Winter savory is an herb. The leaves and stems are commonly used to make medicine. Savory is a carminative herb recommend for gas and digestive upsets, including colic, diarrhoea and indigestion. Its antiseptic and astringent properties make it a good treatment for sore throats. A poultice of the leaves gives quick relief to insect bites. Botanically, this annual herb belongs within the mint family of Lamiaceae, and known scientifically as Satureja hortensis it grows in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. Savory is often used as a spice and to flavour legumes such as beans as well as pork and beef dishes. It can also be used to season salads, pasta, broths, mayonnaise, various sauces and sandwiches.
Savory herb is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Its leaves and tender shoots are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
This herb also contains dietary fiber which is useful in controlling and maintaining cholesterol levels. The dietary fiber helps to reduce bad cholesterol and helps to increase good cholesterol levels. Savory can also be used to treat influenza (flu). The herb should be mixed with others teas such as chamomile if it is being used for this purpose. Tea brewed with savory can be used to treat internal health problems. It can treat urine retention, gastric disorders, cough, headache, colic and uterine contraction. Rubbing a branch of summer savory is known to ease the pain of a wasp or a bee bite. The reason for this is that summer savory contains oil named carvacrol, which is known to be antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial.
Savory herb is useful for all ailments but before using this herb, contact a health care provider especially if pregnant or breast-feeding.