Chervil (Anthriscus Cerefolium), often known as garden chervil or French parsley (to distinguish it from the other plant with the same name), is a delicate herb similar to parsley.
It is a celebrated component of the French herb mixture, and one uses it as a seasoning in mild-flavoured meals. This herb has a faint but distinctive flavour, like anise or liquorice. It is added at the end of the cooking process because chervil loses flavour as it cooks. Chervil also has therapeutic properties.
The HealthifyMe Note
The herb is endemic to the Caucasus, a region on the European-Asian border. It was once known as Myrhis because of its volatile oil, which smelled like the resinous chemical myrrh.
Nutritional Value of Chervil
As per USDA, 100 grams of chervil contains the following nutritional values.
- Water: 7.2g
- Energy: 237 kcal
- Protein: 23.2 g
- Lipid (fat): 3.9 g
- Carbohydrate: 49.1g
- Fibre, total dietary: 11.3 g
Vitamins and Minerals
Various vitamins and minerals are present in chervil.
- Calcium: 1350 mg
- Iron: 32 mg
- Magnesium: 130 mg
- Phosphorus: 450 mg
- Potassium: 4740 mg
- Sodium: 83mg
- Zinc: 8.8 mg
- Manganese: 2.1 mg
- Selenium: 29.3 µg
- Vitamin C: 50 mg
- Niacin: 5.4 mg
- Folate: 274 µg
- Vitamin A: 293µg
Health Benefits of Chervil
Rich in Nutrients and Minerals
Minerals and vitamins are abundant in chervil. There are approximately 230 calories in 100 g of dried chervil, of which 6% is total fat, 11.3 g of dietary fibre and 23.2 g of protein.
In addition, chervil contains vitamins C, A, riboflavin, thiamin, folate, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and choline. It also contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, dietary fibre, sodium, and potassium, all of which have numerous health benefits.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Hypertension can lead to stroke or heart failure. According to research, the potassium in chervil has antihypertensive properties. It helps reduce stress on blood vessels by widening the arteries, making the blood flow easier.
It helps regulate blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Also, as per research, potassium helps reduce blood pressure by offsetting the adverse effects of sodium in the body. It also helps the kidney regulate internal fluid levels, another component that raises blood pressure.
Rich in Antioxidants
Chervil contains a high amount of strong antioxidants and polyphenolic flavonoids, which are beneficial for our overall health.
According to research, antioxidants help prevent cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc. Moreover, antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage to our healthy cells caused by free radicals, which are the leading cause of multiple types of cancer in our bodies.
Chervil Improves Bone Health
Chervil is highly rich in calcium. Studies suggest calcium is essential for keeping our bones more vital and healthy. It also helps to reduce various types of bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
Besides this, chervil is also highly rich in vitamin C, which fights against free radicals and prevents them from doing any kind of oxidative damage to our bones. It is responsible for preventing macular degeneration of bone. Vitamin C also helps in the absorption of calcium in your body.
Improves Heart Health and Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
According to research, Nitric oxide (NO) controls contractility and heart rate. A lack of nitric oxide (NO) can cause cardiovascular diseases in the vascular system. You can avoid that by consuming enough nitrate and nitrite molecules. Green leafy vegetables are one of the diet’s best sources of nitrate and nitrite, and chervil is one of the richest sources of nitric oxide.
Chervil helps prevent blood flow problems. Furthermore, it helps treat low blood pressure and prevent varicose veins, haemorrhages, and similar issues. Thus it promotes heart health.
Aids in Digestion
A large amount of dietary fibre (about 11.3 g) is present in 100 g of dried chervil, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system. The fibre in the diet is essential for maintaining regular bowel movements, which improves digestive function.
It helps improve bowel movements by absorbing water in the intestines and softening the stool. Research suggests that dietary fibre intake increases stool frequency in patients with constipation.
Improves Skin and Complexion
Chervil has antifungal, detoxifying, antiseptic, and disinfecting characteristics. As a result, it protects our skin and prevents viral and bacterial infections, including eczema, dryness, and fungal infections.
Also, chervil includes many antioxidant components, such as Vitamin A and C, protecting our skin from oxidative damage produced by free radicals. As a result, it reduces wrinkles, dark spots, ageing, and other skin-related diseases.
Studies suggest that chervil leaves can help with suppurative and inflammatory skin problems. It can help with eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis), psoriasis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and acne (an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous gland).
Chervil is high in vitamin C and vitamin A, which are beneficial to our overall health and immune system. Antioxidant properties of vitamins C and A aid in the fight against free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to our healthy cells. As per research, vitamin C also boosts the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells. In addition, several studies have shown that consuming chervil regularly can reduce the risk of common diseases such as colds, fevers, coughs, flu, etc.
