Herb: Chervil

Latin name: Anthriscus cerefolium

Synonyms: Anthriscus cereifolium, Anthriscus longirostris, Chaerophyllum sativum, Scandix cerefolium

Family: Umbelliferae

Medicinal use of Chervil:

Chervil is not widely used as a medicinal herb, though it is sometimes employed as a "spring tonic" for cleansing the liver and kidneys, is a good remedy for settling the digestion and is said to be of value in treating poor memory and mental depression. The fresh plant, harvested just before flowering, is digestive, diuretic, expectorant, poultice and stimulant. The juice is used in the treatment of dropsy, arthritis and chronic skin ailments. The bruised leaves are used as a poultice for slow-healing wounds and a warm poultice is applied to painful joints. An infusion of the fresh leaves is also used as an eyewash to treat sore or inflamed eyes.

Description of the plant:


45 cm
(1 foot)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Hedgebanks, roadsides and waste places.

Edible parts of Chervil:

Edible leaves - raw in salads or used as a flavouring in cooked foods such as soups and stews. A mild aromatic flavour that is suggestive of aniseed. The leaves are often used as a flavouring, they form the basis of the seasoning "fines herbes" and are an essential ingredient of "bouquet garni". The leaves should always be used fresh because the delicate flavour does not withstand drying or prolonged cooking. The leaves are ready for harvesting in about 8 weeks from sowing, the plant responds well to cut and come again harvesting. The flowers are used as a seasoning. The root is said to be edible.

Other uses of the herb:

The growing plant is said to repel slugs.

Propagation of Chervil:

Seed - sow in situ in succession from February to October. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 weeks. The February, September and October sowings should be made in a very sheltered warm and sunny position outdoors or under some protection such as a frame. Other sowings can be made in a position that has at least some shade from the midday sun since the plant runs to seed quickly if it gets too hot or the soil is dry. The seed only remains viable for about a year.

Cultivation of the herb:

Hedgebanks, roadsides and waste places.

Known hazards of Anthriscus cerefolium:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.