Summer Savory: Benefits, Side effects and How to Make Savory Tea


    Savory is a plant which closes relative to thyme, lavender and sage (Lamiaceae plant family). Savory has a quite hot taste, like thyme, and a bit acrid, and have abundant of mineral and vitamins. This herb is a good source of iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Savory also contains lots of volatile-oil phenols like Carvacrol, Thymol, Cymene and Pinene.  These oils give savory exceptional antiseptic properties. For that reason, savory can protect you from intestinal and lung infections, as well as renal infections. 


    There are two main types of savory: summer savory and winter savory. But the summer savory has a sweeter flavor than winter savory and often used for cooking. Savory can be used as a seasoning for chicken, fish and meat. Fresh savory makes a great garnish for salads. It can be added to many different types of soups and sauces. Savory can maintain their flavor and aroma when dried. You can dry savory by cutting and keeping it in the cool, dry and drafty place for winter using. But remember that savory leaves harvested before the plants flower will have the best flavor. 


7 HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAVORY


    Savory was used widely to aid digestion and diarrhea in the past. Nowadays, it is used to treat mouth sores, cold stomach, parasites of the intestines and other common illness. In this post I would like to sketch 7 main health benefits of savory and how to use it as herbal tea.

1. Natural Antiseptic Herb

    The savory leaves contain volatile-oil phenols that make it an exceptional natural antiseptic. Savory oil contains 30 – 45 per cent carvacrol, 20 – 30 percent Thymol, and Cineol, Cymene and Pinene. Studies have shown that Carvacrol may have the potential to inhibit and fight certain bacterial such e.g. E. coli and Bacillus. Carvacrol oil is used as antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Additionally, Thymol oil in savory holds antiseptic, anti fungal and antibacterial qualities.  This makes savory tea excellent for general health and assist in preventing infections in the body.
    Moreover, savory’s volatile oils are useful in aiding respiratory health. In recent studies scientists have suggested using this oil to reduce sinus infections.

2. Rich sources of Vitamin, Mineral and Fiber

    The leaves of the savory plant are rich in mineral e.g. potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. This plant also contains many vital vitamins such as vitamin C, B-complex, and vitamin A. Savory also has a high source of fiber too. The fiber in savory leaf and shoot can help to lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol levels in the body. The rich sources of mineral, vitamins and fiber in savory can help and strengthen your total health.

3. Immune System Support

    The rich sources of vitamin in savory are able to ensuring good health and improving our immune system. Savory might help and protect your body against common illnesses and infections. Furthermore, the antiseptic qualities of savory offer protection against intestinal infections and parasites. Savory’s  powerful antiseptic action can improve liver and kidney functions too. Savory can reduce a headache and helps to regulate the GABA levels in the brain to handle the stress.

4. Home remedies for cold and flu

    Savory can be used as a tea during the cold and flu season. This herbal tea can reduce the chance of catching a cold or flu. The soothing oils in savory can reduce the cold and flu, sooth sore scratchy throat and cough. You can also mix savory with chamomile, mint leaf and black currant to strengthen the fighting cold and flu power. Mixture between black currant and savory can help you to sooth convulsive cough.

5. Support Digestion

    Savory tea used to relieve digestive upset, flatulence, diarrhea, and support digestive tract. You can use savory as a tonic to help prevent and cure diarrhea. Since savory has a mild diuretic, it can treat conditions that affect the urinary track and even tuberculosis. Besides, drinking savory as a tea can help maintain a healthy liver, bladder and good internal health.

6. Natural anti inflammatory

        Savory can be used to treat abdominal pains, menstrual pains or abdominal cramps. You can infuse 200-250g of savory in3 hours for making herbal bath. Put the boiled savory in the bath water and take a regular bath for 15-20 minutes though.
Rheumatoid patients who suffer from high fevers can dab savory on the affected areas to cure the painful symptoms.

