Sweet Cicely Health Benefits

Sweet Cicely seeds – Myrrhis-odorata

Sweet Cicely Health Benefits: image: Sten Porse, CC BY-SA 3.0

Sweet Cicely Health Benefits

Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata) is an herbaceous perennial plant in the Apiaceae family. The herb is native to Europe and parts of Asia, including the British Isles, and has been naturalized in North America. Sweet Cicely is known for its fern-like leaves and delicate white flowers. It has a sweet and anise-like flavor, and its leaves and seeds are used in culinary applications. The herb is often used to flavor desserts, beverages, and savory dishes. It has also been used for its medicinal properties, although its traditional uses and potential health benefits may vary across different cultures.

Myrrhis odorata

Origin of the Name

"Sweet" is a common prefix used to distinguish it from other plants with similar names, such as "Myrrhis" or "Cicely" without the "Sweet" designation. This helps to differentiate it and emphasize its distinctive characteristic: its sweet flavor. The name "Sweet Cicely" is a colloquial term used to refer to the plant Myrrhis odorata. The "sweet" part of the name is derived from the herb's pleasant, anise-like flavor.

Widely used term

The term is widely used in culinary and botanical contexts to differentiate it from other plants in the same genus or family. So, when you hear or see the term "Sweet Cicely," it generally refers to the herbaceous perennial plant Myrrhis odorata, which is known for its sweet taste and aromatic properties.

5 Sweet Cicely Health Benefits

Sweet Cicely flowers

Sweet Cicely has been traditionally used for its potential medicinal properties. While scientific research on its health benefits is limited, here are some of the potential benefits associated with Sweet Cicely:

  • Sweet Cicely Health Benefits #1 – Digestive Aid: Sweet Cicely has been used historically as a digestive aid. It is believed to have carminative properties, which means it may help relieve digestive discomfort, reduce bloating, and aid digestion.
  • Sweet Cicely Health Benefits #2 – Respiratory Support: Some traditional herbal practices suggest that Sweet Cicely may have expectorant properties, potentially helping to alleviate coughs, bronchial congestion, and other respiratory issues.
  • Sweet Cicely Health Benefits #3 – Antioxidant Effects: Like many plants, Sweet Cicely contains various compounds with potential antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect the body against oxidative stress and may have benefits for overall health.
  • Sweet Cicely Health Benefits #4 – Nutritional Value: Sweet Cicely is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium. Consuming it as part of a balanced diet can contribute to overall nutrition.
  • Sweet Cicely Health Benefits #5 – Culinary Uses: While not a direct health benefit, the culinary use of Sweet Cicely allows you to incorporate it into your diet in various forms, adding flavor to dishes and potentially enhancing the enjoyment of meals.

It's important to note that scientific studies on the specific health effects of Sweet Cicely are limited, and further research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and any possible side effects. If you are considering using Sweet Cicely for medicinal purposes, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist for personalized guidance and to ensure its safe and appropriate use. As always, it's essential to practice moderation and consult a healthcare professional if you have any specific health concerns or are taking medications, as herbal remedies can interact with certain drugs.

Sweet Cicely Vitamins and Minerals

Fern-like Sweet Cicely leaves

Sweet Cicely contains several vitamins and minerals that contribute to its nutritional value. While the exact nutrient composition may vary slightly, here are some of the known vitamins and minerals found in Sweet Cicely:

  • Sweet Cicely Health Benefits – Vitamin C: Sweet Cicely is known to contain vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient with antioxidant properties. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in immune function and collagen synthesis and is an antioxidant to protect cells from damage.
  • Sweet Cicely Health Benefits – Calcium: Sweet Cicely is a source of calcium, essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also involved in muscle function, nerve signaling, and other physiological processes.
  • Sweet Cicely Health Benefits – Iron: Iron is present in Sweet Cicely and is a vital mineral for the production of red blood cells and oxygen transportation throughout the body. Iron is necessary for maintaining energy levels and preventing iron-deficiency anemia.
  • Sweet Cicely Health Benefits – Potassium: Sweet Cicely contains potassium, an essential mineral that plays a role in maintaining proper electrolyte balance, supporting nerve and muscle function, and regulating blood pressure.

It's important to note that the exact amounts of these nutrients may vary depending on factors such as the growing conditions of the plant and its maturity. Additionally, the concentration of these nutrients in Sweet Cicely is generally lower than in more commonly consumed sources like fruits or vegetables. While Sweet Cicely can contribute to overall nutrition, it's important to consume a varied and balanced diet to meet all your nutritional needs.

