Myrrhis odorata / Roomse kervel

Onder de vele witbloeiende planten met schermbloemen heeft de Roomse kervel, Myrrhis odorata, vanwege de sterke anijsgeur een plaats als tuinkruid. De plant lijkt veel op Fluitenkruid, maar verschilt daar van door de vijf lange omwindselblaadjes onder de schermpjes. Deze zijn ook nog gewimperd. Ook de vruchten wijken sterk af van die van Fluitenkruid; ze zijn zo'n 2 cm lang en rond op doorsnee met vijf opvallende ribben. De groene onrijpe vruchten zijn ook goed te eten, te gebruiken in thee of likeur. Het verse blad maakt deel uit van het recept "Kruutmoes"; wordt derhalve in Gelderland lokaal, bijvoorbeeld op de Veluwe, gekweekt en als tuinkruid gehouden. Het heeft een sterke anijsgeur. Ook in de veeartsenij werd het gewas wel aangewend.

Afkomstig uit de Savoye in Frankrijk en nu verspreid over geheel Europa en Noord Amerika. In Scandinavië als tuinplant gekweekt, aangezien het zeer koudebestendig is en zodoende de noordelingen het hele jaar door voorziet van een keukenkruid, zelfs in IJsland. De smaak is een beetje zoet en lijkt op venkel, anijs en drop. De blaadjes worden gebruikt in salades en sauzen op basis van kwark en yoghurt. De stengels laten zich goed confijten.

In de Oudheid werd Roomse kervel als surrogaat voor mirre gebruikt dat afkomstig is uit Afrika en Arabië. Vandaar de geslachtsnaam Myrrhis. In de 16e eeuw schreef John Gerard de gekookte wortels voor aan mensen die aan vermoeidheidsverschijnselen leden. Culpeper was er van overtuigd dat Roomse kervel hielp tegen de pest. 
In de volksgeneeskunde in gebruik sinds eeuwen: tegen de pest, honden- en slangenbeten. Culpepper schreef de zaden voor tegen reuma. Er werden zalven, aftreksels en balsem gemaakt tegen allerlei kwalen. De wortels, bladeren en zaden werden gegeten in groenten, slalades, yoghurt, enz.

Groeit vooral goed in halfschaduw in vochtige grond. Het kruid is belangrijk voor imkers. Aanvankelijk zijn de zaden groen, later zwart. Het blad is varenachtig, diep ingesneden en geurt naar anijs als het wordt gekneusd. Over het algemeen heeft het kruid weinig last van ziekten en plagen. Heeft varenachtige aromatische bladeren. Na het rijpen dragen ze lange smalle vruchten. De groene zaden, smaken naar anijs en worden rauw gegeten, in vruchtensalades en als smaakmaker in likeur gebruikt. Er wordt aromatische meubelwas van gemaakt. 

Het verse blad wordt in omeletten, soepen en stoofpotten gebruikt. De geraspte wortel doet men in salades, zure inmaak, of ze worden gekookt. Bladaftreksels worden voorgeschreven bij bloedarmoede. Wortelaftreksel in cognac is opwekkend, mild ontsmettend en spijsverteringsbevorderend. Men kan er ook thee van zetten.



