There are other savory herbs but these two, summer and winter savory are the two best known and most commonly used in cooking. The Romans believed that savory belonged to the Satyrs of the woods and forests and so called it Satureia. Summer savory is Satureia hortensis and the winter variety is Satureia montana. They are native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. They are good to grow near beehives as they say savory honey is delicious. The summer savory tastes a little like marjoram while the winter savory has a strong peppery taste, and has been described as being like a cross between thyme and mint.

winter savory
Culpepper believed that summer savory was best for drying and making conserves and syrups with. He recommended that people should keep it dried all year round “if you love yourself and your ease.” He suggested that dropping the juice in eyes would remove “dimness”. He also suggested heating the juice “with oil of Roses and dropped in the ears removes noise and singing and deafness.” These claims may be far-fetched, but if you get stung by a bee or wasp, rub savory leaves on it to get instant relief.

Summer savory
Summer savory is carminative and warming, and has been used in folk medicine to relieve colic and flatulence. In modern folk medicine it is used generally to benefit the digestive system. A tisane made with ¼ cup of leaves to 1 cup of boiling water is good as a cough remedy and expectorant. Allow the leaves to steep in the water for 5 mins, strain and drink. It may be flavoured with honey and is given to diabetics who have an excessive thirst.

Use summer savory when boiling broad beans and peas. It’s also good in a soup made from dried green peas. You can also use it as a garnish and in salads.

Winter savory (Satureia montana) has been grown in the UK since 1562 and recipes from these times suggest using it in a dressing for trout. The Romans used it in vinegar as a condiment. Culpepper thought it was good for colic. It has antiseptic properties and can be used as a tonic and expectorant as in the tisane above. It is also good as an antiseptic gargle for sore throats. The Romans believed that savory was an aphrodisiac and subsequently so did others because it was named after satyrs, the mythical half men and half goats.

Winter savory is good added to soups made from dried beans and lentils; it is also used in making salami.

The oil obtained from both types of savory contains thymol and carvacrol. Thymol has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties and carvacrol inhibits the growth of bacteria, protecting from diseases such as E.coli which can be caused by contaminated foodstuff. Savory is also rich in minerals and trace elements, containing as it does:-potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium. It is also rich in vitamins, A, C and the B-complex group. It helps lower cholesterol levels and can be used both as a diuretic and a remedy for stomach problems, helping to stop diarrhoea and as a mild laxative.


Equal amounts of dried:-savory, basil, marjoram, parsley and chervil.

Fresh:- 6 sprigs winter savory (8 of Summer), 1 tbsp chopped basil leaves, the same of parsley,2 tsps chervil leaves chopped and 1 tsp chopped marjoram leaves.


Dried:-1/2 tsp dried summer savory, or 1 tsp winter savory, 1 and a1/2 tsps basil, sage and rosemary.

Fresh:- 8 sprigs summer savory (6 of summer), 1 tbsp basil leaves, chopped, the same of sage and two sprigs of rosemary.

Use these mixtures in any meat dish in these quantities. You can make more of the dried mixes and keep them, labeling each jar for pork or beef.

These have Taste and are a Treat.


  1. Thanks for the great info, also for the recipes thats very helpful. You can be sure that I will try the recipes. THANKS

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