Herbs & Plants

Winter savory

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Botanical Name : Satureia montana
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus:     Satureja
Species: S. montana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Lamiales

Common Name :Winter savory

Habitat : Winter savory (Satureja montana) is native to warm temperate regions of southern Europe.

Winter Savory is a dwarf, hardy, perennial, glabrous or slightly pubescent under shrub. It is a semi-evergreen, semi-woody subshrub growing to 16 in (41 cm) tall.The stems are woody at the base, diffuse, much branched. The leaves are oblong, linear and acute, or the lower ones spatulate or wedge-shaped and obtuse. The flowers, in bloom in June, are very pale-purple, the cymes shortly pedunculate, approximating to a spike or raceme. The leaves are opposite, oval-lanceolate, 1–2 cm long and 5 mm broad. The flowers are white.


Propagation & Cultivation :
It is propagated either from seeds, sown at a similar period and in the same manner as Summer Savory, or from cuttings and divisions of root. It is woodier and more bushy than Summer Savory.

Cuttings formed of young side shoots, with a heel attached, may be taken in April or June, and will readily root under a hand-glass, or in a shady border outside.

Divisions of the roots should be made in March or April, and plants obtained in this way, or from cuttings, should be permanently inserted during a showery period in the latter part of summer, in rows, at the distance of 1 foot apart.

The plant grows better in a poor, stony soil than a rich one. In a rich soil, plants take in too much moisture to stand the severity of our winter. In soil that suits it, Winter Savory makes a good-sized shrub. It will continue for several years, but when the plants are old the shoots are short and not so well furnished with leaves. It is, therefore, well to raise a supply of young plants every other year.

Edible 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.

Meditional Uses:
Winter savory has been purported to have antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, and digestive benefits. It has also been used as an expectorant and in the treatment of stings. The plant has a stronger action than the closely related summer savory.

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. A sprig of the plant, rubbed onto bee or wasp stings, brings instant relief.

Therapeutic-grade oil has been determined to inhibit growth of Candida albicans.

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.

In traditional herbal medicine, summer savory was believed to be an aphrodisiac, while winter savory was believed to inhibit sexual desire.

Other Uses:
Best in herb garden. Has ornamental value that can be useful in rock gardens or border fronts. Surprisingly good edging plant which may be clipped for a formal effect.

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.