Savory – Winter and Summer

Use either of these herbs to relieve eye-strain, Summer Savory for the respiratory system and Winter Savory for the digestive system.

Savory is such an under-rated herb, it is easy to grow and useful in the kitchen and medicine box and, as it is antiseptic, is a good herb to add to household cleaners. There are approximately 40 species of Savory, but the two used as herbs are Winter Savory (S.montana) and Summer Savory (S.hortensis)

Winter savory herbWinter Savory is a small perennial herb, growing up to 0.3m high. It has small, thin, dark green, shiny leaves and white or pink flowers borne along the branches. It is so neat and compact, it is perfect as an edging plant in a flower border
Winter Savory can be used in any recipe that calls for thyme or rosemary, and has a sweeter, almost aniseed type of taste. I love it with green beans, caramelised carrots, and vegetable stews, and it makes an excellent liqueur.





Summer savorySummer Savory is an annual and has a very untidy growth. It can grow up to 0.5m high but does not have strong stems so tends to fall over. I try and keep it short by regularly cutting the top stems and keeping it to about 30cm high. The flavour of Summer Savory is not as strong as the Winter version which makes it ideal for cheese, egg, fish and summer vegetables. I’ve also used it in salad dressings, but the leaves are a bit chewy so keep the leaves on the stem so it is easy to remove.

For many years Winter Savory was considered an aphrodisiac and was taken in wine as a physical and psychological stimulant. These claims have been shown to be merely a myth, but Winter Savory is still added to certain liqueurs for its taste.


Both grow very easily and need little care. Winter Savory grows from stem or root cuttings and Summer Savory from seed. Both need a well-drained soil and full sun. Regular harvesting will ensure a good shape to the plants. Winter Savory makes a good edging plant. Both are good companions for beans and onions.

Both plants are good for eyestrain. Make a strong infusion and use as a compress for at least 15 minutes, twice a day. More if required.
Winter Savory – Take as a tea for indigestion, flatulence and urinary tract infections.
Summer Savory – Take as a tea for asthma, coughs and respiratory infections.

Winter Savory: Use in place of Thyme or Rosemary, especially good with winter vegetables, meat and strong tasting fish. Winter Savory is a traditional flavouring for salami.
Summer Savory: Milder in taste add to chicken, vegetables and white fish dishes.
Both can be used as a salt substitute.

Savory is an antiseptic herb so it can be used as a disinfectant around the house.

Body & Bath
Add to the bath to soothe skin irritations. Include in preparations for acne. Use in eye creams.

Winter Savory (Satureja montana)
Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis)

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