Plant Portrait: Thyme

Plant Portrait: THYME

There is nothing like a warm, smoking cup of thyme tea on a cold winter day, especially if you are a Bulgarian. We actually love to drink this fragrant and healing tea all year long. My family does go on mountain hikes in the summer in order to stock up on wild thyme for the long winter months.

Did you know that the herb with tiny green leaves and beautiful purple flowers has strong anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, antiparasitic and expectorant properties? Next to all these super powers, thyme is also both warming and drying.

Both, thymus vulgaris (garden thyme) or thymus serpyllum (wild thyme), have been used for centuries, medicinally and culinary. The wild thyme however has an incredible aroma and its flavour is a lot spicier and hotter than the garden variety. Both are known for treating dry and wet coughs as well as digestive issues. The plant may be used as a tea, a steam or cough syrup. It works well also infused in honey or in oil for tincture and skin salves.

This herb is hiding a real potent medicine properties in such small and unassuming look. Some of the thyme amazing healing properties are listed below.

  • thyme leaves make a great steam for bronchitis;
  • is a go-to herb for upper respiratory problems (like a cough); thyme helps expel mucus;
  • can calm digestive spasms, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS);
  • supports the immune support during colds and the flu and eliminate the symptoms like fever, sore throat and cough;
  • helps ease topical fungal and urinary-tract infections;
  • widely recognised in asthma-formulae;
  • used externally, the thyme helps painful joints as a counter-irritant;
  • has a reputation of a very good “anti-hysteric”; it helps ward off nightmares and mixed with lavender and/ or hops created a calming tea-mix by inviting deeper sleep;
  • and last but not least thyme is ray of hope for the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria;

A note of caution: thyme contains a powerful phenol, thymol. This volatile oil is safe as part of the whole herb (as its buffered by other constituents) but less safe by itself when it is concentrated in essential oil). This is because the concentrated oil is irritating and dries out mucus membranes too much. Because of this it is recommended to always use it diluted with a carrier oil (almond, coconut or jojoba).

As per the master mind Nadine from living Libations the thyme oil pairs well with the following plants: Oregano, Marjoram, Vitex, Lavender, Frankincense, Immortelle, Bergamot, Sage, Lemon, Myrrh, Rockrose, Verbena, Melissa, Ylang, Vanilla, Cypress, Juniper, Rose Otto, and Spikenard.

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A power oil mix of Living libation is “Frankincense+First Friend” (including thyme and frankincense and a few more). This apothecary in a bottle is a great ally at the first symptoms of cold or flu. Wonder how to best use it? My trick is to dilute with some carrier oil and rub few drops under your feet, on the inside of your wrists and ankles and around your belly button before going to bed. I then wake up like new in the morning.

The DutchHealthStore has in its product array the essential oil of thyme, made by LivingLibations and Om Pur. A lot of other products contain this powerful plant too.. See the products below.

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Sources:

1) “Alchemy of herbs” from Rosalee de la Foret
2) “The gift of Healing Herbs” from Robin Rose Bennett

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