Thyme

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Disclaimer: This data is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to prescribe or treat specific problems. As with any herb or medication, please consult your Doctor of Naturopath or your Medical Doctor before trying anything new.

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(Thymus vulgaris)

The tops of the thyme plant are those generally used. Properties of Thyme include: Antiseptic, Diuretic, Carminative, Antispasmodic, Expectorant and Parasiticide. The lungs, throat, intestines, skin, and stomach are usually affected by the use of this herb.

Description of Properties:

ANTISEPTIC: These are herbs that have the power to stop the growth of bacteria.

DIURETIC: These are herbs that increase the flow of urine.

CARMINATIVE: These are herbs that contain volatile oils which promote the expulstion of gas.

ANTISPASMODIC: These are herbs that are used for muscle spasms and convulsions.

EXPECTORANT: These are herbs which aid the excretion of mucus from the throat and lungs.

PARASITICIDE: These are herbs that kill and remove parasites from the skin.

Thyme is usually prepared as an infusion, a Fluid Extract, a Powder (capsules) or as a Tincture.

An infusion of thyme leaves is an old remedy for relieving headaches, but research does not show what kind of headaches. Also, an infusion is used to treat sore throats, laryngitis, and bronchitis. It is also said to be good for stomach problems such as poor appetite, gas, and diarrhea.

When used externally, (one part thyme essential oil to 10 parts sweet almond oil), this rub is used as an antiseptic oil for lice, ringworm, athletes feet, and other antiseptic treatable skin conditions.

The infusion also makes a good wash for wounds due to it's antiseptic problems.

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English Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

This is a perennial evergreen herb growing up to 10 inches tall. It is a traditional ingredient of clam chowder, and is great when used with fish and meat dishes.

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French Thyme (Thymus valgare)

Another perennial herb growing up to one foot tall. This thyme has narrow, gray leaves with white to light purple colored flowers. You can make a great "bouquet garni" by adding this thyme to some marjoram, parsley, and bay leaf.

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Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

This herb is more commonly known as "Mother of Thyme". It is the most vigorous and fastest growing thyme. It is also sold under the name "Thymus pulegioides". This herb grows easily from seed. It tends to grow in mounds and has glossy, aromatic leaves that are bigger and rounder than the other thymes. Flowers are also pinkish and make a beautiful showing when in full bloom. Some say this herb smells like lemon thyme, common thyme, and/or oregano.

Creeping Thyme likes to grow in full or part sun, with average soil and watering. This plant is a great ground cover that can be walked upon and even mowed. Divide every few years.

Harvest the leaves just before flowering for the best flavor. The leaves are used for seasoning, in potpourri, and in tea, just l ike Thymus vulagris.]

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Golden Lemon Thyme Thymus citriodorus)

This is one of the prettiest thymes, because it is a bushy, mounding plant with a golden touch. This thyme grows about 6 to 8 inches tall and has glossy green leaves that have a tantalizing lemon aroma. This herb flowers in June and July with pretty purplish flowers, however, these flowers do not set seed because this species is actually a hybrid.

Grow in full or part sun in ordinary watering conditions. Once established it can tolerate short droughts. It is best if you prune this herb after it flowers as it grows, to encourage a shapely mound and to prevent it from sprawling everywhere. If you live in a real hard frost zone, it probably won't survive, but can survive mild frosts. This makes a great herb to grow in a pot.

Leaves are used to season sauces, soups, fish, poultry, & for potpourri.

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Caraway Thyme (Herba-barona)

This is a low spreading herb that has long shoots. It makes a sort of "mat" as it grows up to two feet wide and about 4-5 inches tall. Stems on this plant are reddish brown in color. Leaves are dark green and have the aroma of caraway when crushed. The flowers are a dark rose color and bloom in June and July. This plant is often mixed up with "Nutmeg Thyme" which is basically the same plant.

Plant in full sun in well drained soil. Can become invasive if not properly pruned. (Prune after flowering period).

The leaves add a caraway flavor to your culinary dishes, especially beef.

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"Thymus pseudolanuginosus"

This is known as "Wooly Thyme" and is sometimes confused with different species. It is pretty unmistakeable when you see it, as the stems and leaves are covered with thick silverish grayish hairs that seem to sparkle in the sun. It grows almost 3 inches tall and mounds about 2 feet wide. It sports pale pinkish flowers early in the summer.

Needs full sun and excellent drainage. Makes a good ground cover.

This plant is usually just planted for its looks.

Most of the "flavored" herbal times, apple, etc., are hybrids and do not produce seed.

This covers many of the thymes that I am familiar with. If you have other thymes that you wish to look up, try doing a search of it's name and see what you come up with, or ask a reputable nurseryman.

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Thyme/Grape Jelly

3 Cups Grape Juice
1 Tspn Dried Thyme
2 Tspn Lemon Juice
1 Pckg. Powdered Pectin
3 1/2 cups sugar.

In large pan, combine juice and thyme. Heat just until it starts to come to a boil. Turn off heat. Let stand 15 minutes. Strain out herb and discard. Return liquid to pan and add lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil for one full minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off the foam. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. Turn upside down once to coat lid on the inside an dthen stand upright to cool. (You may also process 10 minutes in a water bath).

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Thyme Antiseptic Mouthwash

1/4 ounce Thyme
1 quart freshly boiled water.
1/4 oz. pure grain alcohol (NOT Rubbing) (Optional)

Steep the thyme in the boiled water for 15 minutes and then strain. Add the alcohol to the thyme infusion and stir until well blended. Use this to rinse your mouth with but do not swallow.

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Marcia Wilson
Journeywoman Herbalist
The Allways Natural Herb Farm
10/21/98

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