This one is for you, Kathy!
Common Name: Thyme
Scientific Name: Thymus species (There are over 100 varieties of Thyme, all stemming from Thymus serphyllum or ..ther-of-thyme..r
Family: Labiatae (the mint family, square stems)
Parts Used: Aerial (above ground) parts
Harvesting: Thyme is an evergreen and can be picked year round. But, the best time for harvest is when it is in bloom, during the summer months. Strip the leaves from the hardened stem for use, if you like.
Constituents/Nutrition: volatile oils (thymol, carvacrol, etc. account for most of its effects), lamiaceae tannins, flavonoids, treterpenoid saponins, high in Aluminum, chromium, fiber, iron, silicon, and many other minerals
Properties/Actions: Antiseptic, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, vulnerary (wound healing), anthelmintic (expels worms), aromatic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal
Uses/Indications: To soothe coughs (!!), relieve fever, expel gas, increase perspiration, mild mood elevator, for inflammation and spastic conditions of the upper respiratory tract (colds, coughs, bronchitis, etc.) and gastrointestinal tract, mouthwash, mild insect repellant
Folk History/Magical Uses: Thyme has a long history of use dating back to at least 3500 BC!! Egyptians used it as part of their embalming oil. Thyme was used in temples as incense, and in Greece the highest compliment a man could receive was to tell him he smelled of thyme, because it was the symbol of courage, elegance, and grace. In Medieval days, Thyme was put in cordials to inspire courage and strength. Thyme was sewn into kerchiefs in the Middle ages and given to knights to protect them in battle. It was also thought to be a favorite herb of the fairies, who would dance on beds of Thyme at midnight on Midsummer.?Eve. In WWI, the oil of Thyme was used as an antiseptic. The flowers are wonderful for attracting honeybees.
Cautions/Side Effects: Thyme oil can be toxic in large doses. Thyme is also very stimulation and shouldn.?be used medicinally during pregnancy or while nursing.
Preparation/Dosage: Can be prepared as a tea, mouthwash, essential oil, salve, oil, liniment, tincture, and more. The dosage and preparation would depend on the condition you are treating.
Recipe: Spiced Olive Oil-
To one cup of Olive Oil, add 1 tsp. each of Thyme, Rosemary, Basil and Sea Salt, and 1 or 2 whole cloves of garlic. Use as a dip for breads. The longer it sits, the stronger it will be. Mmmmmm.
My Thoughts:I have not used this herb a whole lot in my remedies, but when I have, it works wonderfully! I love adding it to cough syrups, and medicines for cold and flu. This might be a nice one to add to your elderberry syrup if you plan to use it for coughs, or just make cough drops with it!
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Cunningham, S. 2000. Magical Herbalism. Llewellyn Publications, Minnesota.
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McVicar, J. 1994. The Complete Herb Book. Kyle Cathie Limited, London.
Onstad, D. 1996. Whole Foods Companion. Chelsea Green Publishing, Vermont.
Skenderi, G. 2003. Herbal Vade Mecum. Herbacy Press, New Jersey.
Tierra, L. 2000. A Kid.?Herb Book. Reed Publishers, California.