S. montana
Syn. S. hortensis
Common Names:   Winter   Savory , Summer

:Native to warm temperate regions of southern Europe

Winter savory (Satureja montana) is a perennial herb.


It is a semi-evergreen, semi-woody subshrub growing to over 230 cm (7.5 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, oval-lanceolate, 1-2 cm long and 5 mm broad. The flowers are white.

Cultivation and uses:-
Easy to grow, it makes an attractive border plant for any culinary herb garden. It requires six hours of sun a day in soil that drains well.

Winter savory is now little used, but for hundreds of years both it and Summer savory have been grown and used, virtually side by side. Both have strong spicy flavour.

Culinary Uses:
In cooking, winter savory has a reputation for going very well with both beans and meats, very often lighter meats such as chicken or turkey, and can be used in stuffing. It has a strong flavour while uncooked but loses much of its flavour under prolonged cooking. It may also be used medicinally, it is a stimulant, and is also a known aphrodisiac.

Medicinal Uses:-
Antiseptic; Aromatic; Carminative; Digestive; Expectorant; Stings; Stomachic.

“Winter savory is most often used as a culinary herb, but it also has marked medicinal benefits, especially upon the whole digestive system. The plant has a stronger action than the closely related summer savory, S. hortensis.

According to Plants for a Future, the whole herb, and especially the flowering shoots, is mildly antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, mildly expectorant and stomachic. Taken internally, it is said to be a remedy for colic and a cure for flatulence, whilst it is also used to treat gastro-enteritis, cystitis, nausea, diarrhoea, bronchial congestion, sore throat and menstrual disorders. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women.[citation needed] A sprig of the plant, rubbed onto bee or wasp stings, brings instant relief.[citation needed]

Therapeautic grade oil has been determined to inhibit growth of Candida albicans according to Oberg K, Rolling L, Oberg C. in The Journal of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. 2005;82:60-72..

The plant is harvested in the summer when in flower and can be used fresh or dried. The essential oil forms an ingredient in lotions for the scalp in cases of incipient baldness. An ointment made from the plant is used externally to relieve arthritic joints.

Chemical Constituents: Carvacrol (30 – 75%), thymol (1.0 – 5.0%), p-cymene (10 – 20%), gamma-terpineol (2.0 – 10%), 1,8-cineole (3.8%), borneol (12.5%), a-terpineol (2.5%).

Winter savory, and its annual cousin summer savory, Satureja hortensis, and known mainly as culinary herbs, though they do possess medicinal properties. Savory is a carminative herb recommend for gas and digestive upsets, including colic, diarrhea and indigestion. Its antiseptic and astringent properties make it a good treatment for sore throats. A poultice of the leaves gives quick relief to insect bites.

Winter savory has a stronger, more resinous flavor than the milder annual summer savory, both impart a peppery bite to foods and blend well with thyme, marjoram and basil. Both are used to marinate meats, add flavor to beans and vegetables. Savory are known especially as “bean herbs”, because of the added flavor as well a reduction in flatulence and gas.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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