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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

(Myrrhis odorata)

PROPAGATION: By fresh seed sown in fall and by division (self seeds once established). Perennial.
NEEDS: Part shade to full shade and moisture-retentive, but well draining humusy soil. Is long-lived and grows large. Has a long taproot so transplanting is difficult.
HARVEST: Leaves in season, seeds as available and roots in fall.
FLOWERS: Late May in zone 5.


Roots are antiseptic.

Oil from the seeds is used commercially to flavor Chartreuse and other liqueurs.
The leaves, stems or unripe seeds used in fruit or other salads.
Goes well with fish dishes (lay whole leaves on fish to be baked on grill and throw stems into the coals).
Roots of older plants can be boiled and eaten as a vegetable or candied.
The dried leaves are sometimes used as a tea.
The foliage is used to make vinegar.
Has an anise like flavor and is used as sugar substitute so that the amount of sugar in a recipe can be reduced.
Roots are steamed and simmered. Seeds used in candy, syrups and cakes.
CANDIED ROOTS: Peel and slice roots and simmer until tender in water to cover; make syrup same as candied angelica stems but add a little lemon juice and proceed the same.

The chopped seeds were once used to perfume furniture polish. The ripe seeds, ground fine, can be used to polish wood. The dried leaves sometimes used in potpourri.

©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH