What is summer savory
Summer savory, an aromatic herb is one of the most popular among all the savory spices, adding flavor to a variety of cuisines all over the world owing to its pleasant taste. Besides, its culinary usages, this variety of savory also comes with an array of health benefits.
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In German: Bohnekraut
In French: Sarriette
In Dutch: Bonenkruid
In Italian: Santoreggia
In Greek: Throubi
In Romanian: Cimbru
In Serbian: Cubar
In Hungarian: Borskiafu
In Spanish: Ajedrea
In Hindi: Greeshm Jadee Buti
In Persian: Marzeh
In Turkish: Yaz kokulu
It is a loose, bushy plant growing to a height of about 18 inches, having needle-shaped leaves and purplish pink flowers.
Summer savory’s mild delicate and sweet flavor makes it more popular than the bitter tasting winter savory.
Given below is the nutritional data for 4 grams of ground summer savory
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.0 mg (1%)|
|Vitamin B2 ( Riboflavin)||–|
|Vitamin B3 ( Niacin)||0.2 mg (1%)|
|Vitamin B5 ( Pantothenic Acid)||–|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.1 mg ( 4%)|
|Vitamin B12||0.0 mcg ( 0%)|
|Calcium||90.6 mg (9%)|
|Iron||1.6 mg (9%)|
|Magnesium||16.0 mg (4%)|
|Phosphorous||5.9 mg (1%)|
|Potassium||44.7 mg (1%)|
|Sodium||1 mg (0%)|
|Zinc||0.2 mg (1%)|
|Copper||0.0 mg (0%)|
|Manganese||0.3 mg (13%)|
|Selenium||0.2 mcg (0%)|
|Cholesterol||O mg (0%)|
|Total Fat||0 g|
|Saturated Fat||0g (1%)|
|Total Carbohydrate||3 g (1%)|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g (8%)|
Health benefits of summer savory: What is it good for
Pain relieving properties
Several studies have brought into light the antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties present in summer savory thus making it effective in reducing inflammation, pains, and spasms of the abdomen that might occur due to gastrointestinal problems, or even during a menstrual cycle. It even works towards minimizing joint cramps and pain during arthritis,
If you tend to suffer from such conditions on a regular basis, then consider adding this herb as a part of your daily diet in moderate amounts to get relief.
Helps in digestion
Used in contemporary folk medicine because of its positive effect on the digestive system, its carminative properties, makes it beneficial in treating conditions like colic and flatulence. The presence of volatile oils such as carvacrol, and p-cymene, gives it antiseptic properties, making it an excellent tonic for the digestive tract, helping to combat bouts of indigestion.
Besides being an antiseptic, it even as astringent properties due to the presence of tannin, hence useful in treating diarrhea.
Making an infusion of summer savory or including it, in your platter, every day would be one of the measures you can take to ensure a sound digestive system.
Though there is limited evidence regarding this fact, it is said to aid in lowering cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. Diabetics may also be able to relieve their excessive thirst by the intake of several forms of this herb. In fact, in Europe, diabetic patients were given a tea prepared from this herb to quench their thirst.
Aids in curing a sore throat
Antiseptics work wonders in clearing a sore throat as they have the ability to draw water from the mucous membranes present in the throat, thus helping in removing phlegm and providing relief .
Because of its antiseptic properties, as mentioned before, this herb when made into a decoction can be consumed in the form of tea or used as a gargle to bring in an improvement in this condition.
As a tonic for fever
The presence of the volatile oils carvacrol and thymol is said to inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria, therefore giving it anti-microbial properties. These along with the antiseptic properties make it serve as an excellent tonic to be taken as an aftercare for fever.
Besides the above-mentioned health benefits summer savory in any form also helps:
- Proper functioning of kidney and liver
- Appetite stimulation
- Serving as a powerful tonic for anemics
- Curing symptoms in rachitic children when given in little amounts
What is summer savory used for
Culinary/ Edible Uses
- This bean herb ( as its German name stands for in English) is used in its fresh or dried form with beans to make a curry or soup as certain components present in it is said to make the process of digesting these legumes easier.
- Because of its delicate, mild and peppery flavor, it is used for seasoning a variety of dishes like soups, stews, sauces, barbecues, grilled meat, and pies.
- Finely chopped summer savory is added to scrambled eggs and omelet or even used to garnish an egg platter along with parsley.
- Bulgarian cuisine uses it alongside salt and paprika to make sharena sol or colorful salt, which in turn gives several dishes an intense flavor.
- This herb is also one of the primary ingredients for the preparation of sarmale that comprises of rolls made from stuffed cabbage or grape leaves.
- It forms one of the key components of “herbes de Provence”, a blend of aromatic herbs sold in most stores specializing in French foods in Canada and the U.S.
- This aromatic herb can be added to bread stuffings in its ground or dried form to enhance flavor.
- It is used during the preparation another Romanian dish,“mici,” a caseless sausage made from ground beef mixed with other spices.
- It can be used as a substitute for salt by people who have opted for a diet low in sodium.
- A tea made from the fresh or dried herb helps in treating intestinal worms as well as providing relief from several disorders like a sore throat, cough, cold, headache, and colic.
- Rubbing a sprig of summer savory or applying the crushed leaves on wasp and bee stings provide relief instantly as it has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antimicrobial properties due to the presence of the volatile oil carvacrol in it.
- Oil extracted from the savory plant helps in treating gout, headaches, and joint pains. In fact, a salve, prepared from the whole plant can be applied topically. However, dilute the oil to avoid skin irritation.
- Summer savory alcohol serves as an effective disinfectant, useful for treating wounds and skin infections.
- Savory Herb Butter
- Sausage Stuffing with Summer Savory
- Summer Savory Brined Fried Chicken
- Summer Savory and Garlic Green Beans
- Warm Potato and Green Bean Salad with Summer Savory
- Marinated Tomatoes with Lemon and Summer Savory
- Summer Savory Mushroom Pate
The alternatives include its counterpart, winter savory. Thyme can also form a suitable replacement especially when mixed with a little bit of mint or sage. However, both of them would have a stronger taste in comparison to savory. Other substitutes include basil, oregano and equal parts of celery and parsley leaves.
Can summer savory be bad for you
Summer savory is not known to have any possible side effects when taken in moderate amounts, though overconsumption may affect your health adversely.
Though infusions made out of summer savory is said to treat conditions like convulsion and edema in pregnant women, there is no sufficient evidence. Therefore, it is advisable to refrain using it when pregnant to avoid any complications. Lactating mothers should also stay away from consuming it.
How to store
Apart from using it fresh, the leaves can also be dried, put in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dark place away from sunlight, up to to a span of about six months. You can wrap the fresh leaves in moist paper towels, put them in a plastic bag and preserve them by freezing.
Another way of retaining their freshness would be by placing the herb along with vinegar in a bottle and keeping them inside the fridge. You can use it for dressing salads or marination.
Where to buy
Summer savory is mostly available in grocery stores all year round in its dried form. You can also avail them online. If you have some growing in your garden, pick them fresh, and chop the leaves before using them.
Which ones to choose
It is advisable to go for the herbs with a good aroma. To check its freshness crush a small amount of it and smell or taste it. If they do not have a good smell, it is better to discard them.
- In the ancient times, Romans linked this herb to certain mythological satyrs, dwelling in the meadows of savory, who got passionate on consuming this herb. In this way, summer savory was said to be an aphrodisiac, triggering sexual desire while winter savory has an opposite function.
- Virgil, the famous Roman poet, recommended the growth of summer and winter savory near beehives due to the aromatic flavor it added to honey.
- by Mumpi Ghose
- September 27th 2016