Digging Deeper: Winter Savory

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Winter Savory
(Satureja Montana)

Winter Savory, also known as Mountain Savory, is often used interchangeably with Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis).

Both plants are members of the mint family that have been prized throughout the centuries as potent sex medicines.

Summer Savory is an annual, and Winter Savory is a perennial. Both plants are low growing, making excellent ground covers and short hedges, though Winter Savory is less picky about its growing conditions.

History and folklore

Summer savory is native to the Mediterranean basin of southern Europe, and winter savory, as its species name, montana, implies, to the mountains of southern Europe and North Africa. Savory, along with chervil, coriander, dill, garlic, and parsley, was on the emperor Charlemagne’s list of seventy-eight tasty herbs to be grown in his royal gardens in a.d. 812.

The Romans used winter savory as we use pepper today, and it is said that they introduced the herb to England. Medieval walled gardens held savory, hyssop, and parsley in company with beans, onions, leeks, and garlic; the herbs must have gone a long way to punch up the monotonous, plain, starch-filled diet of the poor as well as lend a robust tang to the meatier diet of the rich. Savory also grew in herb “gardens of delight” kept by the leisured rich, and it was used in sweet syrups and conserves to soothe the throat. Several sixteenth- and seventeenth-century garden writers suggest savory as a component of a fragrant garden.

Artwork from Gohannes Yoss entitled “Gallia of the Endless Dance” (Wizards of the Coast)

In garden folklore of the Middle Ages, a garland fashioned of savory leaves and flowers was worn as a crown or cap to revive the wearer from drowsiness. The satyrs of Greek mythology—lascivious woodland deities with the horns, ears, and legs of a goat—also were depicted wearing crowns of savory. Because of this, savory’s generic name, Satureja, has been linked with the word “satyr”, but apparently it is actually derived from the Latin satur, meaning “full” or “satiated”. Both savories were believed to affect the sex drive, but in opposite ways: winter savory was thought to decrease it, summer savory, to increase it. Which kind do you suppose the satyrs wore?

Read more at https://www.motherearthliving.com/cooking-methods/savoring-savories.

Perhaps because Winter Savory is the tougher of the two plants, it’s flavor is stronger and more pungent than it’s more subtle cousin. In culinary practices, Summer Savory would be good in a bread dipping oil , and Winter Savory would be better used in a long cooking application like stews and roasts. They also frequently partner with bean dishes due to their carminative nature.

Medicinally, the pattern continues as both plants contain similar properties, but Winter Savory has them in a much more potent manner.

Here is where I say that Winter Savory SHOULD NOT be prescribed to pregnant women.

Just like summer savory, winter savory possesses powerful carminative, antimucolytic, expectorant, digestif, and antiseptic properties, although it is more often than not infused instead of decocted, as its more powerful aroma is prized by herbalists.

It is most often employed in its fresh, rather than its dry state, as it has a tendency to mellow-out when dried, although ancient methods have suggested its employment in dried form. Regardless of however it is used, winter savory is believed to possess more potent medicinal properties than does summer savory. It shares a number of summer savory’s medicinal properties, and may be used in lieu of, or in tandem with summer savory to treat problems like colic, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and bronchial and nasal congestion. Strong infusions of winter savory can also be given as an emmenagogue, and, in earlier times, was even specifically brewed with other emmenagogue herbs or spices and employed as an abortifacient.

  • When applied topically, it can be used as a powerful antihistaminic, and, like summer savory, can help to treat insect stings and other types of inflammation.
  • It also possesses powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties, and, if allowed to infuse in oil, may be applied to the skin directly as a remedy for fungal and viral infections.
  • Concentrated macerations of the herb may be applied as a mild to moderately potent analgesic ointment for the relief of arthritis and rheumatism. 
  • Like summer savory, winter savory may also be applied topically to help relieve tremors and epileptic fits, although the latter is far more preferred than is the former.
  • Alternatively, one may also employ the extracted essential oil of winter savory to treat various topical fungal infections, especially Candida.
  • This essential oil, typically employed in its diluted form can also be used as a scalp tonic, and is generally applied for the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, and even mild to early cases of alopecia (balding).  
  • In stark contrast to summer savory’s purported aphrodisiac properties, winter savory was supposedly an anaphrodisiac. Infused or decocted, it was drunk, usually by ascetics and individuals who prescribe to ascetic practices in the belief that it dulls the senses and helps to deaden one’s sexual appetites. In spite of its having had a long-standing tradition as an anaphrodisiac, its effects may only act as a sort of placebo, in a similar manner to the purported aphrodisiac benefits of summer savory.