7. Nature remedies for stronger skin

    Savory alcohol can act a good disinfectant and can be used to treat skin infections and wounds. People with oily skin can use savory in facial steams and baths for stronger skin. You can infuse 20 gram of savory in 500ml of water for treating greasy complexions. Used the water in small amounts and applied to the skin for 15-20 minutes.

SIDE EFFECTS OF SAVORY

  • Normally Savory is safe to everybody when eating or drinking it as tea or using it oil. Remember that summer savory can cause skin problems. Do not use concentrated and undiluted savory oil direct to your skin, it can cause irritating. Always use savory oil by diluting it with water.
  • The Chinese traditional medicine advises not to exaggerate the consumption of savory. When using too much savory you can have fever or aggravate some cardiovascular afflictions.
  • Do not use summer savory while pregnant or nursing. As there are not so many researches about the use it summer savory during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Ask your doctor before using savory tea if you are in therapy or prescribed to any medications.

HOW TO MAKE SAVORY TEA?

    Tea brewed with savory can be used to treat internal health problems. It can treat urine retention, gastric disorders, cough, headache, colic and uterine contraction. Savory is quite hot and not good for using too much. I usually have only one cup of savory tea in morning for a day to boost up the body. If you drink it in day times, remember to drink savory tea before primary meal.

  •  2 fresh savory sprigs or half teaspoon of dried savory.

  •  Put savory in a cup and pour boiling water.

  •  Wait for 8-10 minutes before using it.

  •  Add honey or sugar to sweeten the drink. I prefer no sugar savory tea as sugar is not good to your health and skin.


MORE SAVORY’S RECIPES


    I also mix savory with mint leaf and Chamomile. All I have to do is putting all ingredients into a cup. Pour boiling water and wait for 8 minutes before serving. Brewing time of savory, mint leaves and chamomile all are 6-8 minutes.
  • Savory and mint leaf tea: mix 2 fresh savory sprigs (half teaspoon of dried savory) with half teaspoon of dried mint leaves. You can use savory and mint leaves drink to reduce the cough and cold. I have to say this drink does not look yummy but it is very tasty with strong flavor of savory and mint leaves. Besides, it might give you stronger skin with rich sources of menthol from mint leaves. Mint leaf can clear acne and healing your skin too.
  • Savory and chamomile tea: You can brew savory leaf with chamomile tea as natural sleep remedies. This drink can give you a deep sleeping. But you should drink this herbal tea in the evening or before going to bed. As chamomile can make you feel sleepy. It’s not wise to use this drink when driving or using any kind of machine. Besides, chamomile can interact with some medicine and have some side effect. You can check details about chamomile in Chamomile: Health benefits and Side Effect.  
    If you are looking for a small boost of vitamins and minerals in your diet, just have a cup of savory tea. The savory herb can promote your healthy living and supply you a lot of health benefits. And remember it’s safe only when you take it in reasonable proportions. Let me know your idea about this herbal plant. What’s your favorite ways of making savory tea? 


References: 


Chamomile tea: Health Benefits, Side Effects and Uses


Chamomile is a daisy-like flower, a member of the family Asteraceae. Chamomile tea is often used to fight fevers, colds, anxiety, insomnia, and anti-inflammatory. This herbal tea has palliative effects on the intestine, uterus, stomach’s muscles and support digestion. I like chamomile tea and wanted to know more about this healthy drink. But I surprised with what I found about this tea. The truth is chamomile tea is not safe to everyone. And the biggest surprised is there are few researches on the effectiveness of chamomile and whether it works or not in human. Most research’s evidence we have comes from animal studies, not studies with people. For this reason in this post I’d love to share with you what I found and learnt about benefits and side effects of chamomile tea.

Chamomile Tea Benefits

Home Remedy for Fevers and Cold

Chamomile tea is ideal for treating fevers, and colds. This tea can ease cold and flu’s symptoms by reducing fever, relieving headaches and mucus. You can combine chamomile tea with some honey to reduce sore throats. This combination can make you feel relax and breathe easier.  