A Chervil herbal infusion can also act as an immune booster. Mix ½ teaspoon of chopped chervil, vervain, and red clover in a cup of boiling water. Allow it to steep for about 5 to 10 minutes. Take the tonic once in the morning and once in the evening to prevent illnesses.
Lowers the Risk of Kidney Disorders
Research shows that chervil has diuretic effects. Eating it every day helps cleanse the kidneys and bladder by increasing urine production. Moreover, it helps excrete bacteria and waste materials from the body with urine.
Safety and Storage
Fresh chervil isn’t always easy to come by in your market’s produce area. It is in season in the spring and may be accessible only then. Many supermarkets sell dried chervil in the spice aisle. However, dried chervil isn’t known for having the same delicate and unique flavour as fresh chervil. Some chefs still use the dried form in vinaigrettes and as a topping for vegetables (sauteed with butter).
Chervil is a delicate herb that does not stay well in the fridge. However, fresh chervil will keep fresh for approximately a week if wrapped in a moist paper towel and stored in the vegetable tray of your refrigerator. It can also be frozen to extend the shelf life. Dry chervil should be in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, like all dry herbs and spices. It will likely last three to four years if properly stored.
Chervil’s Traditional Uses and Benefits
- It is beneficial as a digestive aid, decreases high blood pressure, and heals hiccups when infused with vinegar.
- It works as a ‘spring tonic’ for liver and kidney purification.
- It is effective in helping with memory loss and depression.
- The fresh plant harvested immediately before blossoming works as a digestive, diuretic, expectorant, poultice, and stimulant properties.
- You can treat dropsy, arthritis, and persistent skin diseases with chervil juice.
- Slow-healing wounds can heal faster using bruised leaves as a poultice. In addition, painful joints can become better with a warm dressing.
- You can use an infusion of fresh leaves as an eyewash to treat painful or inflamed eyes.
- Chervil can help with digestion and kidney function.
- Chervil might help you get rid of extra fluids in your body.
- It may aid in the relief of menstrual cramps and stomach pain.
- When you massage chervil oil into your hair, it helps to strengthen hair follicles, reducing hair loss.
- Chervil can improve the texture and look of dull, dry hair.
- Chervil contains a lot of vitamin A, which can improve your vision.
- Chervil can treat cystitis, kidney stones, and bladder stones.
- Chervil can alleviate the pain of bug bites.
- It works well against the ordinary cold and flu.
- It prevents mouth ulcers and gum disease.
- Slugs are known to avoid the plant. So you can use it in your garden to prevent slug infestation.
- Cut chervil leaves can keep ants away from your home.
The HealthifyMe Note
Chervil is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, zinc, copper, and selenium. The best part about chervil is that it has no cholesterol. It is an all-rounder because it includes all the necessary ingredients for a healthy diet. Health professionals also use this herb in health supplement pills and syrups for the same reason.
Ways to Include Chervil in Your Diet
- Chervil can act as a seasoning for poultry, shellfish, early spring vegetables, soups, and sauces.
- It can be eaten fresh in salads or as a seasoning.
- The leaves constitute the foundation of the seasoning ‘fine herbs’ and are a vital component of ‘bouquet garni.’
- The chervil flowers also work for seasoning food, and the root is edible.
- Chervil is paired frequently with traditional Béarnaise sauces.
- Chop chervil and add it to omelettes or scrambled eggs.
- Crush the leaves and combine them with melted butter before serving over cooked fish or poultry.
- Serve with a jacket potato and cottage cheese.
- To make a sandwich, combine with egg mayonnaise.
The HealthifyMe Note
Historically, people used a face rinse of chervil steeped in brandy in the evening to tone the skin. Likewise, chervil paste can clear your pores and prevent acne breakouts. An infusion of the fresh leaf is used as a cleanser and lotion to clarify skin. The stem and leaf juice can help heal blemishes. Applying the tea made from the leaves as a face mask can help minimise wrinkles and enhance skin suppleness.
Recipes Using Chervil
1. Chervil Cream Soup
Total Time: 30 min
- Butter: 1 tbsp
- Minced shallots: 2
- Half and half cream: 1 cup
- Chicken broth: 3 cups
- Chervil leaves: 3 bunches
- Salt: to taste
- Pepper: to taste
- Take a saucepan and melt butter on it. Add and saute the minced shallots until they turn soft.
- Add the half and half cream and let it simmer. Heat till the liquid cooks down to ⅓. Mix in the broth and let it simmer for five minutes.
