What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Satureja Hortensis (Summer savory)?
What is Summer Savory?
Summer savory is an aromatic herb which belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae and scientifically known as Satureja hortensis. It's not only a delicious spice but this herb is also used for medicinal purposes as well. The herb adds flavor to a variety of cuisines all over the world. The herb helps to treat various health issues such as pain, diabetes, indigestion, sore throat, fever, cold, cough, and lack craving. Summer savory is the rich source of vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for treating such ailments in your body.
Summer savory is native of North Africa, Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The herb is well tolerant of different climatic conditions. It is the sister variety of winter savory but used more often than winter savory, which has a slightly more bitter flavor. The height of the plant is up to 40-60cm and has a sweeter flavor and hence more preferred in cooking. Many cooks used this herb in the same way as they use sage. The plant bears dark green, slender and smooth leaves. In the month of June, the leaves are fragile and soft and used for making the sauce and sprinkled over the roasted chicken. In July, plant reaches its maturity level and in August, pretty little white flowers appear on the plant.
The herb contains large amount of nutritional value. The 4 grams of ground summer savory contains:
- Vitamin A: 4%
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 1%
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 1%
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): 4%
- Vitamin C: 4%
- Calcium: 90.6 mg (9%)
- Iron: 1.6 mg (9%)
- Phosphorous: 5.9 mg (1%)
- Magnesium: 16.0 mg (4%)
- Potassium: 44.7 mg (1%)
- Manganese: 0.3 mg (13%)
- Phytosterols: 1.3 mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 3 g (1%)
- Dietary Fiber: 2 g (8%)
The plant contains mucins, tannins, phenols, resins and essential oils. The main constituents of the essential oil are:
The herb has great astringent and antiseptic properties that can be helpful in the treatment of various body disorders. It has also carminative, aphrodisiac, antifungal, and expectorant property. Due to these properties, the herb is used for the treatment of diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, asthma, colic, sore throat, and other digestive disorders.
What are the Health Benefits of Summer Savory?
- The leaves of the herbs contain chemical constituents such as carvacrol or thymol. The phenolic compound i.e. Carvacrol is an antibacterial compound, which fights against the various bacterial strains such as E.coli and Bacillus cereus. On the other hand, thymol shows both antiseptic and antifungal properties, which protect our body from various fungal infections. Due to antibacterial property of carvacrol, it has been used as additive and preservative in many food items. Along with this it also gives a tangy taste to the food.
- Summer savory leaves and tender shoot contains high-quality chemical compounds which have been shown the great antioxidant property, due to which reduces the oxidative damage in the body. These are also helpful for eliminating the high amount of bad cholesterol from the body such as LDL while increasing the good cholesterol HDL level.
- The essential oil of the Summer savory has a great anti-inflammatory property which soothes your joint pain by reducing the inflammation from the joints in arthritis patient. It also reduces the swelling and tenderness in the muscles.
- Summer savory is rich in tannins, Linalool, 1-borneol, cymol and carvacrol. Due to these active chemical constituents the herb is beneficial for treating intestinal disorder including indigestion, cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea and loss of appetite. The juice and tea of Summer savory leaves are very effective during digestion related issues.
- Due to its aphrodisiac property, the herb is used as a tonic to increase the libido. The aphrodisiac compounds are different from the compounds that address fertility issues and erectile dysfunction.
- The herb is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, B1, B3, B6 potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium. Potassium is one of important mineral which helps controlling abnormal heartbeat and blood pressure. Iron required for the formation of Red blood cells and Manganese act as a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes.
- Vitamin A in Summer savory leaves helps to maintain the healthy mucosa and skin and is also beneficial for good eyesight.
- The tea of Summer savory leaves can be used to treat internal health problems and also protect your body from uterine contraction, urine retention, and colic. The antiseptic property of the herb help in better kidney and liver functioning.
- Rubbing the leaves of Summer savory is known to ease the pain of a bee and wasp bite. It also reduces the inflammation in the skin.
- The herb is also beneficial to treat sore throat and skin infection and wounds.
What are the Side Effects of the Summer Savory?
- It might slow down the blood clotting process.
- Sometimes irritating to skin
- If you are pregnant and breastfeeding, stay on the safe side and avoid use with any prescription.