An annual herb, Satureja hortensis is a low-growing plant that belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is related to rosemary and thyme. Used for millennia as a seasoning, it also has medicinal properties and was once popular in love potions as an aphrodisiac!
Native to the eastern Mediterranean and the Caucasus, it’s a highly aromatic herb and features a hot, peppery flavor with notes of marjoram, mint, and thyme. Its flavor is also similar to that of its perennial cousin, winter savory – although the winter variety has a slightly more bitter, earthy taste.
With its many antioxidants and intense essential oils, this tangy herb has long been used to treat a variety of ailments.
Steeped leaves are sometimes used to ease a sore throat, or as an antiseptic gargle. It is also reportedly used to enhance appetite, as a remedy for stomach and digestive disorders, and to help alleviate symptoms of asthma and colic.
It also has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, and is used by herbalists and natural practitioners in liniment or poultice form to ease the pain of inflamed joints, and to treat the sting and swelling of insect bites.
Plus, its essential oil can be made into an invigorating tonic said to assist with issues of passion and l’amour!