Savory, Summer Essential Oil

Type of plant: A hardy annual herb growing to 1 foot high with a central stem off which extend 10 or so branches bearing long, slim leaves, at the axis of which are small pinkish-white flowers and small brown fruits

Part used: Leaves and flowering tops

Method of extraction: Steam distillation

Data: The word savory is said to derive from the Latin satyrus, meaning “satyr,” a mythological part-human creature notorious for lasciviousness. In other words, savory is an aphrodisiac. It was not only for this use that the Mediterranean herb savory was listed in all pharmacopeias since Roman times, as it is a versatile and useful medicinal herb as well as a culinary and perfumery ingredient.

Principal places of production: Hungary, Spain, France, United States

When buying look for: Pale-yellow to pale-orange-tinged oil with a fresh, slightly spicy, medicinal, herbaceous aroma. Not to be confused with winter savory (Satureja montana).

Therapeutic properties: Anthelmintic, antifungal, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, astringent, carminative

Therapeutic uses: Bronchial infection, catarrh, bronchitis, influenza, respiratory viral infection, muscular aches and pains, fungal infection, insect bites

Blends well with: Basil linalol, basil tulsi, bergamot, carrot seed, chamomile german, eucalyptus radiata, ho wood, lavandin, lavender, lemon, niaouli, oregano, palmarosa, spearmint, thyme linalol, turmeric, valerian, yarrow

Precautionary advice: Can cause skin irritation; a skin patch test is advisable. Avoid during pregnancy and while breast-feeding. Best avoided if using multiple medications. GRAS status.