Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) medicinal herb is a plant that was grown in monasteries during the middle ages as a remedy for cough and cold medicine, for intestinal parasites and as a digestive aid. It surely has a part in history because it dates way back to 2750 BC. There are about four hundred different species of this magnificent plant. Yes, this is a lot of species. No wonder it is so widely popular.
It is a perennial plant that is native to Southern Europe and Mexico. It is part of the Lamiaceae family. It prefers dry, growing conditions and as a matter of fact, it almost grows itself. You can grow it in herb gardens or even on a rock. It is great dried or fresh. It is widely sold in herb shops and in the markets.
The ancients recognized it for its medicinal powers and according to Culpeper, it is so harmless you need not fear the use. From root to leaves are used for culinary and medicinal purposes and you cannot separate one from the other.
It is a very popular kitchen herb. Probably even more popular than other kitchen herbs. It is a unique high quality seasoning for innovative cooking. I use this herb in most of my cooking because it is one of the tastiest culinary herbs to use in the kitchen. Therefore, I put it in my meat, in my soup and in my cooked vegetable because of the flavor it gives to many dishes. I also use it as an herbal tea, but sparingly.
It is always a companion to rice and peas. As a matter of fact it is in most traditional Jamaican food. It is one of the spices grown in Jamaica and it is always sold with Jamaican escallion.
Some of the common names for this medicinal herb are Garden thyme, French thyme, Thymus Vulgaris, Tuma, Common thyme and Mother of herbs. It is a very shrubby plant with a distinct odor and spicy taste. It is a very difficult plant to cultivate, but its benefits are excellent. It is a very essential spice in French recipes.
The medicinal properties are antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, vulnerary, stimulant, expectorant, aromatic, depurative, emmenagogue, vermifuge, antioxidant, sedative, parasiticide, analgesic as well as carminative.
The constituents are beta carotene, flavonoids, essential oils, camphor, amino acids as well as other fatty acids, tannin, vitamin C, vitamin B, iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium and also potassium.
It has many magical and therapeutic properties. It is said
that the herb protected medieval people from witchcraft. It can be used dried or fresh.
infusion can arrest gastric fermentation and is useful in numerous
ailments being an antioxidant, antiseptic, expectorant, and antibiotic. It can boost the immune system and will aid in combating viruses. It can be found in decongestants, potpourris, sachets and liqueurs.
Thyme essential oil has a powerful
antiseptic (Thymol) and it is used in toothpaste.
However, excessive use of the oil can lead to symptoms of poisoning and
to over-stimulation of the thyroid gland. It is also believed that the
essential oil that is most suitable for the skin is the Linalool
chemotype. The others are said to be too strong for the skin
Used as an herbal bath it will alleviate headaches, labor pains, ring worms, sprains as well as pulled muscles. It will help to treat and soothe conditions pertaining to the nervous system as well as help to cure insomnia issues.
The benefits of this plant are many. It is valuable in whooping cough and other coughs, asthma, bronchitis, any lung trouble, and women's disease. It is good for all respiratory diseases. Taken hot for these conditions, but for weak stomach, dyspepsia, gas, griping, cramps in the stomach, and diarrhea, take it cold.
One of my aunts who suffered for
years with asthma was told to drink the tea and today she is living
without the regular attacks. Her regular visits to the hospital has
This medicinal plant is a blood
cleanser thereby giving a healthy and bright complexion with a rosy
look. It is also a remedy for
The 1977 Herbal Almanac recorded this very herb to be a remedy for poison, snakebites, and bugs' stings.
Use 2 teaspoonful of the dry herb to one pint of boiling water and let it stand for five to ten minutes. Take two tablespoon two times per day or a cup of the tea may be taken up to three times per day. The tea may be sweetened with honey.
If pregnant, breast feeding as well as having high blood pressure (hypertension) do not use thyme.
Updated June 3, 2015
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