Thyme was used by Romans and Greeks for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes. However, thyme has been recognized as a locally available home-grown herb only recently. Although, thyme has several varieties, the varieties that are generally used for culinary purposes are ˜lemon thyme and ˜common thyme. The herb is gaining popularity over the past few years, as an excellent home-remedy for common illnesses and due to its culinary purposes.
Antispetic: Thyme contains ˜thymol, an essential oil with antifungal and antiseptic properties, for relief from insect bites, burns and wounds.
Controls blood pressure: Thyme leaves are rich in their manganese, potassium, calcium, iron and selenium content. The potassium helps in keeping blood pressure and heart rate under control, while iron is necessary for formation of red blood cells.
Anti-cancerous: The presence of Vitamin-A in the herb, helps in maintaining a healthy vision, skin, and mucus membranes. Also, when eating natural foods containing flavonoids like Vitamin A and beta-carotene, it offers protection from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Relieves bronchitis: Add thyme to boiling water and, gargle when it gets lukewarm, for instant relief from sore throat. Drinking thyme water also helps in relieving coughs, and bronchial symptoms.
For dental care: The thyme-based formulae are used as antiseptic mouthwashes for protection against cavities and gingivitis.
For menstrual blues: Thyme tea reduces PMS and menstrual cramps.
Diuretic: Thyme essential oil has diuretic properties. It improves urination and detoxifies the body.
Aids Digestion: Thyme also improves digestion, when included in the diet.
Calming effect: Thyme oil has a soothing effect. It alleviates moods and reduces tiredness. It is said that in ancient times, Romans used thyme as a remedy for sadness. They placed Thyme along with roses in their homes, for its soothing fragrance. In fact, in some places, thyme tea is mixed with honey and given to children suffering from nightmares, to induce sound sleep.
Tips to grow thyme at home
Thyme can be grown in your garden, at the edge of a walk, along a garden wall, or in containers. Thyme is also perfect for containers, either alone, or together with plants that wont shade it out. Thyme grows best in full sun.
You could begin transplants set out in spring. Plant in well-drained soil with pH of about 7.0. Add lime to the pot to raise the pH if needed. You could also add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil before planting, and again in each spring. Thyme needs to have excellent drainage. Thyme is an easy to grow herb, and needs little care, except for regular light pruning after the first year.