- Add the chervil leaves and simmer for another five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Take off the heat and blend to make it into a smooth puree. Serve while hot.
- Calories: 213kcal
- Fat: 11g
- Carbs: 25g
- Sugar: 3.9g
- Protein: 12.8g
- Sodium: 934g
2. Halibut with Chervil Sauce
Total Time: 30 min
- Marinade and fish
- Chervil sprigs: ¾ cup
- Parsley: 2tbsp
- Ground coriander: 1 tsp
- Chopped green onion: 1
- Extra virgin olive oil: ¼ cup
- Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
- Kosher salt: 1¼ tsp
- Halibut fillets: 60 g
- Dry white wine: 1 cup
- Finely chopped shallots: 2 tbsp
- Lemon juice: 1 tsp
- Unsalted butter: 6 tbsp
- Chervil sprigs: ¾ cup
- Kosher salt: ½ tsp
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Take a bowl and put the marinade after mixing it thoroughly. Add the fish and gently coat it.
- Arrange the fillets on a baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes until they lose their translucence.
- Take a pan and add wine, shallots and lemon juice. Cook for about 4 minutes until it reduces to half. Whisk in butter 1 tbsp at a time. Pour into a blender, add ¾ cup chervil and blend.
- Pour the sauce into six shallow bowls. Add the fish, top with salt and garnish with chervil and flowers.
- Calories: 326kcal
- Fat: 20g
- Carbohydrates: 3.6g
- Protein: 33g
- Sodium: 375g
- Cholesterol: 79 mg
Potential Side Effects of Chervil
There have been some reports of allergic reactions to parsley, similar to chervil. Studies show parsley can cause food allergy symptoms in people sensitive to it, especially those who have allergic rhinitis from a pollen allergy. Itchy nose and eyes, laryngeal oedema, wheezin are among the symptoms. If you are allergic to parsley or suspect an allergy to chervil, consult with your healthcare provider.
Chervil is safe for most people when used in normal amounts to flavour food. It may also be safe to use medicinally. However, studies show that overdoses are possible especially when herbal use is not mentioned to medical practitioners. In addition, some herbal self-medication may have unexpected effects and interactions, leading to fatal complications.
Pregnant women or women trying for pregnancy should not take chervil in medicinal doses. According to research, chervil may cause genetic changes and growth problems in a developing foetus.
Chervil is a delicate culinary herb used a lot in French cooking. It belongs to the parsley family with a moderate flavour. Apart from its use in culinary practices it also has a therapeutic use. You can ingest this plant in regular amounts without posing any health risks. Also, it is incredibly nutritious.
The entire herb plant is edible, but the leaves and roots are particularly popular. Chervil is high in vitamins and minerals and has many pharmacological properties. It has been used in alternative medicine for centuries to treat diseases. This herb contains diuretic, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory characteristics that are beneficial in treating rheumatism, gout, liver and kidney issues, water retention, and the removal of toxins. It is also helpful in treating skin irritations, acne, eczema, conjunctivitis, and insect bites.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What are the health benefits of chervil?
A. The health benefits of chervil are as follows:
- Improves cardiovascular health
- It prevents the risk of cancer
- Improves immune system
- Aids better digestion
- Improves bone health
- Improves skin complexion and health
- Improves eye health
- Detoxifies the body
- Improves immunity
Q. Is parsley the same as chervil?
A. Chervil is also known as garden chervil and French parsley. Chervil contains mild and subtle flavours that aren’t as strong as parsley. As a result, chervil suits light-flavoured, savoury recipes that do not require intense flavours. Chervil is a delicate spring herb with many similarities to parsley. Still, some of its functions, textures, and flavours distinguish it.
Q. Is chervil used in medicine?
A. Chervil has been used in alternative medicine for centuries to treat diseases. It contains diuretic, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory characteristics that are beneficial in treating rheumatism, gout, liver and kidney issues, water retention, and the removal of toxins. This herb is also helpful in treating skin irritations, acne, eczema, conjunctivitis, and insect bites.
Q. Can you eat chervil seeds?
A. Yes, the seeds are also edible. Chervil flowers and seeds, like the leaves, have a delicate, anise-like flavour. Thus, one can use them in place of chervil leaves in recipes. Soups, poultry, seafood, vegetables, salads, and egg dishes are all common uses for it.
Q. Is chervil safe to eat?
A. Chervil and chervil extracts are generally safe to eat in adequate amounts. It enhances the flavour of mild-flavoured foods like fish, chicken, eggs and spring vegetables. However, it would be best if you avoided it while pregnant. Also, this is because chervil includes a chemical that can cause birth and growth problems in a growing foetus by causing mutations in its DNA.