Herbs > Sweet Cicely Herb

Information on, uses of and how to grow sweet cicely:

Name
Myrrhis odorata.

Family
Umbelliferae.

History
At one time the seeds of Sweet cicely were pounded down and used as furniture polish. All parts of this herb were used for medicine. The roots were boiled until tender and given to the elderly as an aid to digestion.

Growing pattern
Biennial.

Seeds
Buy Sweet Cicely Seeds from The Green Chronicle (Pay in $US, £, Euro).
Herbs, Seasonings and Spices - Buy Organic Herbs and Spices from Mountain Rose Herbs ($US).

How to grow
The seeds of Sweet Cicely need to be exposed to the frost for good germination. Space the seedlings 45cm apart and transplant them if necessary when 1 year old. The herb will reseed itself.

Soil condition/position
Partial shade in moist soil.

Appearance
Sweet Cicely is a thick rooted plant. Its small leaves have a liquorice-like flavour. The seeds have a spicy taste. It grows to a height of 90cmand the whole plant with its lacey leaves and tiny white flowers is highly scented.

Uses
Sweet Cicely can be cooked with tart fruits to cut down the acidity. This works well with rhubarb, red currants and gooseberries. It can also be added to omelettes. The ripe seeds can be chewed as an aid to digestion and a tea made from the chopped leaves is said to soothe the stomach.