July 26, 2013

Herb Spotlight: Thyme (what it's good for and how to use it)



“I can appreciate thyme because of its antiseptic qualities. It contains thymol and its smell destroys viruses and bacteria in the atmosphere as it destroys infectious germs in the body. I do not know any infection that cannot be mitigated if treated with this precious herb. It is an excellent weapon against epidemics and much cheaper than other means of controlling them. From boils to typhoid and whitlows to tuberculosis, it is excellent beyond compare!” – Maurice Messegue (French herbalist)



Our first attempt at growing thyme was not very successful. The little seed babies sprouted quickly and grew their beautiful first true leaves just like they were supposed to before the bug and bird monsters got to them. We’ve since taken to keeping our herbs and seedlings in a screened box frame when they are young to protect them from critters and that seems to be working out well, which means we now get to enjoy our fresh thyme! I’m glad, too, because I love thyme. It is one of the most powerful and versatile healing herbs. Thyme has been used for centuries for cooking, healing, in the home, and in the medical industry.


HISTORY
We know people have been using thyme since at least the first century A.D. and many believe thyme was used in the manger where Mary placed her son, Jesus. It is believed to have been grown in gardens in America since the very early 1800’s.

ESSENTIAL OIL EXTRACTION METHOD: usually water or steam distillation*

PROPERTIES
-          Antibacterial
-          Antibiotic
-          Antifungal
-          Antimicrobial
-          Antiparasitic
-          Antiseptic
-          Antiviral
-          Antioxidant
-          Deodorizer
-          Disinfectant
-          Germicide
-          Healing
-          Pest repellent
-          Purifying
-          Refreshing

USES
-          Skin care products, soaps, mouthwashes, and cosmetic steaming mixtures
-          Treatment and prevention method for sleeplessness and nightmares
-          Treatment for headaches, migraines, muscle tension, stress, cramps, and other aches and pains
-          Season fatty foods with thyme to help prevent acne
-          Beneficial for the nervous system, digestive system, circulatory system, immune system, and respiratory system
-          Helps to loosen congestion and ease coughs
-          Effective treatment and prevention method for colds and flu
-          Calms nerves and dispels anxiety
-          Relieves mental fatigue, stimulates memory and concentration, lifts the spirit
-          Useful for skin conditions like ringworm, burns, cuts, eczema, bruises, acne, insect bites, etc.
-          Used in veterinary medicine
-          Treat/prevent tooth decay, bad breath, and other signs of compromised oral health
-          Cleaning in the home

TIDBITS
-          The medical industry used pillows made with thyme because of thyme’s disinfecting, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
-          It was once common for women who were giving birth to be placed on a bed of fresh herbs, including thyme, to ease labor and reduce the risk of developing an infection.
-          In many cultures, thyme has long been believed to be an herb that instills courage.

CAUTIONS
-          Thyme essential oil should be diluted for external use. Failure to dilute thyme essential oil can result in blistering of the skin.
-          You should only take Thyme essential oil internally under the supervision of a doctor and only if the oil is USDA and ECO-CERT certified 100% organic (DoTerra and Young Living oils do NOT meet these standards). It is a powerful herbal medicine and, if used improperly, can prove to be lethal. Children and women who are pregnant should avoid using Thyme essential oil. Thyme should only be used medicinally under supervision of a doctor or a certified herbalist or aromatherapist.

 TO TRY:
-          Make a cosmetic steaming mixture of equal parts thyme, chamomile flowers, and lavender flowers.
-          During flu season, or when you are exposed to the flu or colds, eat foods with a lot of thyme, sage, garlic, and onion. It’s an easy, tasty, and effective flu prevention method!
-          Some communities use thyme to keep chicken lice away from their hens and out of their coop.


*you should always verify extraction methods with your essential oil provider

 RECIPE IDEAS FROM OTHER BLOGGERS:


Information Sources: Natural Health Complete Guide to Medicinal Herbs – Penelope Ody, MNIMH / The Complete Illustrated Guide to Aromatherapy – Julia Lawless / Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs and Spices – John Heinerman / National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs  by Rebecca L. Johnson and Steven Foster, Tieraona Low Dog, MD & David Kiefer, MD / Essential Herbal Wisdom – Nancy Arrowsmith / 


Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and none of the above information is meant to be considered as medical advice. The information above is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any illness or disease. I am just a natural health and pure, organic living enthusiast, sharing what I have learned. I encourage you to always do your own research. Please check with your naturopathic physician or a certified herbalist or aromatherapist before introducing anything new into your home.

1 comment:

  1. Thyme is the BEST isn't it? Thank you so much for this feature, and lovely write up. Who knew thyme could be just so darn good for you, right?

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