Thyme is an evergreen herb with culinary, medicinal and ornamental uses.
The most common variety is Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is of the genus Thymus of the mint family, and a relative of the Oregano genus Origanum.
Thyme has a powerful ability to kill off bacteria and viruses and should be taken at first signs of a cold or illness.
Thyme is a rich source of several essential vitamins such as vitamins A, E, C, K, B-complex and folic acid and it is also one of the best sources of calcium, iron, manganese, selenium, and potassium.
Thyme contains antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, carminative, diaphoretic, and expectorant properties which supports healing throughout the entire body.
Thyme is vital to help stimulate memory, prevent nightmares and melancholy, ease headache and muscle tension, soothe coughs, relieve fevers, and fight colds and infections. It contains a compound called carvacrol which is an excellent natural tranquilizer and has a tonic effect on the entire nervous system.
Thyme is a good source of pyridoxine which is known to play an important role in manufacturing GABA levels in the brain, aid in regulating sleep patterns, and benefit neurotransmitter function in the brain. GABA is also one of the best natural defenses against stress damage.
Thyme is a great purifying herb for the digestive tract and has been found to destroy certain intestinal hookworms and roundworms and aid in the digestion of rich or fatty foods.
Thyme has some of the highest antioxidant levels among herbs. It is packed with bioflavonoids such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and naringenin which have all been shown to have
Thyme has some powerful effects on eliminating free-radicals and other disease producing substances from the body.
Thyme oil has been used as a local antiseptic and antimicrobial since ancient times and is highly beneficial in supporting the immune system and for easing fatigue and weakness after illness.
Thyme oil can also help to stop hair loss by improving blood flow to the scalp and feeding the roots of the hair.
Fresh thyme is best for cooking. Fragrant and easy to add to a variety of dishes and sauces, thyme is a delicious, in multiple varieties, during warm-weather seasons.
English thyme and lemon thyme is used most often in cooking.
Consider using more fresh thyme in your food by adding it to soups, salads, guacamole, vegetables, potatoes, rice, and cornbread.
Fresh thyme also makes a powerful and very healing tea. Steep a handful of fresh sprigs in hot water for at least 10 minutes or it can be soaked overnight in a pitcher of water and sipped throughout the day. Add honey or lemon, if desired.
Thyme is a small perennial shrub with lots of branches and light purple to pink flowers. It’s aromatic and has a pleasant, pungent, clover flavor. There are over fifty varieties used in cooking and gardening.
It’s hard to grow thyme from seeds because of slow, uneven germination. It’s easier to buy the plants or take some cuttings from a friend.
For a head start, plant the cuttings indoors 6 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost. If you are planting them in your garden, plant thyme near cabbage.
Prune the plants back in the spring and summer to contain the growth. You can take some cuttings and plant them indoors in pots, too.
If you have cold winters, remember to lightly mulch around the plants after the ground freezes.
Throughout the summer, leaves and sprigs can be harvested at any time.
To dry the sprigs, hang them in a dark, well-ventilated, warm area. You can also just dry the leaves by placing them on a tray. Once dried, store them in an airtight container. Freezing is another method of storage.