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Herbs > Thyme (thymus vulgaris)

Also called Timo, Thyme is an excellent antiseptic for minor cuts and a grazes. It can ease migraines and headaches when rubbed onto the temples, and relieve rheumatism and sciatica when applied to the affected areas.

Thyme tea will help alleviate sore throats and coughs. Not only will it ease the pain and irritation, the antiseptic component of thyme will combat bacteria in the throat. Simply pour boiling water over a small handful of fresh thyme and allow to stand for several minutes.
An infusion of thyme can aid hangover recovery. This is basically a stronger tea - leave to stand for a full 30 minutes before drinking.

Healing Uses:
Thyme contains a strong antiseptic which can be extracted as an oil. This oil, called Thymol, is available at health stores. Alternatively, a thyme oil can be made at home. This will be considerable weaker than Thymol as it is not a pure extract, but it is still very useful.

Thyme Oil:
Bruise a generous handful of fresh thyme, using a mortar and pestle, mixing in a little wine vinegar to help the bruising process. Fill a medium sized jar 2/3 with a mild oil such as safflower oil (stronger oils will over-power the herb) and add the bruised thyme to it. Put a lid on the jar and shake it thoroughly before leaving it to stand in a warm, preferably sunny, place. Leave for three weeks, shaking daily, then strain and bottle the oil.

Cautions:
Some people will find thyme oil irritant on their skin. Test on a small patch of skin before applying more generously.
Thymol should not be taken without professional advice. It can have a severe poisonous effect, even in small doses.

Other uses:
Thyme is a traditional culinary herb with a wide range of uses in the kitchen. Add fresh or dried herb to meat & vegetables according to taste. The thyme oil described earlier also have culinary applications - use it in salad dressing or add it to oil when frying meat or vegetables for an extra zest to the taste. However, thymol - the pure antiseptic extract from thyme - is unsuitable for consumption.

Growing Thyme:
Although it is native to the mountainous areas of Spain and Italy, thyme will grow almost anywhere. It can be grown from seed, sown in spring or autumn, or by dividing mature plants. Thyme prefers poorer soil and fertilising thyme will harm it or even kill it. It will flourish all the more with heat, which can be magnified by placing stones around the plant which will reflect heat onto it.




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Kalonji
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Lavender
Liquorice
Mullien
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Sandalwood
Sarsaparilla
St Johns Wort
Tee Tree
Thyme
Tribulus
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