Winter savory Satureia hortensis is a perennial flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to warm temperate regions of southern Europe.
It is a semi-evergreen, semi-woody subshrub growing to 50 cm tall. The leaves are opposite, oval-lanceolate, 1-2 cm long and 5 mm broad. The flowers are white
The whole dried herb is used to produce the essential oil. There are two main species, the winter or garden savory (Montana), and the summer or mountain savory (hortensis).
The chemical composition and odour of the two savory oils are very similar, summer savory being somewhat harsher than winter.
A typical chemical composition of winter savory oil is reported as follows: carvacrol (60-75%), thymol 1(1.o-5.0%), p-cymene (10-20%), y-terpineol (2-10%), 1,8-cineole (3.8%), borneol (12.5%), a-terpineol (2.5%)
Winter savory is a dermal irritant and mucous membrane irritant. Should only be used with great care and not at all in pregnancy.
Traditionally the herb was used as a tea for digestive complaints, menstrual problems and respiratory conditions such as asthma, catarrh and sore throat. Applied externally the fresh leaves bring instant relief from insect bites, bee and wasp stings.
Methods of use: Apply externally
Cautions: Do not use in pregnancy – Do not use on sensitive skin.