Sweet Cicely Culinary Uses

Sweet Cicely is primarily valued for its culinary applications. It has a sweet, anise-like flavor and pleasant aroma, making it a versatile herb for culinary creations. Here are some of the top culinary uses for Sweet Cicely:

  • Sweet Treats: The sweet flavor of Sweet Cicely makes it an excellent addition to desserts and sweet treats. It can be used to flavor cakes, cookies, pastries, fruit salads, and ice creams, providing a subtle and unique sweetness.
  • Drinks: Sweet Cicely can be used to infuse its sweet flavor into beverages. It can be added to teas, lemonades, cocktails, and even infused in syrups to add a natural sweetness and aromatic profile.
  • Fruit Dishes: Sweet Cicely pairs well with fruits, enhancing their natural flavors. It can be sprinkled over fresh fruits, added to fruit salads, or used as a garnish for fruit-based desserts.
  • Savory Dishes: While Sweet Cicely is known for its sweetness, it can also be used in savory dishes. It can be added to sauces, dressings, marinades, and savory soups to provide a subtle anise-like flavor and aroma.
  • Herbal Butter: Sweet Cicely can be incorporated into compound butters. Simply mix finely chopped Sweet Cicely leaves into softened butter and use it as a spread or for flavoring grilled vegetables, seafood, or bread.
  • Herbal Infusions: Sweet Cicely leaves can be steeped in hot water to create an herbal infusion or tea. It can be enjoyed on its own or combined with other herbs to create unique flavor profiles.

Remember to use Sweet Cicely in moderation and taste as you go, as its flavor can be potent. Its versatile nature allows for experimentation and creative use in a wide range of culinary creations. Please note that if you have any specific dietary concerns, allergies, or health conditions, it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist before using any herb for culinary or medicinal purposes.

Using Sweet Cicely Seeds

Sweet Cicely seeds

Sweet Cicely's long seeds are particularly valued for their culinary uses. The seeds have a unique flavor reminiscent of anise or licorice, and they can be used in various ways to enhance the taste of different dishes. Here are some of the common uses for the herb's seeds:

  • Baking: The seeds can be ground and added to baked goods such as bread, cookies, cakes, and pastries. They add a distinctive flavor and aroma to the final product.
  • Pickling: The seeds can be used to flavor pickles and pickled vegetables. The seeds impart their characteristic anise-like taste, enhancing the overall flavor of the pickles.
  • Spice Blends: Ground seeds can be used in spice blends, adding a unique twist to savory dishes. They can be combined with other herbs and spices like fennel, coriander, or cardamom to create flavorful blends for seasoning meats, vegetables, or soups.
  • Infused Oils or Vinegar: They seeds can be infused in oils or vinegar to create flavored dressings or marinades. The resulting infused oils or vinegar can be used in salads, sauces, or as a drizzle over cooked dishes.
  • Herbal Teas or Infusions: The seeds can be used to make herbal teas or infusions, either on their own or in combination with other herbs. Simply steep the seeds in hot water and enjoy the resulting aromatic and flavorful beverage.
Sweet Cicely seed bunch

Developing seeds. Adapted from Magnus Manske, CC BY-SA 3.0

It's worth noting that the seeds of Sweet Cicely are small and delicate, so they may require grinding or gentle crushing before use to release their flavor more effectively. As with any culinary ingredient, the quantity and method of use can be adjusted based on personal preference and desired flavor intensity. Enjoy experimenting with the seeds in your culinary creations, and have fun discovering new flavors and combinations!

Herbs, Spices, and Minerals

Powdered Minerals

As with everything we eat, herbs and spices work optimally in the presence of the full complement of 75+ pure hydrophilic plant-derived minerals. See this page and this page for a complete rundown of why we need ALL the minerals mother nature ought to give us with our foods. Unfortunately, if the herbs and spices are grown on mineral-deficient soils (most commercial farm soils are), they will also lack vital minerals.

Volcanic And Glacial Soils

Those fortunate to have fresh glacial or volcanic soils added to the soil in which their herbs grow can be certain that their herbs will contain many minerals now missing in most soils around the world.

Can We Add Minerals To Grow Bags?

Yes. Our Powdered Minerals contain 75+ minerals from 70-million-year-old Senonian compost extracted from the TRC mines in Utah. Simply add a spoonful of the powder to a watering can before watering the Grow Bag. You only need to do this once because plants take the minerals in trace amounts to be incorporated into their tissues. Think about tomato plants in greenhouses: mineral-rich, juicy tomatoes every time! But growing your own herbs is just as good.


It’ll be worthwhile experimenting: compare the growth and yields of herbs grown in soils with added powdered minerals with those in grow bags with ordinary compost. First, of course, you must adopt the scientific approach and use controls with various mineral dosages. Then repeat the experiment with other herbs. But one thing is for sure: eating mineral-rich herbs will mean you also get to benefit from the minerals.

Synonymous terms: sweet cicely recipes; sweet cicely tea recipe; sweet cicely invasive

Sizzling Minerals – Pure hydrophilic plant-derived Senonian minerals

Learn more about Sizzling Minerals