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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Garden Chervil, French Parsley

(Anthriscus Cerefolium)

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  • Chervil Herbal Description
  • Chervil Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Chervil Dosage Information
  • Chervil Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Chervil Supplements & Products

  • chervil leaves


    Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is sometimes called Garden Chervil to distinguish it from similar plants also called Chervil, or French Parsley. Chervil is a delicate annual herb related to Parsley. It is commonly used to season mild-flavored dishes and is a constituent of the French herb mixture fines herbes.

    Chervil is a member of the Apiaceae, Chervil is native to the Caucasus but was spread by the Romans through most of Europe, where it is now naturalized. The plants grow 16 to 28 inches tall, with tripinnate leaves t hat may be curly. The small white flowers form small umbels, 1 to 2 inches across. The fruit is about 1 cm long, oblong-ovoid with a slender, ridged beak.

    Transplanting chervil can be difficult, due to the long taproot. Sow the seeds in the desired location. Chervil is one of those herbs that does well growing in containers. It prefers a cool, shaded, and moist location; otherwise, it rapidly goes to seed (also known as bolting). It is usually grown as a cool-season crop, like lettuce, and should be planted in early spring and late fall or in a winter greenhouse. Regular harvesting of leaves also helps to prevent bolting. To promote growth and a longer season, pinch off the tops. Successive plantings will help to give you a longer harvest. If plants bolt despite precautions, the plant can be periodically re-sown throughout the growing season, thus producing fresh plants as older plants bolt and go out of production. Chervil grows to a height of 12 to 24 inches and a width of 6 to 12 inches. As the plant matures, the leaves tend to turn a purple, bronze coor. At this stage they also lose the pungency of their tasted, so use only the young green leaves.

    chervil flowers



    A subtle, tender flavor - part anise, part parsley - that you taste in the fish sauce, will almost certainly be Chervil. Chervil is used to season poultry, seafood, young spring vegetables such as carrots, soups and sauces. More delicate than Parsley, it has a faint taste of Licorice or Aniseed. Chervil is one of the four traditional French fines herbes, along with Tarragon, Chives and Parsley, which are essential to French cooking. Unlike the more pungent robust herbs, Thyme, Rosemary, etc., which can take prolonged cooking, the fines herbes are added at the last minute, to salads, omelets, and soups.Transplanting chervil can be difficult, due to the long taproot. It prefers a cool and moist location; otherwise, it rapidly goes to seed (also known as bolting). It is usually grown as a cool-season crop, like lettuce, and should be planted in early spring and late fall or in a winter greenhouse. Regular harvesting of leaves also helps to prevent bolting. If plants bolt despite precautions, the plant can be periodically re-sown throughout the growing season, thus producing fresh plants as older plants bolt and go out of production. Chervil grows to a height of 12 to 24 inches (300 to 610 mm), and a width of 6 to 12 inches.

    Chervil is a member of the Carrot family and its leaves highly resemble carrot tops. The young green leaves, which smell similar to Anise, are collected before they lose their pungency and often preserved in vinegar. Chervil is a warm herb. Its taste and fragrance fill the senses the way warmth does, slowly, subtly. You notice chervil in the background, and you are glad to find it there because its flavour and fragrance are themselves warm and cheering. There are two main varieties of chervil, one plain and one curly. Hardy annuals, they have a fernlike leaf structure as delicate and dainty as their flavor is subtle. The stems are branched and finely grooved, and the root is thin and white.

    Chervil combines well with mild cheeses and is a tasty addition to herbal butters, egg and potato dishes. The traditional fines herbes blend is the basis for ravigote sauce, a warm herbed veloute served over poultry or fish. Chervil gives Bernaise its distinctive flavor. Chervil, being a spring-time herb, has a natural affinity for other spring foods such as salmon, trout, young asparagus, new potatoes, baby green beans, and baby carrots, salads of spring greens. Chervil's flavor is lost easily, either by drying the herb, or too much heat. This is the reason why it should be added at the end of cooking or sprinkled on in its fresh, raw state. One way to keep chervil's flavor is to preserve it in white wine vinegar. Because its flavor is so potent, little else is needed as flavoring when added to foods. This makes it a low calorie way to add interest to meals. Chervilís delicate leaves make it an attractive herb to use for garnishes. Fresh Chervil is added to salads to give them a low-calorie kick.