Volgens A Modern Herbal Mrs Grieve

It is a native of Great Britain, a perennial with a thick root and very aromatic foliage, on account of which it was used in former days as a salad herb, or boiled, when the root, leaves, and seed were all used. The leaves are very large, somewhat downy beneath, and have a flavour rather like Anise, with a scent like Lovage. The first shoots consist of an almost triangular, lacey leaf, with a simple wing curving up from each side of its root. The stem grows from 2 to 3 feet high, bearing many leaves, and white flowers in early summer appear in compound umbels.In appearance it is rather like Hemlock, but is of a fresher green colour. The fruit is remarkably large, an inch long, dark brown, and fully flavoured. The leaves taste as if sugar had been sprinkled over them. It is probable that it is not truly a wild plant, as it is usually found near houses, where it may very probably be cultivated in the garden. Sweet Cicely is very attractive to bees; in the north of England it is said that the seeds are used to polish and scent oak floors and furniture. In Germany they are still very generally used in cookery. The old herbalists describe the plant as 'so harmless you cannot use it amiss.' The roots were supposed to be not only excellent in a salad, but when boiled and eaten with oil and vinegar, to be 'very good for old people that are dull and without courage; it rejoiceth and comforteth the heart and increaseth their lust and strength.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Aromatic, stomachic, carminative and expectorant. Useful in coughs and flatulence, and as a gentle stimulant for debilitated stomachs. The fresh root may be eaten freely or used in infusion with brandy or water. A valuable tonic for girls from 15 to 18 years of age. The roots are antiseptic, and a decoction is used for the bites of vipers and mad dogs The distilled water is said to be diuretic, and helpful in pleurisy, and the essence to be aphrodisiac. The decoction of roots in wine is also said to be effective for consumption, in morning and evening doses of 4 to 8 OZ., while the balsam and ointment cure green wounds, stinking ulcers, and ease the pain of gout.

The medicinal properties resemble those of the American variety.

Chervil, or Scandix Cerefolium (fam. Umbelliferae), a native of southern Europe and the Levant, is used only in cookery, and used in the French bouquet of herbs known as 'fines herbes.'
American Sweet Cicely (fam. Apicceae) or Ozmorrhiza longistylis. This plant grows in various parts of the United States, on lowlying, moist lands, flowering in May and June. The root has a sweet smell and taste, resembling aniseed and yields its properties to water or diluted alcohol.



Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activities of Essential Oils of Myrrhis odorata (L.) Scop, Hypericum perforatum L and Helichrysum arenarium (L.) Moench. Ana Rancˇi´c and Marina Sokovi´c*Institute for Biological Research “Sinis˘a Stankovi´c,” 29 November 142, 11 000 Belgrade, Serbia and MontenegroJelena Vukojevi´c, Ana Simi ´c, Petar Marin and Sonja Duleti´c-Lausˇevi´cInstitute Of Botany, Faculty Of Biology, University Of Belgrade, Takovska 43, 11 000 Belgrade, Serbia And MontenegroDejan Djokovi´cFaculty of Chemistry, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 3, Serbia and Montenegro
The chemical composition and antimicrobial activities of essential oils isolated from Myrrhis odorata, Hypericum perforatum and Helichrysum arenarium were investigated against seven bacterial and six fungal species. Activity against the bacteria and C. albicans were investigated by a bioautographic test on TLC plates, while all the other fungi were tested by a microdilution test. The oil of H. arenarium showed the best antibacterial activity, while M. odorata oil showed the lowest effect, to compare with commercial products. In contrast, the best antifungal activity was observed for M. odorata oil, while H. arenarium showed the lowest antifungal potential. Minimal inhibitory and fungicidal concentrations for fungi were 0.5-120 µg/mL. The oil of M. odorata showed better activity then commercial product and it can be seen that this oil is very effective against all fungi tested 

(PDF) Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial.... Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233286894_Chemical_Composition_and_Antimicrobial_Activities_of_Essential_Oils_of_Myrrhis_odorata_L_Scop_Hypericum_perforatum_L_and_Helichrysum_arenarium_L_Moench [accessed Jul 22 2018].

Essential oil composition of Myrrhis odorata (L.) Scop. leaves grown in Lithuania and France
D. Dobravalskytė , P.R. Venskutonis , B. Zebib , O. Merah  & T. Talou
The chemical composition of essential oils of sweet cicely (Myrrhis odorata (L.) Scop.) leaves from two geographic areas (Lithuania and France) were determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Comparatively slight differences were observed in the chemical composition of essential oils from both selected origins. The yield of essential oil varied from 0.4±0.02% in Lithuanian to 0.5±0.01% in French origin. In total twenty and twenty-six components were identified in the hydrodistilled oils of Lithuanian and French origin, respectively. The essential oils of both origins were found to be rich in E-anethole (48.1±1.4% and 50.7±1.1%), methyleugenol (14.3±0.5% and 13.1±0.4%), E-nerolidol (10.2±0.8% and 12.0±0.3%) and germacrene-D (5.0±0.1% and 4.3±0.3%).


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