Herbal Medicine Plant Savory



Botanical Name: Satureja hortensis  Family:  Lamiaceae

Summer Savory, is a popular culinary herb used around the world, often used by Europeans in bean dishes to prevent gas. Summer savory tea was traditionally used in Europe as a medicine for expelling tough phlegm from the chest and lungs, and also for quickening dull spirits in lethargy (through nasal inhalation of the aromatic juice). Savory can also be used against digestive disorders including colic, diarrhea, flatulence and dyspepsia.


Savory is valued for its aromatic oil similar to other mint family plants including marjoram, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, peppermint, spearmint, pennyroyal and lavender. Satureja hortensis L. is used in the traditional medicine of Iran for treating stomach and intestinal disorders. The antispasmodic activity of S. hortensis essential oil (SHEO) was assessed on contractions of isolated ileum from rats and

Summer savory leaf tea; Alcohol and aqueous extracts of summer savory- compared with the effect of atropine and dicyclomine. This study found that SHEO is a relaxant or antispasmodic and inhibited castor oil induced diarrhea in mice. As the inhibition of contractile over-activity of the ileum is the basis of treatment of several different gastrointestinal disorders including colic, SHEO can be recommended for the treatment of these conditions. In European folk tradition, summer savory leaf tea was also used as an antispasmodic for treating menstrual disorders and cramps and had a reputation as being an aphrodisiac. Summer savory contains several strong antimicrobial compounds against viral, bacterial, fungal and yeast infections and can be used both internally against infections as well as externally on wounds, bites and stings. The aqueous extract of closely related Satureja montana has documented potent anti-HIV-1 activity and Satureja boliviana has antiviral activity against both herpes simplex type I (HSV-1) and stomatitis virus (VSV). A monoterpene found in summer savory oil called geraniol also has tremendous activity for inhibiting abnormal growths.

Beneficial Uses:

Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiseptic (externally), Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Aphrodisiac, Breathing Disorders, Bronchitis, Cough, Cold, Colic, Cramps (Digestive), Diarrhea, Digestive Disorders, Dyspepsia, Ear Drops, Expectorant, Eye Wash, Flatulence, Gastrointestinal Disorders,  Insect Stings and Bites, Intestinal Antiseptic, Lethargy, Menstrual Disorders, Nervous Disorders, Poultice, Stomachaches

Suggested Amount:

Based on Culpeper's Color Herbal (1983), the famous European herbalist-physician of the seventeenth century, Nicholas Culpeper, recommends that summer savory be taken as a tea with the recommended dosage of a cold or moderately hot cup of tea taken three to five times a day or as required. The infusion of coarsely cut or powdered, dried tops is made using 1oz (28g) of herb material to 1 pint of boiling water (ca. 568 ml). The boiling water is poured over the herb material and extracted for 10 minutes. For poultices and washes, a 5% infusion is recommended.



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