Nowadays, summer and winter savory are often used interchangeably in medicinal practices, although this is only common for inexpert herbalists, with more expert practitioners preferring to use each type distinctly for a specific purpose. It is more popular as a culinary herb than it is as a medicinal herb, and is usually thought of as ‘bean herbs’, literally, partners to bean-based dishes, in the long-held belief that it reduces flatulence purportedly caused by the overconsumption of beans – this being true due to both savory variants’ powerful carminative properties. 

Read more at http://www.herbs-info.com/savory.html.

Magically, the pattern seems to fracture, and although it is said that they can be used interchangeably, they can also produce very different results. Personally, I think the magic, medicine, history, and plant habits speak volumes to NOT using them interchangeably.

I was always taught to get to know my ingredients. Not just their flavor or growing habits, but their personalities. Winter savory has a tendency to inhibit the germination of nearby seeds, thereby lending credence to the suggested lowering of sexual desire.

Esoteric / Magickal Uses

Artwork by Moritz Stifter “Fest der Faune und Nymphen”

When used for magickal purposes, summer savory seems to be far more favoured by most magickal practitioners than winter savory, although both varieties being a type of savory nevertheless, they can (and have been) employed interchangeably. Both summer and winter savory are often used in sex-based fixing spells, or otherwise brewed into tisanes or decocted into potions and drunk as aphrodisiacs. It was initially associated with Satyrs, and later on, with the idyllic god Pan, by the Early Greeks and, afterwards, the Romans, further cementing its ‘lustful’ properties.  By the Middle Ages, its magickal uses somehow expanded, and the two savories took on polar opposite properties. Where summer savory was still employed as an aphrodisiac herb, winter savory became its counterpart in that it was drunk or consumed to elicit apathy when it comes to sexual matters.

Outside of the realm of magickal healing, summer and winter savory plays a very minor to almost non-existent role, although summer savory (and in rare cases, even winter savory) can be employed in the creation of talismans. It can be encased in medicine pouches or juju bags and carried on one’s person to help relieve negativity or ease all sorts of physical ailments, while at the same time supposedly assisting with concentration and memory enhancement. With this in mind, it may be employed ritualistically as a cleansing, empowering, or mild banishing incense, although traditional corroboration does not support this application.

Read more at http://www.herbs-info.com/savory.html.

Now, without condemning or condoning anyone’s culinary, medicinal, or magical choices, I should point out that essential oils can often replace fresh or dried plant matter in such applications.

I am definitely not suggesting it as an ingredient to a retributory spell for unsolicited dick pics. Seriously, it’ll smudge your phone. Use dried plant matter only in that instance.

On that note, I introduce you to Mountain Savory Vitality Oil.

The mountain savory plant has been used as a culinary herb for centuries and has a strong flavor that is reminiscent of oregano. This perennial herb is native to warm, temperate regions of southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Mountain Savory Vitality™ essential oil is steam distilled from the flowering plant.

It can be a welcome addition to both your pantry and your daily essential oil dietary supplementation. Mountain Savory Vitality oil has many health benefits, including immune support, cleansing properties, and delivering powerful antioxidants.

Mountain Savory Vitality Essential Oil Uses:

  • Add it to meats, beans, or stuffing to impart a spicy, herbaceous flavor.
  • Dilute 1 drop with 4 drops of V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex and take as a dietary supplement to support overall wellness.
  • For a great start to your morning, add a drop of Mountain Savory Vitality to hot tea, then sweeten to taste with Blue Agave or Slique® Essence™.
  • Add 1–2 drops to water in the morning to enjoy its cleansing benefits.

Mountain Savory has been used historically as a general tonic for the body.

Medical Properties: Strong antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, immune stimulant, anti-inflammatory action

Uses: Viral infections (herpes, HIV, etc.), scoliosis / lumbago / back problems

Fragrant Influence: Revitalizes and stimulates the nervous system. It is a powerful energizer and motivator.

Aromatic: Diffuse up to 10 minutes 3 times daily or directly inhale.
Topical: Dilute 1 drop essential oil with 1 drop V-6 or other pure carrier oil and apply on location, chakras, and/or Vita Flex points.
Dietary: Dilute 1 drop with 4 drops of carrier oil. Put in a capsule and take 1 daily as needed.

Excerpted from The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 7th Edition, pages 113-114

Thank you for digging deeper into Mountain Savory with me. I am very passionate about herbs, oils, and the education of their uses.

Please remember that essential oils are very concentrated products and should never be ingested unless specifically labeled for such use.

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This month only (August 2020) receive a free 5ml bottle of Mountain Savory Vitality with any order of 250PV!!!

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I just can’t get enough of this image. It looks like such a great celebration!

Finally, the obligatory disclaimer.

I am not a doctor. None of the statements included in this post have been approved by the FDA or any other cool acronym known agency. It is Young Living’s official stance that they and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific disease or illness. Young Living Independent Distributor #14632733

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