Natural Anti-inflammatory tea

Chamomile tea is rich anti-inflammatory ingredients. The tea helps the body to heal the wounds and sooth inflammation. Animal studies have shown that chamomile reduces inflammation; speeds wound healing, reduce muscle spasms. But there are very few studies to see if the tea works as though in human. In another test tube, studies have shown that chamomile can kill bacteria, fungus, and viruses.

Herbal Remedy for Anxiety and Natural Sleep remedy

Chamomile is used to relieve restlessness, tension, anxiety, headache and insomnia for a long time ago. The tea can serve as a mild sedative to help with sleep and relaxes. You can find chamomile tea in the ingredient of almost sleeping herbal teas. But, so far there has been only one clinical trial using chamomile to treat anxiety in people. The scientists found that chamomile capsules can reduce anxiety in generalized anxiety disorder patients. In other animal studies, low dose of chamomile was proved to relieve anxiety, while higher dose helps you to sleep well. With me, I often have one cup of chamomile tea before sleeping for better and deeper sleep. 

Add Digestion

Chamomile tea can treat stomach cramps, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, diarrhea, gas, and colic. Chamomile tea helps to ease stomach and intestinal disturbances.This tea can relax muscle contractions, particularly in the smooth intestine’s muscle. You can combine the herb iberis, peppermint, and chamomile to make drink to relieve indigestion.

Chamomile Skin Benefits 

Chamomile is often used in a cream or ointment to soothe irritated skin. Chamomile compresses are touted for backache and treatment of the skin against dryness. Inhaling the vapors from a chamomile infusion it clears the bronchi and acts against acne of the face. Chamomile also can soothe eczema. In two studies in people found that a chamomile cream helped relieve symptoms of eczema.

Side Effects of Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is generally considered safe and nontoxic. But allergic reactions to chamomile are fairly common. Be careful when using chamomile tea if you have allergy to ragweed, purple cone flower, sunflowers, dandelions, marigolds, sagebrush or other members of the Asteraceae family. The chamomile allergy can lead to stomach cramps, itching, skin rashes and throat swelling. It also can cause serious problem with breathing, and even dead. Before using chamomile you should ask your physicians and read the instruction label carefully. Stop using chamomile tea when you got any allergic symptoms.

Using a small amount of chamomile tea can relieve nausea. But a large amounts of  highly concentrated chamomile tea may cause vomiting. And here are some notices you should consider before using chamomile tea.

Interact with blood medicines

Chamomile might increase the risk of bleeding when taking with blood-thinners medicines. These medicines include 
– Warfarin (Coumadin)
– Clopidogrel (Plavix) 
– Aspirin. 
Do not use chamomile tea with  other substances that possess anticoagulant action. As it can interfere with blood clotting.  Besides, taking chamomile tea with drugs for high blood pressure could cause blood pressure to drop too low.

Chamomile may also lower blood sugar too. People who have diabetes should take chamomile tea carefully. When using it with diabetes drugs, it could raise the risk of low blood sugar.

Stop drinking chamomile tea at least 2 weeks before having surgery or dental surgery.


Chamomile and women: Chamomile may act like estrogen in the women body. Ask doctor’s advice before using chamomile tea if woman has a history of hormone-sensitive cancers, breast or uterine cancer.

Pregnant women should avoid chamomile because of the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy. The tea can lead to early uterine contractions and miscarriage. During pregnancy women also should not use tincture or essential chamomile oil version. These products may increase the anticoagulant effects in pregnant women.

Chamomile and children: 

Chamomile tea is strongly not recommended to the newborns by both herbalist and physicians. Chamomile’s sedative effects may be too strong for a young baby because the risk of botulism poisoning.  

Children under 5 should not take more than half a cup of tea per day.

