Since the temps are cooler and the seasonal shift is upon us I decided to make soup. The recipe called for fresh Thyme. Hum, I thought, I have that in the garden. I’d harvested some earlier in the season to dry but there was still plenty on the plant to use. I went to the garden, snipped some Thyme, flowers and all, and threw it in the recipe. It made the flavor of the soup divine.
Hum, maybe I better rethink my indifference to this powerhouse little plant.
I haven’t thought a whole lot about using Thyme as medicine. My attitude has mostly been, meh, I like Oregano better. It seemed kind of insignificant to bother with but I’ve always had it growing in the garden because well, it’s medicinal.
Like most herbs, Thyme has a long history of use.
Egyptians used thyme as part of their mummification process. The Romans gave it to soldiers for courage (the Latin word for thyme, thymus, actually means courage and strength). And, in England back in the Middle Ages, people first started using thyme as a cooking spice.
Thyme feels like Oregano’s less irritating cousin. Still powerful, still antimicrobial, still equally potent, but less smack you in the back of the head like your pesky cousin.
Thyme is spicy and warming but not aggravating. It’s stimulating and helps to get things moving when you start to feel things getting stuck. It can activate digestion, break up congestion, and help with a tight throat and chronic cough.
A lot of times you don’t know what the heck you’ve got going on and you probably aren’t going to be able to figure it out. It could be respiratory, digestive, viral, or fungal, but whatever it is try throwing some Thyme at it and see what happens.
Thyme kills off what’s “other” whether that’s germs or thoughts and feelings. Thyme knows you from not you. So it goes after the junk and leaves the healthy bits alone.
Thyme, although not necessarily seen as a primary herb for the nervous system, can help relieve tension and mental exhaustion.
Think you don’t have enough time? Work with Thyme and you might just realize that’s an illusion.
Thyme is easy to grow in any climate so definitely grow it in your garden. This year I planted some in an out of the way spot and often forgot to water it but it thrived anyway.
You can usually harvest it at least a couple of times during the growing season. Dry it and keep it for the winter for cooking and tea. Store it in a glass container. The task of getting those little leaves off the stems is a little tedious but it’s so worth it.
Thyme can be used in a bunch of different preparations. It works well as a tea (although it might remind you of spaghetti), as a tincture, infused in oil (for topical use or cooking), in vinegar, or honey.
It’s Thyme to start adding more Thyme to your life. It’s abundant and effective, and it’s an herb for any Thyme.
So many puns so little Thyme.
One thing is for sure, I’ve definitely begun a new love affair with Thyme.