Properties, benefits and cultivation portfolio
Chervil, whose botanical name is Anthriscus cerefolium , is an aromatic herb belonging to the Apiaceae family. The name chervil comes from the Greek and means “leaf of joy” because of its pleasant fragrance. Aesthetically it is very similar to parsley, of which it is a distant relative, with an aroma similar to anise.
The plant is native to Russia from which it was imported by the Romans into Europe and is currently available also in the American continent and in the South African one. The aromatic plant is used in cooking, especially in France, but also in Italy where it is easier to find it in a dried formulation. The plant contains a high quantity of proteins, a good percentage of water and a part of fiber; minerals such as manganese, zinc, potassium, iron and selenium are also present; but also vitamins of group B, A, C and D.
The plant. General description
The plant is about 80 cm high and has a slender shrub with small light green leaves and white flowers. Its flowering takes place in the months of May and June and the parts used are the roots, leaves and flowering tops.
The 10 properties of the chervil
Being an aromatic plant its properties concern above all the possibility of garnish and give flavor to serving dishes. The plant also has purifying, draining, soothing, decongestant, expectorant, antiaging and digestive properties.
- It helps eyesight and is a natural remedy for conjunctivitis
Its soothing properties make the chervil beneficial for the eyes and eyes being rich in a precursor of vitamin A, beta-carotene (a pigment that stimulates the production of melanin and the defense of tissues from physical stimuli, such as the sun), and minerals . The decoction can be used directly on the eyes to soothe redness, swelling and conjunctivitis.
- Useful for the health of hands and feet
The decongestant action of the chervil is indicated for hands and feet. The essential oil is often found in creams or pharmacological preparations intended to solve problems such as calluses and chilblains.
- Ideal for treating bruises and bruising
Chervil has anti-edemigenic properties . The filtered leaves of the decoction can be applied to bruises or areas affected by edema or hematoma.
- It is indicated for taking care of the skin from insect bites and dermatoses
Its powerful soothing function is characteristic, useful in case of insect bites , skin dermatosis, or even in areas exposed to wind and cold.
- In the cosmetic field applied to the face reduces wrinkles
The use in the cosmetic field includes its presence in poultices, for which we recommend the juice, or anti-wrinkle face masks (for its anti-radical action ) in which is inserted the extract of chervil from Apply to the face twice a week.
- Chervil hydrolite is widely used as a tonic
It is a valid element for sebum-balancing facial treatments (thanks to the purifying characteristic of the plant). Hydrolite, a liquid pharmaceutical preparation of the plant from which water-soluble active substances are extracted, can be used as a morning and evening tonic.
- It helps digestion and gastrointestinal balance
The stomachic and calming effects of chervil make this plant an excellent remedy to stimulate digestive functions and soothe the post-indigestion migraine.
- Facilitates diuresis thanks to its powerful purifying action
The purifying and diuretic action of the chervil is indicated for excretory organs such as the liver and kidneys: in case of need to perform a cleansing action from toxins and metabolic waste, or in case of water retention or gout. At herbalist’s shops the drug for infusions and draining decoctions can be purchased, in a freeze-dried formula to be diluted in a liter of water, to be drunk during the day. To obtain a draining infusion, just pour 4-5 fresh leaves into 150 ml of water and boil for about 5 minutes. Wait 5 minutes covering with a lid and then filter. We recommend eating three hot cups during the day.
- It strengthens the immune system and frees the airways
Chervil has expectorant and emollient properties that make it an excellent cure in case of respiratory problems, cough and mucus. The high concentration of vitamin C and B vitamins make it a valid therapy to raise the immune system .
- Contains flavonoic glucoside, an essential substance for capillary health
Its emollient and soothing properties make it an effective plant in case of hemorrhoids and capillary fragility; also useful for improving the venous-lymphatic microcirculation. The presence of a flavonoic glucoside reduces capillary permeability and increases the resistance of the vessel wall.
How to grow chervil
Chervil is a very tenacious plant that does not fear low temperatures, atmospheric agents and drought; moreover it is hardly attacked by parasites. Chervil can be grown both on the ground and in pots; the important thing is to ask for the origin of the seeds, without running the risk of cultivating varieties similar to chervil, but not aromatic and slightly toxic. The sowing must take place in spring or autumn, on well-drained and soft soil, and the exposure must be sunny or half shade. The plant must be watered regularly. The leaves are harvested 15-20 days after sowing.
Curiosity on the chervil
Snails are fond of chervil. Farmers use to attract snails by putting chervil on the land, in order to protect the sowing.
A few chervil leaves in the kitchen pantry help keep ants away.
The ancients believed that some leaves in wine eliminated depression and melancholy states; in fact they drank a cup to rejoice and return in good humor. It seems that the Latin name Chaerophillum , or cheering leaf, derives from this.
Contraindications and warnings before use
None in particular except for allergies and subjective intolerances. Despite the presence of estragole, it seems that herbal teas, infusions and herbal products have a high level of safety. More in-depth studies on the subject are still ongoing.
If you decide to pick it up in the fields, be careful not to confuse it with the hemlock, a very similar but lethal plant .
Before taking the chervil it is essential to consult your doctor’s advice