Thyme is a very versatile herb whose history dates back thousands of years. It has both medicinal and culinary uses that you may or may not expect from such a simple kitchen herb. In fact, I’ve previously written about how thyme saved me from one of the worst bouts of bronchitis I’ve ever had. It truly is a must have in every medicine cabinet. I hope you learn something valuable from this humble little herb!
The Properties of Thyme
Here are some of the medicinal benefits and properties of thyme:
Botanical Name: Thymus vulgaris
Family: Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Common name: Garden Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Common Thyme
Parts Used: Leaves, tops, flowering tops
Flavor: Pungent, mildly bitter, spicy
Affinity/ Systems affected: Lungs, Liver, Stomach
The Properties of Thyme- What Can Thyme Do For Us?
Properties/Constituents: Thyme has a relaxant effect on the nerves which help individuals develop emotional strength, stamina, and courage with its use as a flower essence. People who take its flower essence are better able to adapt to the passage of time in a positive manner.
It is said that thyme is effective against nightmares because of its suitability for those who have unconscious issues that disturb their sleep.
Thyme has notable antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral, and diuretic properties useful in treating a variety of ailments.
It contains high levels of vitamin B, Vitamin C, manganese, chromium, and magnesium as well as the volatile oils such as: thymol, borneal, carvacrol, linalool, phenol, and cymol.
Uses of Thyme
• Internal use: Used internally for dry, whooping, acute, and chronic respiratory complaints; thyme is very successful at treating bronchitis as well as soothing asthma and laryngitis. It is also very affective in relieving gastrointestinal problems such as gas, indigestion, diarrhea, sluggish digestion , and intestinal parasite issues (i.e hookworms, roundworms, and threadworms). It also nourishes and warms the adrenals, lungs, and nerves. I used thyme very successfully in treating acute bronchitis when I had nothing else at my disposal.
•External use: Applied topically, thyme improves circulation and cleanses infected areas. It is commonly used as a gargle (thymol is the main ingredient in the top mouthwash brands) to treat any number of oral discomforts such as: dental decay, mouth sores, plaque, and halitosis. An infusion of thyme can also be used on conjunctivitis and pink eye by placing a tea bag of thyme leftover from making tea on the closed eye (be sure not to use the tea bag on the other eye as it will spread the infection).
• Aromatherapy/ Essential oil use: (To be used in a diffuser or diluted in a carrier oil topically) The essential oil used in a diffuser will aid with concentration, boost the immune system, disinfect the air of your home, and help clear your lungs. Topically, the essential oil will ease lower abdominal pain, acne, athlete’s foot, boils, cold sores, and ear ache by mixing 2 drops thyme essential oil with 1 teaspoon of oil such as: jojoba, coconut, olive oil etc. (you can get the best thyme essential oil here)
I have even used thyme essential oil as an effective natural acne treatment with great results. This is because it’s medicinal qualities are more potent than benzoyl peroxide!
Plant Preparations/Medicinal Uses: As a tea, infusion, decoction, tincture, infused oil, infused honey, vinegar, oxymel, elixir, liniment, and syrup. I’ve made an excellent anti-acne toner using thyme.
Contraindications: None known.
Cooking/Edible Uses: Used in a variety of soups, stews, roasts, cream sauces, and found in the traditional French Bouquets Garnis. The bouquet usually includes thyme, parsley, and a bay leaf tied together with string. (you can buy thyme seeds here)
Precautions: Thyme essential oil will burn the skin if applied directly. Do not add to bath water or use while pregnant.
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