You should always ask your doctor before giving chamomile tea to children. Children might have serious and severe allergic reaction, breathing’s difficulty, skin hives, unconsciousness, etc.

Risks of drowsiness: You should avoid taking the tea if you are driving or operating machinery. Because the tea has mildly sedative and anti-anxiety properties and it may cause you drowsiness.  It is unwise to drive shortly after having a cup of chamomile tea.

Medication Interactions:  

Avoid taking Chamomile in conjunction with alcohol and sedative medications.  Our liver break chamomile down in the same way with other drugs. If we drink chamomile tea and drug in the same time they may interact each others. These drugs are: 
–  Fexofenadine (Seldane)
–  Statins (drugs that can lower cholesterol)
–  Birth control pills and some anti fungal drugs
–  And other blood medication drugs

How to use chamomile tea?

It is easy to make a cup of chamomile tea from a dried flower or tea bad. All you need is one tea bag or 1,5 gram – 3 gram of chamomile tea (about 1 -3 teaspoonful’s).
Then boiling water and pour 5 ounces (about one-half cup) of fresh boiling water over it. Wait 6-10 minutes for the tea is totally infused. I usually steep chamomile tea in 6 minutes for 1 teaspoon of Chamomile. Depend on your taste and amount of tea you can increase the steeping time. The longer the tea is steeped, the stronger flavor it will be.
Having two or three cups of chamomile tea a day is recommended for muscle relaxation and antispasmodic effects. When I have a cough, I will have 2 cups of chamomile tea before sleeping. The inflammation ingredients in chamomile tea can treat the cough well and fast. But remember not to drink too much more than 4 cups chamomile tea in the day because it can cause vomiting.
On the whole, I love drinking chamomile to relax and sleep easily. A cup of chamomile tea is a great home remedy for colds and flu, natural anti-inflammatory, and natural skin cares. But before using it you should notice some side effects of the Chamomile. Ask your doctors if you use medicine which might conflict with chamomile tea. Stop using it if you have any symptoms of allergic. And now it’s time to boil water and enjoy your time with a cup of chamomile tea.

References:

Cancer.org, ‘Chamomile’, Cancer.org ,

Leena Palande, ‘Chamomile tea side effects’, buzzle.com, December 5, 2011

Juniper Russo, ‘Chamomile safety and potential side effects’, suite101.com, Nov 4, 2013

ST. Luke’s hospital at the vintage, ‘Germanchamomile’, stukesvintage.adam.com, 17th March 2013

Mint Leaf Tea: Health Benefits and Side Effects


Mint leaves have been used as a digestive aid thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, Greek, and Romans. More recently Mint leaves, mint tea and menthol products like mint oil, mint capsule have been used as a folk remedy or food supplements for vomiting, respiratory infections, menstrual problems and natural remedy for insomnia. The power of Mint leaves come from it precious Mint leaves elements with 3% of Dietary fiber, 9% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 7% Iron, 2% Calcium, 2% Magnesium, 3% Folate, 1% Copper and 6% Manganese. Mint also has the great source of protein, Thiamin, and Niacin.

Mint is very good at curing dyspepsia, gasses, nausea, body aches and pain nervous, fatigue, tension and headaches, muscle soreness and pain, itching, sunburn, and clearing nasal congestion.  

What are the benefits of Mint leaf tea?

Nausea and headaches

A refreshing mint scent is a powerful medicine to treat nausea. Smell the aroma of mint oil or fresh mint leaves so nausea is reduced. Mint leaves also can reduce the vomiting of women at gestation periods and motion sickness.
The ancient Greek believed that mint could invigorate the mind and refresh the blood. Mint leaves can be used as a remedy for headaches when you applied topically by mint soothing effects.

Supporting Digestive system

Drinking herbal mint tea reduces irritated bowel syndromes, gallstone and cleanses the stomach. A teaspoon of honey in lukewarm fresh mint tea can check tummy aches/distension and stomach ulcers.

