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Savory (Satureja) is a versatile medicinal plant that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. With its numerous health-promoting properties and wide range of applications, it has a firm place in naturopathy. This article sheds light on its discovery, the various forms of use, dosages, healing effects, effects on the body, times of use, contraindications, complementary medicinal plants and dietary supplements as well as possible side effects.

Savory: the discovery

Savory was already valued by the Greeks and Romans in ancient times. The Greeks used it for stomach complaints and to improve digestion, while the Romans integrated it into their cuisine as a spice and medicinal plant. Dioscorides, a famous Greek physician and pharmacologist, described it in his work “De Materia Medica” as an effective remedy for flatulence and indigestion. The many possible applications and healing powers of savory have been further researched and used over the centuries.

Dosage forms and dosage

Savory can be taken in various ways:

  • Tea: For a tea infusion, pour 250 ml of hot water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried savory and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. It is recommended to drink two to three cups a day.
  • Capsules/tablets: This dosage form is particularly convenient for a targeted dosage. The usual dosage is 300-600 mg of dried savory per day.
  • Essential oil: A few drops of the oil can be used in a fragrance lamp or diluted with a carrier oil and applied externally. Care should be taken as essential oils are very concentrated.
  • Fresh leaves: These can be used directly as a spice in the kitchen.

Savory: healing properties and effects on the body

It has a number of healing properties:

  • Digestive: It helps with flatulence, stomach cramps and indigestion. The essential oils it contains have an antispasmodic effect and stimulate the production of gastric juices.
  • Antimicrobial: It has strong antimicrobial properties and can help in the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Anti-inflammatory: It contains antioxidants that have an anti-inflammatory effect and can relieve pain and swelling.
  • Immune-boosting: Regular consumption can strengthen the immune system and protect against infections.
  • Cough-relieving: In the case of respiratory diseases, it can relieve coughing and promote mucus clearance.

Use and contraindications

Savory should be taken for certain ailments, in particular

  • Digestive complaints: For flatulence, bloating and cramps.
  • Infections: To help with bacterial or fungal infections.
  • Respiratory diseases: For coughs and bronchitis to relieve symptoms.

However, there are also contraindications:

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women: Should only take it after consulting a doctor, as the effect on the fetus and infant has not been sufficiently researched.
  • Children under 12 years of age: Taking it is not recommended as safety is not guaranteed.
  • Allergy sufferers: People who are allergic to plants from the Lamiaceae family should avoid them.

Additional medicinal plants and food supplements

To enhance the healing effect of savory, the following medicinal plants and food supplements can be combined:

  • Fennel: Also helps with digestive problems and can support the effect.
  • Thyme: Has a strong antibacterial effect and can be used as a supplement for respiratory diseases.
  • Probiotics: Support intestinal health and promote healthy digestion.
  • Vitamin C: Strengthens the immune system and can be taken in combination with savory to prevent infections.

Foods with lots of savory

It is often used as a spice in the kitchen. It is mainly used in Mediterranean dishes. It goes well with:

  • Bean and lentil dishes: To enhance flavor and aid digestion.
  • Meat dishes: Especially in stews and braised dishes to intensify the flavor.
  • Vegetable dishes: To season roasted or steamed vegetables.

Savory: side effects and overdose

Although it has many health-promoting effects, side effects can also occur if overdosed:

  • Gastrointestinal complaints: If consumed in excess, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur.
  • Allergic reactions: In rare cases, allergic reactions may occur, manifested by a skin rash or breathing difficulties.

An overdose of essential oils can lead to severe poisoning. Symptoms include severe gastrointestinal complaints, dizziness and confusion. In such cases, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Savory in naturopathy

In naturopathy it is used as a versatile remedy. It is used for the preparation of:

  • Tinctures: For internal use for digestive complaints and infections.
  • Ointments and balms: For external use for skin and muscle complaints.
  • Inhalation solutions: For the relief of respiratory diseases and to loosen mucus.

It is a valuable medicinal plant with many possible uses and health benefits. In the correct dosage and in compliance with contraindications, it can be used effectively to relieve various ailments and promote general health.

Further applications and research with savory

Modern research and science

Savory has been used traditionally for a long time, but modern science has also begun to investigate the healing properties of this plant. Recent studies have confirmed various effects and provided new insights:

  • Antioxidant effect: studies show that it is rich in antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals and thus prevent cell damage. This can help prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease.
  • Antimicrobial properties: Scientific research has confirmed its strong antimicrobial effects, particularly against bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. This makes it a potential natural antibiotic.
  • Cancer prevention: Initial research suggests that savory extracts may inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells. However, further studies are needed to confirm these results.

Preventive and complementary use

Savory can be taken not only to treat existing complaints, but also as a preventative measure. Regular use can promote general well-being and strengthen the immune system.

  • Daily use in the kitchen: Regular use of savory as a spice can contribute to general health by aiding digestion and having an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Complementing a healthy diet: In combination with a balanced diet and other medicinal plants, savory can support a healthy lifestyle.

Special recommendations and combinations

For certain groups of people and health conditions, there are special recommendations for taking and combining savory:

  • Elderly people: As older people often suffer from digestive problems and a weakened immune system, it can be a valuable supplement.
  • Athletes: The anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxing properties can help athletes to relieve sore muscles and inflammation.

Combination with other medicinal plants can work synergistically with plants such as rosemary and sage, which also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Savory: Possible side effects and precautions

Although savory is generally safe, some precautions should be observed:

  • Sensitive individuals: Individuals with sensitive stomachs should adjust dosage carefully to avoid possible gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Essential oil: As savory essential oil is very strong, it should always be diluted and not taken in large quantities. Direct skin contact can lead to irritation.
  • Long-term use: With long-term use, a break should be taken to avoid possible sensitization.

Case studies and experience reports

The use of savory has a long tradition in many cultures and there are numerous testimonials confirming its effectiveness:

  • Indigestion: One patient reported that regular tea cures with savory significantly relieved his chronic flatulence and indigestion.
  • Infections: One user treated a stubborn fungal infection with savory oil and noticed a significant improvement.
  • Respiratory diseases: Savory inhalations were described by several people as helpful for bronchitis and persistent coughs.


Savory is a remarkable medicinal plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine. Its diverse health effects, from aiding digestion to strengthening the immune system and relieving respiratory conditions, make it a valuable addition to natural medicine. The various dosage forms and possible combinations with other medicinal plants offer numerous application possibilities.

However, as with all medicinal plants, it should be used with caution and taking into account possible contraindications. Particularly sensitive people and special groups such as pregnant women and children should be careful and consult a doctor if necessary.

Modern research confirms many of the traditional applications and also reveals new potentials that need to be explored further. When used correctly, savory can make a valuable contribution to health and well-being.

Published on: 28. June 2024


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