    Chervil has had various uses in folk medicine. It was claimed to be useful as a digestive aid, for lowering high blood pressure, and, inflused with vinegar, for curing hiccups. Besides its digestive properties, it is used as a mild stimulant.

    Chervil has a flavor and fragrance resembling Myrrh and symbolizes new live, linking it with spring rites and celebrations where it is traditional to serve Chervil soup on religious holidays. The warmth of this herb suggested medicinal uses to many herbalists in history and was used to warm old and cold stomachs. During the middle ages, Chervil was used for a variety of ailments. Eating a whole plant reportedly relieved hiccups, a practice still tried by some individuals today.

    Chervil was used as an eyewash to refresh the eyes. Chervil was also made into a tea and ingested to reduce blood pressure. The active constituents of Chervil include its volatile oil, which has a smell similar to Myrrh. Chervil is also a rich source of bioflavonoids, which aid the body in many ways, including Vitamin C absorption. As with most herbs, chervil is an aid for digestion. When brewed as a tea it can be used as a soothing eye wash.

    Chervil Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chervil and let this steep for 20 minutes. Be sure to cover this to keep in all the volatile oils. When cool, moisten a cotton ball with some of the mixture and place over closed eyes for 10 minutes. Definitely refreshing.


    According to some sources, slug are attracted to Chervil and the plant is sometimes used to bait them.

    chervil potted herb


    Chervil leaves and dried flowering tops are used, as well as the juice to make medicine. Historically, chervil has been used as an expectorant, aromatic, bitter tonic, digestive stimulant, and an eyewash to refresh the eyes. In secondary sources, the use of chervil has also been noted for its blood-thinning and blood-pressure-lowering properties. Chervil has also been shown to have antioxidant effects in laboratory research. Chervil is a rich source of bioflavonoids, which may aid in vitamin C absorption. It is a good source of calcium and potassium. Chervil is used for fluid retention, cough, digestion problems, and high blood pressure. The juice from fresh Chervil is used for gout, pockets of infection (abscesses), and a skin condition called eczema. In foods and beverages, Chervil is used as a flavoring.

    Dosing Adults (18 years and older): There is no proven safe or effective dose for chervil in adults.
    Dosing Children (under 18 years old): There is no proven safe or effective dose for chervil in children.


    At this time, there is a lack of high-quality human trials supporting the effectiveness of chervil for any medical condition.

    Chervil and chervil extract are listed in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list. According to secondary sources, chervil essential oils may not be suitable for use in skincare products, due to the presence of irritants and toxins. Chervil has also been implicated in "strimmer dermatitis", or phytophotodermatitis, due to spray from weed trimmers and other forms of contact. Other plants in the family Apiaceae can have similar effects.

    Note Do not confuse Chervil (Garden Chervil) with Wild Chervil, also known as Cow Parlsey (Anthriscus sylvestris), a poisonous species and noxious weed distantly related to Garden Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium). Another type of chervil, sometimes called turnip-rooted chervil or tuberous-rooted chervil, is grown as a root vegetable. This type of chervil produces much thicker roots than the types cultivated for their leaves.

    Allergies: Avoid in individuals with known allergies or sensitivity to chervil, its constituents, or to members of the Apiaceae family.

    Side Effects & Warnings: There is a lack of information regarding the safety of chervil. However, chervil and chervil extract are listed in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list. According to secondary sources, chervil may not be safe for use in skincare products, due to possible irritants and toxins in chervil essential oils.

    Pregnancy & Breastfeeding: Although there is a lack of information about the safety of consumption of chervil during pregnancy or in breastfeeding women, chervil and chervil extract are listed in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list. Avoid therapeutic doses of Chervil (culinary use is okay). The use of medicinal amounts is likely unsafe. Chervil contains chemicals that might cause a chage or mutation in the genes of the developing fetus if used in therapeutic-medicinal dosages.

    Information on the effects of chervil during breastfeeding is lacking in the National Library of Medicine's Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed).

    Interactions with Drugs: Not enough scientific data available.
    Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements: Chervil may have antioxidant effects. Chervil may contain bioflavonoids that may help the body absorb vitamin C.


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