Respiratory disorders

The aroma of fresh mint is very effective relief of respiratory congestion by opening up the nose, throat, and lungs. Mint can also help to overcome a cough. The use of mint on a regular basis can help people with asthma by providing relaxation and helping to relieve breathing.

Natural remedy for insomnia

Mint leaves are also used as an old traditional way of natural cures for insomnia. According to the ehow website, we can brew¼ tsp. dried chamomile flower, ¼ tsp. dried peppermint dried leaves and ¼ tsp. dried strawberry leaf with 4 cups of boiling water in 20 minutes to cure insomnia. The mint leaves and chamomile are good for the respiratory system and also helps you to clear and calm your mind.

Clear the acne and improve skin problems

Mint has strong antiseptic qualities and menthol compresses were used in the past to cure inflammatory skin disease and herpes. Mint can be used to soothe and calm skin that’s itchy or infected and even use to heal bites from mosquitoes, wasps, and bees. Because Mint contains a high content of salicylic acid so it can act as antipruritic agent and prevent acne. The salicylic acid in mint leaves loosens up dead skin cells, allowing them to shed easier. Therefore clogged pores and you will have clear skin with fewer pimples. Besides Mint may strengthen skin tissues and help reduce oily skin with the high amount of Vitamin A (9%) in mint.

What are the side effects of Mint leaves?

Mint is considered safe when taken by non-allergic people in normal doses. But if you are sensitive to mint or its components you should stop using mint and avoiding mint in all forms to prevent recurrence. These are some allergic reactions to mint:

  • Skin hives and Eczema
  • Nasal Congestion and runny nose along with watering of eyes
  • Tingling around the mouth and lips and sudden numbness of area where the mint contacts the skin
  • Abdominal cramps and diarrhea
  • Headaches which can result in severe migraines
  • Clogging of the sinuses
Mint may increase symptoms of acid reflux disease and hiatal hernia; people with these conditions are advised to avoid the herb. People with gallstones or liver damage should also use caution when using Mint leaves.
When applied mint leaves or menthol product directly to the skin, it can cause irritation. Mint oil and menthol products should not be applied to the nose or face of an infant or small child since they could cause trouble breathing.
Acid-reducing medicines may allow enteric-coated mint to be released before it leaves the stomach, which may reduce its effect on an irritable bowel.
If you use Mint oil or any kind of menthol products, remember that they may interact with other medicines as well. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about all medicines and supplements that you are taking when buying menthol products.

How to use mint leaves and menthol products?

Mint leaves are best to pick during early morning hours in spring. If you need to dry it, first rinse it under cool, running water. Then place it in cool, dark place. To keep it fresh for 3-4 days, store it in the refrigerator. Mint or spearmint which is kept in sealed packages can maintain its aroma. Never buy it in bulk.

Common dosages are 1 to 2 capsules 3 times a day for irritable bowel syndrome; 1 tablespoon of leaves in a cup of boiling water for tea, 2 or 3 times a day; 3 to 4 drops in hot water for inhalation; 1% to 5% essential oil for nasal ointments; and 5% to 20% essential oil for other ointments applied to the skin.

References:
         Myrsini, Lambraki. ‘‘Herbs, Greens, Fruit: The key to the Mediterranean diet’, p. 37, 1999
         Nutrition data. ‘‘Nutrition facts: Spearmint, fresh(Mint)’’, Nutritiondata.self.com, 16 September 2013
         Ehow Contributor. ‘‘How to use peppermint to cure Insomnia?’’ ehow.com, 16 September 2013
         Aida, Duncan. ‘‘Improveskin with mint’’, Health.howstuffworks.com, 16 September 2013
 thot4food, ‘’Mint allergy’’, Ifood.tv, 11 July 2011,
         Cancer.org,‘‘Peppermint’’, cancer.org, 28 November 2008