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Chervil, one of those herbs that often seem to tell us nothing but which hide absolutely interesting properties and which would be better for our health know and exploit. Better therefore to pause to deepen how much chervil keeps us secret in his anonymous appearance.
Chervil is called Anthriscus cerefolium, in the jargon of the most experts, and is an aromatic annual herb belonging to the Umbelliferae family. If we meet him in a meadow we can recognize him by the very delicate scent which partly recalls those of basil and anise.
On sight, it looks like grass that is 40 to 70 cm tall on average, with small and light green daughters. In spring it also has gods adorned flowers, small and white, umbel-like, which then become long and oval fruits, about 1 cm long.
Chervil: aromatic plant
Wild but aromatic, as we have said, and if in a meadow it is difficult to capture its very delicate scent, if you pick up the leaves and rub them together, however, then you can understand why Chervil is an aromatic plant . It grows spontaneously in Southeast Europe, in the Caucasus and in the mountains of western Asia but now it is also found throughout Europe, above all in the woods near the Mediterranean sea.
Plant to what officinale, in Italy, Chervil is rare to find fresh, we must be satisfied with the dried one. If we want to try to plant it, let's put it under a tree to protect it especially from the high summer temperatures
Of the Chervil fresh sprouts are usually used, woe betide if they stay close to a heat source except for a few seconds: they would lose their aroma and active ingredients. The buds and leaves, if fresh, are an important source of vitamin C, precious because strengthen the immune system and the production of collagen. Chervil and its shoots are also rich in carotene and mineral salts including iron, calcium and magnesium.
Among the properties attributed to Chervil are those diuretic and purifying, it is a widely used herb even when there are problems with the respiratory system or constipation. Has cholagogue properties, Why eliminates toxins, diuretic also, for which it is recommended in case of water retention and edema, kidney stones, gout and rheumatism.
Promotes digestion and is a laxative, it reduces inflammation and also helps to calm coughs. It treats hemorrhoids and also skin inflammations because it is a soothing herb, also useful for insect bites, chilblains and small superficial ulcerations. For women, it can also be valuable to hers galactofugal properties: with compresses on the breasts can stop milk production.
Chervil: where to find it
As anticipated, in Italy to find the Chervil around, to be picked and used fresh, it is not easy, but we can look for it elsewhere if we are on holiday in the countries where it grows wild. Dried, however, it can be purchased in shops that sell medicinal herbs or online.
Cultivate the Chervil starting from the seeds is a difficult but not impossible undertaking and those who think they have a green thumb can try it. It can also be grown in pots, better choose a large and low one. We scatter the seeds in the ground and after a few months we can collect the leaves. The seeds can also be purchased on Amazon, a sachet costs less than 8 euros.
It is curious, if not useful, to deepen the origins of its scientific name: Anthriscus cerefolium. The first word comes from the Greek anthriskos and the second from the Latin cherifolium, the meaning is "hedge flower". There are also some who prefer to translate it "I am delighted by the smell"Given the aroma of its leaves. It was already appreciated in Roman times, then in the Middle Ages further therapeutic properties have been discovered and its popularity has been increasing. Around 1700 in Europe it was cultivated in the gardens of the convents.
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