Herbal medicine

Sanguisorba officinalis syn. Poterium officinalis. Parts used: leaves, roots. Greater burnet has a very long tradition of use in Western and Chinese medicine. The plant is astringent due to the presence of some unusual tanins, together with gums and glycosides. It is used externally in treating minor burns and scalds, sores and skin infections, and to staunch bleeding. j

Salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor)

Salad burnet (S. minor], a dainty, hardy, evergreen perennial to 1.5 ft. (45 cm), forms a low basal rosette of pinnate leaves with many paired, toothed, oval leaflets. Borne on tall, slender stalks, the tiny green, wind-pollinated flowers with deep red anthers are borne in dense globose heads.

Salad burnet's close relative, greater burnet (S. officinalis syn. Poterium officinalis), is similar to salad burnet in form but larger in all respects. The tiny, deep red flowers are borne in dense club-shaped spikes to 3.5 ft. (1 m).

• Position These plants prefer full sun to partial shade, and a well-drained, moist, slightly acid to alkaline soil that contains compost.

* Propagation Propagate both species by sowing seed in either spring or autumn. P|ants that are allowed to flower will self-*ed, producing particularly healthy plants.

Herb cocktail

The cucumber taste of salad burnet makes It an excellent accompaniment to alcoholic drinks; according to the Elizabethan herbal writer Gerard, the plants "make ihe heart merry and glad." Eor a refreshing cocktail, bruise 6 sprays of salad burnet with a rolling pin or with a mortar and pestle, then place in a large pitcher containing 3 cups (7f>0 mil sweet while wine. 2 cups 1500 ml) sherry and 1 thinly sliced lemon. Mix well: allow to infuse for at least 2 hours. Sweeten to taste. Add 4 cups (1 liter) of club soda and serve over crushed ice.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried root is also sometimes applied internally for the treatment of bleeding hemorrhoids.

Salad burnet is an ingredient in several sauces, including ravigote, which is used in French cooking and goes well with cold roast chicken or seafood. Add young leaves of salad burnet to salads, chilled summer soups and to soft cheeses. Also use as a garnish or infused in vinegar. This herb does not dry well, but the leaves can be frozen in

Ice-cube trays.

Ice-cube trays.


Saturejo sp. Lamiaceae

Saturcja is reputed to have been the source of the mythical satyrs' enormous sexual stamina. Species such as summer savory and winter savory are mainly used to flavor food, while yerba buena and Jamaican mini bush are largely used medicinally.

Part used Leaves

Summer savory (S. hortensis), an annual growing to 1.5 ft. (45 cm), has slender dark green leaves, pink flowers and an aroma of thyme and oregano. Winter savory (5. montono) is a perennial subshrub with dark green, narrow-leafed foliage and white flowers. Creeping savory (S. montana subsp. montono var. prostata) is semi-prostrate, very ornamental and resembles white heather when in flower.

Lemon or African savory (S. biflora syn. Micromeria biflora) is an excellent culinary perennial herb with creeping branches, attractive mauve flowers and bright green, fine leaves that are strongly lemon- and oregano-scented.

Thyme-leafed savory or za'atar rumi or savory of Crete or pink savory (S. thymbra) is a low-growing, stiffly branched perennial with whorls of small grayish leaves that have an intense oregano and thyme fragrance. Yerba buena (S. douglosii) is a perennial herb

Winter savory [Soturejo montono) can be used for similar culinary purposes as summer savory.

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with trailing branches of fragrant round leaves. Jamaican mint bush (S. viminea) is an intensely mint-scented plant with small, oval, glossy bright green foliage.

• Position Except for yerba buena, which grows well in a hanging basket out of direct sunlight, all species should be grown in full sun in well-drained neutral to alkaline soil. In cold areas, give plants winter protection.

• Propagation All species can be propagated by seed sown shallowly in spring. Perennial species are also propagated by cuttings in spring and early autumn.

• Maintenance Plants should be regularly weeded.

• Pests and diseases No significant pest or disease problems.

• Harvesting and storing You can cut down whole plants of S. hortensis before flowering and dry them. Harvest the leaves of other species fresh as required, and dry or freeze them in sealed containers.

Both summer and winter savory have a similar aroma - fragrant, with a hint of thyme, and a peppery, distinctive taste, although the flavor of summer savory is stronger. The flavor is better before the plant flowers. Savory retains its flavor when dried; in this form it is preferred for cooking.

Savory goes well with lentils and peas, slow-cooked soups, stews, meatloaf and egg dishes. Use it in coatings for delicate meats, such as veal, and for fish. Add to sauces, pâtés and homemade sausages. It is a key herb in herbes de Provence (see below). Use summer savory in marinades, especially for olives. In Croatian cooking, a lemon-scented strain of savory is used with fish and seafood.

llerbcs de Provence

Use this classic herb mix to season vegetables, chicken and red meal.

4 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves 3 tablespoons dried sweet marjoram leaves

2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves

3 tablespoons dried savory leaves

2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves

1 Combine the dried herbs. Place in an airtight jar.

2 Store in a cool, dark place for up to 4 months. If using the mix with fish, add a pinch of fennel seeds.

Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

Parts used Leaves, roots, flowers

Pelargonium hybrid, 'Gooseberry'

Scented geranium

Pelargonium sp. Geraniaceae

Scented geraniums are the great mimics of the plant world. At the slightest touch Ihey release intense true-to-name fragrances, from lemon sherbet and ripe apples to peppermint and red roses, making watering a collection a blissful experience.

The seed head somewhat resembles that of a stork's head.

Other rose-scented species distilled for oil are P. capitotum and its variety 'Attar of Roses,' together with P. radens. The oil is valued in aromatherapy, and is used in massage oils to relieve tension and soothe the symptoms of dermatitis and eczema. Antifungal and antibacterial in activity, the oil is currently used in the United States as a tick repellent for dogs, and is considered both mosquito- and lice-repellent. The oil of apple geranium [P. odoratissimum) is astringent and antiseptic, and repels insects.

Hybridization led to a proliferation of varieties, and scented geraniums became great favorites with 19th-century gardeners, particularly as they proved adaptable to cultivation in greenhouses and on sunny kitchen windowsills during the winter months. They are fashionable once again, but fewer than 100 varieties have survived.

Those suited to cultivation in pots include the following plants:

• 'Nutmeg' and its variegated form, together with 'Old Spice,' 'Apple Cider' syn. 'Cody' and Tutti Frutti' (all derived from P. x fragrans)

• P. nervosum 'Lime' and its hybrid 'Ginger' syn. 'Toronto'

• varieties of P crispum such as 'Fingerbowl,' 'Prince Rupert' and 'French Lace' (all with an intense lemon fragrance)

• cream-variegated P. x asperum 'Lady Plymouth'

Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

• carrot-scented 'Scarlet Pet' syn. 'Moore's Victory'

• hazelnut-scented P. x concolor 'Concolor Lace' and 'Strawberry' syn. 'Countess of Scarborough'

• Px scarboroviae 'Gooseberry' (lemon-, clove- and mint-scented)

Plants better suited to large pots or garden beds include these pelargoniums:

• the darkly handsome, velvety-leafed, semi-prostrate P. tomentosum 'Peppermint' and its hybrid 'Dark Lady'

• white-speckled 'Snowflake'

• P x capitatum 'Dr Livingstone' syn. 'Skeleton Rose'

Parts used Leaves, roots, flowers

Pelargonium hybrid, 'Gooseberry'

Continue reading here: Pretty Polly Scented Geranium Culinary

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