Food on Friday ~ Thyme

I know of a place where the wild thyme grows


Thymus Vulgaris, garden thyme, is one of the four great medicinal and culinary herbs; parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme…..  A herb is a plant where the leafy green and flowering parts are found useful in cooking and natural medicine.  Whereas, a spice is produced from other parts of a plant; seeds, bark, roots, fruit….  Ergo ginger is a spice, whereas the ash tree is used both as a herb and a spice.

Trust me, thyme is most definitely a herb and an important ingredient in Mediterranean, Indian, and Caribbean recipes.  Thyme is also a basic ingredient in perfumery.

In medicine, thyme should be treated with caution because, like all herbs, it contains some very powerful and complex chemicals, especially thymol.  Interestingly the antiseptic thymol is a major ingredient of Listerine mouthwash and most alcohol-free hand sanitisers.

Other major and powerful compounds found in the common or garden thyme are; borneol, carvavrol, eucalyptol, menthene, thymene, and tannin.  The major effects of these compounds are; antibiotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, balsamic, carminative, and soporific.  (Balsamic really means ‘elixir’)

Thyme tea, (usually made with dried leaves), is calming, helps most people to sleep, fights off coughs, reduces inflammations, and much reduces embarrassing night-time flatulence.  As with most natural herb teas women of child-bearing age should take care as it increases blood flow to the uterus.  Thyme in wine is good, and I use sprigs of thyme in both olive oil and apple cider vinegar, (makes a fabulous salad dressing)  Thyme tea is a potent female aphrodisiac.  Thyme and marijuana cookies should be treated with very great care indeed.

A sprig of thyme under the pillow is an aid to calm sleep, and a good bunch of thyme in your bath will help kill off very nasty things like toenail fungus, athletes foot, and the hookworm ancylostomiasis.

Thyme of any variety is easy to grow, it prefers a well-drained gravelly soil in full sun.  Collect your thyme in spring and early summer.  Bees love thyme as the flowers are nectar-rich ~ real thyme honey has all of the properties you can find in the plant.


jack collier

if you have a scrap of space, grow herbs

5 responses

  1. Love herbs and especially thyme and lavender and mints. Herbs can be tucked in anywhere. Just planted parsley..but it is mostly for the rabbits!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Parsley is a more potent herb than you’d think. It’s an excellent aid to digestion, it’s soothing if rubbed on insect bites, and the juice is a good mosquito repellent. Nursing mothers should avoid parsley, as it will stop their milk. (Can’t believe I just wrote that ❤ )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll have to see if it harms lactating bunnies (and I giggled when I read your comment!). I knew tea tree oil was a good bug deterrent, but didn’t know parsley had enough juice to rub on a body! Will it make one green? Dandelions make skin yellow and juice from walnut shells stain dark for AGES!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. wow! what a lot of info. Where did that all come from? I knew you loved gardening but didn’t know you had an active and informed interest in herbal remedies. I have a little left in the garden and will start using it and treasuring it again. The day before yesterday I went out on a plant shopping binge and bought five giant shrubs, well they are not giant yet but here’s hoping; a variegated cherry laurel…hate the things when people use them as hedging, very anti green as they cause vast carbon emmissions when cut, but they are lovely trees, a hydrangea paniculata, a deep pink mallow which hopefully will make six foot, a cystus, well it didn’t cost much, and a lovely pale lilac Clematis, with five large fowers, which sholdn’t be blooming yet, but just as well it is because I think the label is wrong. Plus there are a load of shrubs in the garden I am taking cuttings and rooted suckers from. Having a big plant up this year that I haven’t done for ages. Wish everyone was, but when I walked into the indoor part of the garden centre, very depressing miles and miles of plastic hedging. People must be buying it or they wouldn’t be stocking it. Now everything anyone touches in half the gardens in Britain will be plastic. It is already the case that the only things you can touch in the average house that are not plastic are the cuttlery and crockery. Wall paint and carpets, sofas and polish are now almost all plastic. Never mind global warming the Earth will die of plastic suffocation long before it warms up enough to kill us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet. ❤ 😉
      Why would anyone want to buy plastic hedging???? Crazy.
      I firmly believe that everyone can find the space to make a herb garden, and herbs are far more useful than just as flavourings for our cooking, For thousands of years the wise people were able to treat a wide range of ailments by using plants they found growing nearby, but the Church eventually put a stop to that.
      Clematis is a very powerful plant, and so is the mallow.
      It's amazing what we can find in the average English garden.


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