Thymus Vulgaris or commonly known as the culinary herb Thyme, but this pretty little herb is anything but common. Thyme, in my humble opinion is a ‘superherb’. Thyme is a member of the mint family and is native to the Mediterranean. There is only one plant thymus vulgaris, but the composition of the oil distilled from the plant, shows variations in chemical components based on the location or region the plant grows. Thyme is one of the most used herbs in Aromatherapy. If you’re wanting to use Thyme oil, I advise that you check with an Aromatherapist or Naturopath before using, to make sure that you have the correct component of oil for its use.
For the purpose of this blog, I want you to get an idea of how this herb is a superherb:
Thyme has fantastic
- expectorant properties.
What better herb to have around during the long cold winter months during the flu and cold season.
- Thyme helps to kill microbes, helps the body to eliminate toxins and boosts the immune system supporting the formation of white blood cells, increasing resistance from invading organisms, that can cause respiratory infections.
- An excellent pulmonary disinfectant, thyme is useful against flu, sore throats, asthma, catarrh, coughs, laryngitis, whooping cough, and bronchitis.
Put a drop or two in a bowl of boiling water, throw a towel over your head and bowl, to make a tent, and inhale for stuffy nose, sore throat, congestion and coughs. For mouth and gum infections (such as thrush, gingivitis), use in toothpaste or mouthwash/gargle. As little as a .1 percent solution is effective.
Why not grow your own? Thyme is best cultivated in a hot, sunny location with well-drained soil. It is generally planted in the spring, and thereafter grows as a perennial. It can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or by dividing rooted sections of the plant. It tolerates drought well. The plants can take deep freezes and are found growing wild on mountain highlands. Along the Riviera it is found from sea level and up to 800 m.
Honey from bees that feed on thyme flower nectar is a gourmet delight. Yet interestingly enough, insects are repelled by thyme. Make a cup of thyme tea, put it in a plant mister, and spray around doorways and windows in summer to repel insects. Smells great too.
You will find thyme a welcome flavor in salads, soups, chowders, sauces, breads, vegetable and meat dishes, and even jellies and desserts. http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blthyme.htm
Important species and cultivars
- Thymus citriodorus — various lemon thymes, orange thymes, lime thyme.
- Thymus herba-barona (caraway thyme) is used both as a culinary herb and a ground cover, and has a very strong caraway scent due to the chemical carvone.
- Thymus pseudolanuginosus (woolly thyme) is not a culinary herb, but is grown as a ground cover.
- Thymus serpyllum (wild thyme, creeping thyme) is an important nectar source plant for honeybees. All thyme species are nectar sources, but wild thyme covers large areas of drought rock soils in southern Europe (Greece is especially famous for wild thyme honey) and North Africa, as well as in similar landscapes in the Berkshire and Catskill Mountains of the northeastern US. The lowest-growing of the widely used thyme is good for walkways.
- Thymus vulgaris (common thyme, English thyme, summer thyme, winter thyme, French thyme, or garden thyme) is a commonly used culinary herb. It also has medicinal uses. Common thyme is a Mediterranean perennial which is best suited to well-drained soils and full sun.
If you don’t like the taste of Thyme, there is another equally good superherb, for sore throats, coughs, colds and flu, take a look at our website:
To good health!