Real chervil, a medicinal vegetable garden plant

Chervil is an annual plant from the lacecap family. It is related to parsley. You can eat chervil leaves; they are used as a spice in cooking. You could season young vegetables with chervil leaves to give them an extra delicate taste. Chervil can be grown quite easily in the garden or on the balcony. You can shred and dry the harvested leaves or put them in the freezer so that you can enjoy them all year round. 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 of chervil / Source: Otto Wilhelm Thomé, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

Contents:

  • Chervil history
  • Eating tips chervil
  • Grow your own chervil
  • Nutritional value of chervil
  • Medicinal properties of chervil

 

Chervil history

The Latin name for this plant is Anthriscus cerefolium . Cerefolium is a derivative of kairephullon and that means ‘leaf to enjoy’. Kairephullon has become ‘chervil’ in Dutch. Chervil originally only grew in the Caucasus, a mountain region on the border of Europe and Asia. The ancient Romans spread this herb across Europe. In the Middle Ages, chervil was often found in monastery gardens. The purifying effect of this herb, which tastes slightly like anise, makes it an herb that was used during Easter and on Maundy Thursday to purify the soul. Chervil is a culinary herb that is grown all over the world. In Europe and large parts of Africa and Asia the plant has naturalized or naturalized; that is, the plant is integrated as a naturally occurring manifestation.

Eating tips chervil

Real chervil is used as a culinary herb. You can store fresh chervil leaves for a maximum of two days. It can be frozen to extend the storage period to several months. Chervil soup is eaten in Belgium. The leaves have the most aroma when they are picked before flowering. Real chervil is used in soups, sauces, salads and herb butter. Together with sorrel, among other things, it is part of Frankfurter green sauce. In France, real chervil is regularly added to omelettes. The taste of this herb is somewhat more refined than parsley.

Chervil can be put in vinegar to preserve the flavor; Chervil is a great herb to make a herbal vinegar.

 

Grow your own chervil

Real chervil is sometimes planted by farmers as an intercrop because it grows quickly and can be harvested in May. You should sow it early in the spring or late in the fall. In the vegetable garden, the chervil plant has the additional advantage that it repels snails. This plant does not like to be moved; there is a very good chance that the root will break off. That is why chervil is sown where it should grow and not repotted. Chervil grows to a height of 20 to 70 centimeters. It prefers a cool and damp place,

Chervil leaf / Source: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Wikimedia Commons (GFDL)

otherwise, it is likely to flower and produce seed quickly. You can harvest real chervil leaves six weeks after sowing. If you harvest the leaves often, it will produce seeds less quickly. In any case, you must harvest flower stems immediately. Chervil leaves can easily be dried to use as a culinary herb for the rest of the year. You can also keep chervil in pots on the balcony.

Steeping a few sprigs of chervil in hot milk provides an alternative to aniseed milk.

 

Nutritional value of chervil

Chervil has traditionally been a medicinal herb. Chervil contains a lot of vitamin C and iron. It also contains the essential oils isoanethol, estragole and chavibetol. It also contains alkaloid glycosides and carotene. Real chervil contains various bioflavonoids such as cis-chrysanthenyl acetate and its derivatives that help the body to better absorb vitamin C. Laboratory research on rat brains and in-vitro research show that chervil has a range of antioxidants and fights free radicals.

Medicinal properties of chervil

This fast-growing plant is used as a digestive herb. In addition, it is an appetite stimulant. It is mixed with vinegar as a medicine for hiccups. It is a folk medicine to lower high blood pressure. Chervil is also a mild stimulant; It could make you more active. Furthermore, this medicinal herb cleanses the blood, removes fluid and reduces swelling. Fresh chervil juice is a remedy for sore throat. You could also drink chervil juice or chervil tea for bronchitis and asthma. In naturopathy, chervil essential oil is used for its medicinal qualities.

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