Chervil Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Chervil

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is an annual herb commonly used as a garnish. Chervil looks much like parsley. The herb is native to the Caucasus, an area that borders Europe and Asia. It has a light flavor that some say is similar to anise or licorice. Chervil loses flavor as it is cooked, so it is usually added to dishes at the end of preparation.

Chervil is also sometimes used as a medicinal herb. Some, but not all chervil health benefits are supported by scientific studies. Learn more about how to incorporate this herb into your diet.

Chervil Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for one tablespoon of dried chervil, is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 4.5
  • Fat: <0.1g
  • Sodium: 1.6mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0.9g
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0.4g

Carbs

One serving, about 1 tablespoon of dried chervil, provides less than 1 gram of carbohydrates.

Fats

You will find no fats in a serving of chervil.

Protein

There is less than one-half of a gram of protein in a single tablespoon of chervil.

Vitamins and Minerals

A typical one tablespoon serving of dried chervil is also not likely to provide significant micronutrients. However, you will get a small amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin, and folate. Minerals include calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, potassium, and manganese.

Calories

A one-tablespoon serving of dried chervil provides just over four calories, according to USDA data. Most of those calories come from carbohydrate and a small amount come from protein and fat.

Summary

Used as a seasoning in its dried form, chervil is not a significant source of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, or any miconutrients.

Health Benefits

Chervil has been used for centuries in alternative medicine to treat or improve certain medical conditions. These include:

  • Cough
  • Digestive disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Eczema
  • Gout
  • Pockets of infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Pleurisy
  • Reducing water weight

There is not enough scientific evidence, however, to know for sure if chervil can help treat or prevent any of these conditions.

Provides Antioxidants

In lab settings and in animal studies, chervil has demonstrated antioxidant effects. Antioxidants help prevent or delay cell damage. Cell damage, specifically oxidative stress, may occur when your body is exposed to free radicals.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), "oxidative stress is thought to play a role in a variety of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration." In lab studies, antioxidants have been shown to counteract oxidative stress.

Getting antioxidants from whole foods (such as herbs, fruits, and vegetables) is generally preferred by medical experts over getting antioxidants in supplement form.

Allergies

While allergy to chervil seems to be quite rare, there are some reports of an allergic reaction to parsley, which is closely related to chervil. People with allergies to other fruits or pollens may experience cross-reactivity and/or oral allergy syndrome when consuming chervil.

If you are allergic to parsley or if you suspect an allergy to chervil, seek personalized advice from your healthcare provider.

Adverse Effects

When used in typical amounts to flavor food, chervil is likely safe for most people. It may also be safe to use medicinally, but since medicinal doses are usually higher, there is not enough scientific evidence to know for sure.

Chervil should not be used in medicinal doses by people who are pregnant or who wish to become pregnant. Some experts caution that chervil may cause genetic changes in a developing fetus.

Varieties

Similar to parsley, chervil comes with either curly and flat leaves. You may be more likely to find dried chervil in the spice and seasoning aisle, rather than fresh chervil in the produce department.

When It's Best

Fresh chervil is in season during spring and may only be available at that time. Dried chervil is available year-round. However, dried chervil may not have the same delicate and distinctive flavor of the fresh variety. Still, some cooks use the dried version in vinaigrettes and on top of vegetables (blended with butter).

Storage and Food Safety

Chervil is delicate and does not store well in the refrigerator. However, if you wrap fresh chervil in a damp paper towel and store in the crisper of your fridge, it is likely to stay fresh for about a week. It can also be frozen and kept longer.

Like all dried herbs and spices, store dried chervil in an airtight container in a cool dark space. Properly stored, it is likely to stay good for three to four years.

How to Prepare

Chervil has a flavor that is often described as minty or mild. Some compare it to tarragon and others say it tastes more like parsley. Chervil is often used in French cooking. It is one of several herbs (along with parsley, tarragon, and chives) used to make "fines herbes"—a blend used traditionally in France. Chervil is commonly used in egg dishes and is used in some traditional French recipes for bearnaise sauce.

Experiment with chervil by adding it to your omelets and scrambled egg dishes. You can also add chervil to soups (such as potato soup) or top meat and vegetable dishes with a fresh sprig.

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Spices, chervil, dried. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  2. Olaru OT, Niţulescu GM, Orțan A, Dinu-Pîrvu CE. Ethnomedicinal, phytochemical and pharmacological profile of anthriscus sylvestris as an alternative source for anticancer lignans. Molecules. 2015;20(8):15003-15022. doi:10.3390/molecules200815003

  3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Antioxidants: In depth.

  4. Van Der Brempt X, Gras J, Nygård K, Leduc V. Garden chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), a novel food allergen. World Allergy Org J. 2020;13(8):100312. doi:10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100312

Additional Reading

By Malia Frey
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.