Costmary, also called alecost (Tanacetum balsamita), is a herbaceous perennial plant with a rhizome crown that produces a wide, dense bunch of healing flowers.
It is native to Europe and Asia Minor.
From it emanates a fragrance that is very similar to that of mint. In herbalism, the leaves of this herb are used for their digestive, diuretic and wound-healing properties.
Health benefits of costmary
- Costmary has acknowledged antispasmodic properties. It alleviates bouts of cough, bronchitis and intestinal spasms.
- It is advised for its digestive properties in case of intestinal gas, flatulence and digestive disorders of any kind.
- Thanks to its diuretic properties, costmary is effective in case of water retention.
- Costmary infusions are excellent de-wormers.
- Topical use in the form of oil (macerate dried leaves in olive oil) with costmary accelerates wound-healing for small cuts and soothes superficial burn wounds and insect bites.
Growing costmary for its health benefits
- Costmary must be planted in full sun to boost the development of its leaves.
- It grows in rather light and cool soil and only asks for little care.
- Very hardy, costmary can be planted anywhere. It resists the cold very well.
Costmary in cooking for its properties
- This herb can be used a bit like mint, even though the fragrance isn’t exactly the same. Take note that it tastes quite bitter though.
- Fresh chopped costmary is paired with mixed salads, beef stew, green peas, potatoes and vegetable soup.
- For sweet-toothed children, costmary is a delicious enhancement to fruit salad.
CC BY 2.0: Tim Green
Pixabay: Sirounian Armen