A tall perennial herb of the carrot family. It can grow up to three feet tall and can be found on the roadside verges, Riverbanks, and grasslands. The leaves are like delicate fern leaves and have a cluster of tiny white flowers and blossom between May and June. The leaves have a splashing of dirty white patches here and there which helps with the identification.
The delicate flower is of the umbrella type configuration and have five tiny white petals. The stem is slightly hairy with gentle ridges running down the stalk
One way to know for certain you have found sweet cicely is to crush the leaves and stalk…they have a strong smell of aniseed. Anethole, a natural compound found in sweet cicely gives it the smell and taste of aniseed
The seeds are long pod-shaped and turn a dark brown as they ripen.
USES The whole plant is edible including the seed pods and tastes of strong aniseed. The plant is a stomachic helping your digestive system and also an expectorant so will help with flue and colds clearing your chest and airways. It’s known to be an aphrodisiac and can help with flatulence (Wind). It’s a great treatment for skin conditions when made into a paste and applied to the affected area
Sweet cicely is a great compliment for dishes such as Lamb chops and great when added to rhubarb crumble. If you want to learn more the go and check out the video below
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