Herb: Thyme-Leaved Savory


Latin name: Satureja thymbra


Synonyms: Satureia thymbra


Family: Labiatae



Medicinal use of Thyme-Leaved Savory:

The leaves are antibacterial, aromatic, digestive, expectorant and tonic. They are used internally to treat minor digestive discomfort and bronchial congestion. The leaves are harvested during the growing season and can be used fresh or dried.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Shrub


Height:
40 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
May to
June


Scent:
Scented
Shrub

Habitat of the herb:

Sunny positions on dry rocky hills.

Edible parts of Thyme-Leaved Savory:

The leaves have a thyme-like flavour and are used as a seasoning for pulses, savoury breads, brine-cured olives, vegetables etc. The leaves and young shoots are used as a tea substitute. It is said that this make one of the best-tasting of all herb teas.

Other uses of the herb:

A strong infusion of the herb is used in the autumn to clean wine barrels in preparation for the new vintage. An essential oil is obtained from the plant, it contains 19% thymol and is also rich in carvacrol. It is used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Propagation of Thyme-Leaved Savory:

Seed - surface sow in April in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination can be slow and erratic but usually takes place within a month. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. It is usually possible to plant out into their permanent positions during the summer, but if the plants have not grown sufficiently, or if you live in an area of cold winters, it might be best to grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm taken at a node, July/August in a frame. Pot up in autumn and overwinter in a frame, planting out in late spring or early summer of the following year. A high percentage usually succeed. Cuttings of young wood, preferably with a heel, April/May in a frame. Plant out in the summer if the plants grow well, otherwise overwinter them in a cold frame and plant out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Division in early spring as growth commences. This works best if soil has been mounded up into the bottom 20cm of the plant early in the previous summer. Pot up the divisions and grow them on in a cold frame until they are established. Plant them out in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Sunny positions on dry rocky hills.

Known hazards of Satureja thymbra:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.