Aerial parts, roots.
Garden burnet has a number of uses, including culinary and therapeutic. In Europe as well as in the Middle East, this herb is used as a traditional medicine. The roots as well as the leaves of the garden burnet plant possess astringent properties, which help in stopping bleeding. In addition, an infusion prepared with the herb is used for treating rheumatism and gout. Since scientists are yet to undertake research on the herb's therapeutic properties, it is not possible to corroborate or disprove the claims regarding the medicinal use of garden burnet. However, currently, this herb is mainly used as a culinary herb in preparing salads, cheese, butter and vinegars. The tender leaves and shoots of the garden burnet plant can be consumed both raw as well as cooked. It is best to use the leaves and shoots for culinary purpose before the plant begins to blossom. The tender leaves and shoots of the herb are consumed in salads, added to soups, used in the form of a garnish, added to claret cups and cooling drinks. The young seedlings of garden burnet are also consumed after boiling. It is somewhat tricky to harvest the leaves of the herb and at times they become bitter during hot arid summers. Nevertheless, the leaves are generally somewhat mild to taste during winter. Some people find the leaves of garden burnet to possess a cucumber-like essence. The leaves of the herb have a discrete bitter taste when grown in acid soils. However, when the plants are cultivated on a chalky or calcareous soil, they produce leaves that have a comparatively mild taste. The leaves of the plant are dried and used to prepare an herbal tea.
In order to use the garden burnet leaves for culinary purpose, it is recommended that the leaves are harvested as a whole as required. However, it is advisable to keep patience till the plant grows up properly and this may take many months before you can harvest the leaves. Shed off the leaflets of the plant from the sinewy rachis or the leaf stem and use them in salads or sandwiches. The flavour of the garden burnet leaves is usually compared to that of cucumber and this herb can also be used as a substitute for borage. The leaves that have a somewhat bitter taste are excellent for preparing cream cheese and salad burnet is particularly scrumptious when it is interspersed on cottage cheese. You may also use garden burnet leaves in Cole slaw and yogurt. In addition, salad burnet is also used to prepare spiced vinegar and there was a time when it was also added to claret.
Garden burnet is indigenous to southern, central and western regions of Europe, southwest regions of Western Asia and northwest Africa. This herb was introduced into North America and over the years it has neutralized in spread locations ranging from Nova Scotia to Ontario, and in the south to Virginia and Tennessee. This is a low growing perennial herb that is evergreen which makes the plant excellent for edging around beds and borders. This plant can be cultivated easily in locations receiving full sunlight. It is important to cut down the older leaves on a regular basis with a view to support the growth of young leaves that possess the most excellent taste. The plant self-seeds liberally. It is also important to cut down the flower stalks soon after the plant blooms if you do not desire self-seeding. The plant also remains evergreen in warm winter climes. Nevertheless, the leaves of the plant can be collected even after the first frosting. Garden burnet plant has a preference for light arid calcareous soil, but grows well on majority of good quality soils. This herb also has the aptitude to survive in inferior or relatively infertile soils. According to a report, garden burnet grows excellently even in swampy soil, but, in all probability, this is a misconception. On the other hand, it has been found that garden burnet grows excellently in spring meadow. This herb does not like shade or partial shade. It is only some times, that garden burnet is grown in an herb garden. As aforementioned, garden burnet is a perennially growing herbaceous plant that produces edible leaves throughout the year - even during the harsh winter. If garden burnet is cultivated for use in salads, the plant ought to be prevented from producing flowers. Usually, one does not require sowing this plant, as it is self-sow and at times, when it grows rapidly covering an entire area, it even turns out to be a botheration.
In laboratory studies, extracts from garden burnet have displayed that it has positive physiological effects. A research undertaken by a team of scientists in Spain have discovered that the extracts of garden burnet showed anti-HIV actions in vitro. Studies undertaken in Germany have exhibited that extracts of garden burnet have helped to reduce the blood sugar levels considerably of laboratory mice that were treated with the extracts in comparison to control mice. Another study undertaken in Turkey has shown that the extracts of the herb provided noteworthy safeguard against ulcers in laboratory mice. In addition, a research conducted in Iran showed that garden burnet extracts obtained from Iran and Canada possessed fungicidal properties.
Chemical analysis of extracts of garden burnet leaves have shown that they enclose approximately 5.65 per cent protein, 11 per cent carbohydrate, 1.2 per cent fat, 1.7 per cent ash and 74.5 per cent water.