Sunday, February 7, 2010

Easy Medicinal Herbs - Chervil



I have to admit that before doing this post, I knew very little about chervil except as a culinary herb. I was aware that it had some medicinal properties but I had not realized to what extent. That's one of the reasons I love doing these series; I'm getting an education right along with you as I research my facts.

Chervil, anthriscus cerefolium, is usually thought of as one of those fine herbs used in French cooking. It's in the parsley family and can be used the same way, although it has a mild licorice aroma.

Chervil is an annual and grows best with seed planting; it does not transplant well. It prefers a rich, moist soil, but with good drainage. Partial shade is just fine for this feathery plant, which is why it works so well as a container plant indoors.  Harvest the leaves of chervil often or it "bolts" which is the term used when a plant suddenly decides to stop producing.  As long as you cut leaves regularly, it will do just fine. Chervil will grow to 24 inches tall and 12 inches wide; therfore not taking up too much space in your garden.

As far as the medicinal uses, I am very surprised at what I found.
Chervil is a mild diruetic so was often used as a spring tonic, flushing out the liver and kidneys.

It's said to cure hiccups when infused with vinegar, and aid in digestion.

Try chewing on a leaf as you would parsley for a breath freshener.

As a skin cleanser or to cure acne, make a tissane, let cool, and splash on the skin. And ladies, chervil also helps with those wrinkles that we all like to hide.

Place a warm poultice made from the bruised leaves in hot water on your aching joints and watch that arthritis pain disappear.

Chervil is also said to aid in poor memory and depression, as well as being an expectorant to help with a stubborn cough.

How's that for an all-around herb? I have to admit to being quite impressed with chervil!





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2 comments:

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

This was informative to me as well, because I only know chervil as a herb too. It tends to self seed around here, so I don't plant it because I don't use that much of it. But if it helps with poor memory and depression, I'd best plant an acre of it!

Bangchik said...

I does look a little bit like parsley. Most herbs have medicinal value, those handed down by elders are authentic even when science has not come up to a suitable test to prove it... ~bangchik