Roman chervil, medicinal delicacy

Roman chervil is a perennial, perennial plant. Its leaves can be eaten all year round and taste slightly like anise. Roman chervil fits well in a vegetable dish. The Roman chervil originally comes from the mountain areas of Southern Europe such as the Apennines, pre-Alps, Pyrenees and Caucasus. The plant can also be found in the Balkan region. Nowadays it grows throughout Europe and beyond. Roman chervil is not really known in English-speaking countries; the plant is most commonly used in Germany and Scandinavia. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing Roman chervil / Source: Carl Axel Magnus Lindman, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)


  • Ornamental plant to enjoy
  • Roman chervil and butterflies
  • Roman chervil as an alternative sweetener
  • Roman chervil in folk medicine
  • Alternative to anise


Ornamental plant to enjoy

The Latin name for this plant is Myrrhis Odorata . Roman chervil does well in a shaded forest edge or roadside. It is also an excellent garden plant. The leaves are beautiful, like greatly enlarged flat-leaf parsley leaves and it produces white flowers. You don’t just have to take this plant for its ornamental value; you can simply eat the leaves from spring to autumn. The leaves taste wonderfully soft, like anise. In the fall the seed has hardened and is collected for consumption. The root of this plant can also be eaten as a root vegetable.

Roman chervil and butterflies

Roman chervil is an excellent plant for butterflies. Currently, chervil is one of the plants that help the bee population. Bees are having a hard time in 2013 because people and companies use roundup that contains a lot of pesticides. Unfortunately, this product is allowed

Seeds of Roman chervil / Source: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

being sold. Because Roman chervil is a bee plant, the bee has a better chance of survival. The bee is a necessary part of our ecosystem; it ensures the pollination of flowers, plants and trees. Some companies in Germany plant Roman chervil around their beehives because the plant ensures that the bees make extra tasty flower honey.

Roman chervil is also harvested to make herbal potpourris. This plant smells like anise because it contains anethole, the component that gives an anise scent.


Roman chervil as an alternative sweetener

Because the leaf tastes sweet without containing calories, it is used as an alternative sweetener. It is a flavor enhancer for pickled fruits, yogurt and even whipped cream. Roman chervil has the peculiar characteristic that it makes sour fruits such as rhubarb less sour; therefore less sugar is needed to make rhubarb compote. That is why Roman chervil is a suitable product for people with diabetes or diabetes mellitus. The leaves are great for adding to a soup, vegetable dish or salad. The seeds are also great to use in a salad. The root can be cooked and then cooled to use in a salad.

Roman chervil in folk medicine

In folk medicine, Roman chervil was previously used as a blood cleansing agent. The root and seeds were used to freshen the mouth. The leaf itself can be dried and then made into tea. That would help with coughing and stomach problems. In homeopathy, Roman chervil is used against varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

During the Second World War, the seeds of Roman chervil were called ‘war sweets’.


Alternative to anise

Because the plant can withstand the cold, it is popular in Scandinavia. The Scandinavians use it as an alternative to anise, cardamom and fennel; all plants with an anise flavor. In addition, the beautifully shaped Roman chervil leaves are used as a garnish.

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