Adventures at my bank yesterday when a nearby customer erupted into a series of loud phlegm-filled sneezes. You know the kind. I held my breath and pulled my scarf over my face. What’s the matter with people? If they need to be out in the world, sick and spewing, do they have a not-so-secret mission to infect the rest of us?
Oh no! I have too much to do to get sick now, I thought to myself. Part of me wanted to yell “Really?” at the guy. Instead? I quickly finished my business and tore home to find one of my favourite herbal ‘immune enhancing’ formulas – So grateful I have ‘ammunition’ to help myself in moments like this one! Normally, I carry a supportive tincture with me at all times.
Do you have a plan when this happens? Thyme Medicine is a good one to have on hand!**
In this case, I reached for a ready-made tincture bottle on my kitchen counter with Thyme and a few supportive players (will write out this recipe for you next time, I promise!)
Thyme ~ much loved culinary herb for centuries, is also a powerful herbal medicine ally! Thyme medicine is definitely a part of my apothecary and has a wide variety of uses. Do you love THYME?
I do. I never seem to be able to grow enough!
I was surprised, years ago, to learn that thyme is a proud member of the mint family, with over 350 known thyme species. Thyme can vary from low growth to quite bushy and exhibit anything from pale green to olive, silver or even bronze, as well as deep dark greens. I am growing this variety below plus a delicious lemon thyme in my tiny ‘citrus herb garden’.
Thyme has some of the highest antioxidant levels in the herbal community. Highly charged with bioflavonoids such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and naringenin which are known to be very effective with elimination of free-radicals in the body.
It 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. (source)
Thyme Medicine is powerful for a wide variety of reasons. Here are the most important constituents and then another list of ‘supporting role’ attributes. Please check the glossary here, for any terms you don’t know. There are 4 key areas where we use thyme and I’ll talk about these below but it should be noted that this is a brief overview only and there is so much more to say!
THYME MEDICINE HIGHLIGHTS:
Thyme is also:
Thyme Medicine Uses:
We can use thyme medicine for digestive system conditions such a bloating, cramping, gas, indigestion and various inflammatory conditions. It stimulates the entire system with a focus on the stomach and small intestine and can aid in the digestion of rich or fatty foods.
Thyme medicine is phenomenal as an expectorant to ease and heal coughs, bronchitis, and chest colds. It can be very helpful with asthma and related symptoms. It should be noted that Thyme medicine is an extraordinary expectorant ~ relaxing, secretolytic and also stimulating. Thyme gives us what we need, when it comes to expectorant action and is my ‘GO TO’ in so many cases.
Thyme medicine is very effective in cases of bacterial infections and fungal infections as well. It can be helpful in cases of athlete’s foot, candida, and ringworm.
At a recent meeting of my herb association (actually our annual general meeting), our speakers Rick De Sylva and Dr Terry Williard ** both spoke of the healing powers of Thyme medicine when in combat with the Lyme disease spirochete. (I promise to write more about that soon)
Thyme medicine is quite mild (in terms of toxicity) so is a good choice for worms in children where it works well combined with a more bitter anti-worm herb like wormwood.
Thyme has the ability to kill off both viruses and bacteria! Take at first signs of a cold or when you start to notice ‘that feeling’. Research indicates that thymol, an active component of thyme, can reduce the urge to cough and the number of coughs. (source)
We can brew a quick n’ easy herbal tea using thyme. I love thyme and an organic lemon together. We can take thyme via tincture too ~ this can work so well in combination with other supportive herbs.
Fresh thyme also makes a powerful and very healing tea. Steep a few fresh sprigs (or 1-2 tsp dried herb) in just boiled water 8-10 minutes. Add honey or lemon, if desired. I personally don’t add honey when made as above with lemon as I find it delicious just like this. You can also make it before bed and enjoy sipping on it all the next day. I would, however, suggest the addition of honey if using to ease cough symptoms.
In the example above, as I had some on hand, I reached for thyme in tincture form and started taking it immediately, for the rest of the day — 1-2 dropperfuls ~~ 3-4 times that day and a little the next day to ensure I was feeling fine!
Here’s one of my favourite herb companies “HerbPharm” and their THYME tincture:
Herb Pharm Certified Organic Thyme Extract for Respiratory System Support – 1 Ounce
Thyme Medicine also contains a compound called carvacrol which has a tonic effect on the nervous system and can offer itself as a good natural tranquilizer, sometimes used to prevent melancholy, promote a good restful sleep. (source)
Thyme medicine is also a good source of pyridoxine (a form of vitamin B6) which is known to play an important role in manufacturing GABA levels in the brain. (GABA is thought to be an excellent natural defense against stress damage, among other things) (source)
For this reason Thyme can aid in regulating sleep patterns, and support neurotransmitter function in the brain. In formulae, I have added it to help stimulate memory, relax tension headaches and ease muscle tension.
Why not look at thyme medicine in the kitchen too? Do you see herbs in the kitchen, as healers? It’s truth! The more we add herbs like thyme to our meals, the healthier we will be!
Think about this:
Add more fresh thyme to your meals by tossing it into soups, salads, guacamole, vegetables, potatoes, grain dishes. How do you use thyme in your meals? I would love to know all about the ways that you use THYME MEDICINE!
My favourite to date? Thyme and mushrooms. Check out some recipes here.
Thyme essential oil is known to help to stop hair loss by improving blood flow to the scalp and feeding the roots of the hair. It has been used as a local antiseptic and antimicrobial for centuries and is highly beneficial in supporting inherent weakness after illness as well as immune system support. It can be helpful for easing fatigue too.
** I mentioned two herbalists above.
Rick DeSylva is the first herbalist who I met and visited over 30 years ago. He has been in practice for 40 years and is a true elder in the Ontario herb community. His company, “HerbWorks” is a wonderful, well-respected local herb company.
Terry Williard Phd. founded the famed “Wild Rose Herb School” many years ago. He is now semi-retired and lives on Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast. He was our keynote speaker at the recent AGM as I mentioned. He is truly a pioneer. More about Terry here.
THYME Medicine ~ wonderful medicine! Please include it in your life!
green blessings ~ Carol