Summer savory is a member of the mint family that’s commonly used in dishes from Eastern Europe and America. Not to be confused with the perennial winter savory, summer savory is an annual plant with smooth leaves and small flowers. This peppery herb’s tenure as a natural medicine goes way back. It can treat a range of conditions, including skin complaints, infections, and digestive distress.
Helps the Skin
Summer savory is an astringent, meaning it shrinks and constricts body tissues. Astringents are common in skin care, as they can help tighten pores and skin. These qualities make then helpful in treating acne and other skin conditions as they help heal wounds, fight bacteria, and balance the pH of the skin. Used too often, astringents can dry the skin, but adding fresh summer savory to a bath or facial steamer lets people gently and safely reap these topical benefits.
Relief From Stings
The astringent qualities of summer savory that make it great for skin care can also soothe insect bites. Astringents draw moisture from the site, reduce inflammation, and ease the burning and irritation caused by the bite. The herb’s antibacterial properties can also speed up healing. If you’re susceptible to mosquito bites, try growing a summer savory plant. When you’re bitten, pick a leaf and rub it over the bite to get relief from the sting.
It is a Stimulant
Legend has it medieval monks were prohibited to grow summer savory because of its ability to stimulate — specifically, its aphrodisiac qualities. If your love life is lagging, you may find summer savory gives your libido the boost it needs. Summer savory is also an appetite stimulant. Aging, certain medications, and specific health conditions can all interfere with appetite. Summer savory can help spark hunger, ensuring people eat enough for their energy and nutrient needs.
Antiseptic and Anti-bacterial Properties
Summer savory has many essential oil phenols, including thymol and carvacrol. Thymol is antiseptic and anti-fungal while carvacrol is anti-bacterial and helps stop the growth of many types of bacteria, including E. coli. Summer savory can help ease and heal sore throats and bronchial infections. The herb also has expectorant qualities which can help clear the increased mucus from these infections.
Fiber is an essential ingredient in the recipe for good digestive health and summer savory is a great source of fiber. It’s also an anti-spasmodic, which eases the spasms associated with gastrointestinal distress. The herb helps ease flatulence and indigestion. Prebiotics help nurtures the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which helps aid digestion and may also boost immunity. Prebiotics may also help lower cholesterol and boost heart health. Summer savory is full of prebiotics, making it a great all-around herb for digestive health.
High in Antioxidants
Most people recognize the health benefits of antioxidants. They protect your cells from daily damage, such as exposure to stress, pollution, smoking, radiation, and certain chemicals, as well as the free radicals that come from aging. They help keep your heart healthy and lower the risk of infections and some cancers. Summer savory is high in antioxidants.
High in Vitamins and Minerals
The leaves and shoots of summer savory are a rich source of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium. All of these are essential for good health and can improve many body functions including blood pressure, blood creation, bone health, immune health, and thyroid function. Savory also a source B-complex group vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. These nutrients help strengthen the immune system, keep eyes healthy, and give you energy.
Helps During Menstruation
A number of summer savory’s qualities can help ease the pain of PMS and menstruation. The anti-spasmodic effects can lessen the spasms that cause menstrual cramps. Additionally, high magnesium levels can help with the symptoms like anxiety, mood swings, irritability, and pain. Summer savory may also help address irregular periods.
Summer savory has anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties. It can help ease joint pain and arthritis. It may also treat conditions like gout and headaches. Eating the herb regularly is the best way to experience these effects. Alternatively, an herbal linament placed directly on the skin can ease painful joints.
How to Take It
The easiest way to feel the benefits of summer savory is to drink it as a tea. Simply steep the fresh or dried herb in boiling water and enjoy daily. If you don’t like tea, you can enhance juice or water with an extract. Summer savory is also a very flavorful herb, so cooking with it allows you to enjoy the taste and health benefits in foods like sausages and chicken. Adding it to bean dishes can help prevent flatulence, and it imparts great flavor to salads. It’s best to add the herb at the end of cooking so that it doesn’t lose any of the flavor or health benefits through heating.