Thyme is a well-known, frequently used herb that is also a household name. People have used thyme, not only in recipes, but in song lyrics and in frequent conversation. One seasoned cook once commented that thyme “always seems to be around” in the kitchen. Yet what exactly is thyme, and how is it used in today’s kitchens and gardens?
What to look for:
Thyme, according to Botanical.Com, is a rather rough herb complete with a woody root and round, hard branches, but also bears elegant greenish-gray leaves and whorls of flowers colored pale purple. Thyme’s powerful seeds retain their germinating power for a full three years, and the herb has a sweet aroma and a very warm taste.
How Mother Nature loves it:
Thyme should be sown in the dry, mild weather of spring, in high quality but light soil and a warmed position. Give your thyme plants lots of room to grow, and plant new beds each year for best results.
How to use it:
As mentioned, thyme is an integral part of many people’s lives, and has more uses than one can easily count. In the kitchen, thyme is used to add an additional flavor to sauces, stuffings, stews, pickles, soups, and a number of other dishes. A dash of thyme—or more, if the recipe calls for it—can spice up and enhance virtually any dish. And thyme-based chemical variations are used to preserve meat.
Medicinally, thyme is equally versatile as an antiseptic, an antispasmodic, a tonic and a carminative. In combination with other healing agents, thyme is also effective in remedying whooping cough, sore throat, gastric problems, colic, cold, fever, shortness of breath, hot sweats, laryngitis, warts, sciatica, vision dullness, as well as to help with stomach- and head-based pains, other bodily complaints, and gout. Rheumatism and even leprosy have been treated by thyme-based regimens, as have chronic drowsiness and digestive complaints. In the course of medical treatment, thyme also is used as a germicide, and as an ingredient in wound dressings and a treatment for burns and skin diseases. Thyme has been used additionally in the remedying of serious ailments like scarlet fever and diabetes.
Additionally, thyme is used around the world for a number of practical purposes, as an ingredient in soaps, perfumes and deodorants, and even to embalm corpses. Its essential oils are present in a number of luxury bath and household products. Thyme is a widely traded and treasured commodity, one that’s seemingly used in a new application every day.
For centuries, thyme has played a vital role in people’s everyday lives, as well in the continuing development of global cultures. It’s thyme to pick up some thyme today!