Thymus vulgaris / Thymus serpyllum
Other names: Real Thyme / Wild Thyme
Dutch: Thyme, German: Thymian, French: Thym
Mint family Labiatae
Thymus vulgaris is an aromatic, always green lasting, bushy half bush. The plant can get 20 to 30 centimetres high. Thymus vulgaris is also called Real Thyme. The stems of the plant are square, green brown and wooded in the second season.
Each spring new green rising branches with small sharp, oval and green leaves appear at the old wooded plant parts. The leaves are at the edge curled downward and are hairy, white felt like at the bottom.
From the beginning until mid summer small lilac, lip form flowers that attract many bees appear at the top of the branches.
Thymus vulgaris originates from the area around the Mediterranean Sea.
Thymus serpyllum remains smaller than Thymus vulgaris. Thymus serpyllum can get 8 to 20 cm high. The plant is found on sunny grass plains, heath sometimes and graze. It is a fast creeping plant with light purple flowers with generous fragrant leaves. Thymus serpyllum (also called Thymus praecox arcticus) is also called Wild Thyme. This plant varies strongly and appears in many forms.
Cultivate Thyme yourself.
Thyme grows best on a sunny spot in a sandy, lime rich and good drained soil (preferably alkaline). In very cold regions it needs some protection in the winter.
To multiply take stem cutting of 5 to 8 cm with a "heel". This can be done at each moment except in the winter. Split up the roots or lay outs in fall or in spring.
Sowing can be done in spring time.
To cultivate Thyme it must be thinned out in the summer or be replanted at 23 to 28 cm distance from each other. Thyme can also be cultivated indoors.
Thymus probably descends from the Greek word for disinfect, presumably because of the use of it as incense and disinfecting agent. It has also been told that it originates from the Greek word thumus, which means "courage". Many traditions go back on this quality. Roman soldiers for instance bathed in thyme to become more powerful. In the Middle Ages the English embroidered a thyme branch as a symbol to knights to increase their courage in a fight. A recipe for soup from 1663 mentioned the use of thyme and beer to defeat embarrassment. At the same time Scottish Highlanders drunk tea that was made of wild thyme to get more power and courage and to prevent nightmares.
The powerful antiseptic and preserving qualities of thyme were also known by the Egyptians; they used the herb as a perfume. It is still an ingredient of balm liquid and is also used to preserve anatomical preparations. Thyme protects paper against moulds. Twigs were stuck in smellers and kept by the nobility to protect themselves against illnesses and stench.
Thyme is the first herb quoted on the list of Holy Herb Charm which is often cited in the Middle Ages. It is also part of a delightful recipe from 1600 "to put someone in a state to see elves".
Thyme has inspired different poets, from Virgilius to Kipling, who wrote about "thyme that smells like the dawn of paradise". Its smell is particular strong on the poor sunny slopes of the Mediterranean. For the Greeks thyme meant graceful elegance: "To smell like thyme" was a stylish compliment. After bathing, the Greeks used thyme oil for their massages.
The Romans used thyme to give taste to cheese and liqueur. The honey of bees that fed themselves with Thyme was praised. These days Thyme is used as kitchen seasoning. The herbalist Culpeper praised Thyme as a restorative means for the lungs; according to him there existed no better remedy for the child disease that is called whooping cough. Already since ever times Thyme is used for medical purposes. Thyme was brought by the monks from Italy via Germany to the Netherlands and England.
The herb Thyme meant in the symbolic language of flowers activity and courage. This was because during the bloom many busy bees, butterflies and beetles visited thyme. If the ladies from that time went an evening out they always carried a carefully chosen flowers bouquet full symbolism with themselves. In that flowers bouquet always a branch of thyme was stuck. While holding the bouquet the thyme branch warmed up so that a lovely smell floated the ladies away.
The harvesting of thyme can be done by picking the leaves during the summer. These are the best when Thyme in flowering. To preserve the leaves these can be dried or thyme vinegar or thyme oil can be made.
Thyme vinegar is a good disinfecting substance and toilet cleaner.
Potatoes are with thyme better maintainable. From research it appeared that thyme works just as good against moulds as much chemical means.
To stimulate the blood circulation make a decoction. To use in bath, faces steam bath and ointment on against all sorts of spots.
An extract together with rosemary as hair rince means to get away dandruff.
The ethereal oil is used as a antiseptic mean in toothpastes and mouth water.
Wild Thyme, Thymus Serpyllum, has the strongest medicinal properties although each thyme can be used.
Working and character.
Antiseptic, anti-mould, slime dissolving, anti-cramp, bronchi widening, astringent.
Thyme can be used against hangovers and to promote the digestion. For this make an extract and use this as a tea. The extract can be sweetened with honey against coughing, cold and throat pain. For this you can make also Thyme syrup. Thyme is known as a slime dissolving means but is also a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-mould function.
Use an extract in oil for a massage against headache.
It helps also for insomnia, bad blood circulation and muscle pain. Thyme stimulates also the production of white blood cells and strengthens so the defence system and works disinfected by infections at airways, urine ways and the skin.
Thyme activates fat burning, discharges the mucus in the airways and is good for cold and bronchitis. By cold, drinking thyme tea has a beneficial working. By headache and cold steam above a bowl boiling water to which thyme has been added.
By foot mould and other mould infections
Thyme is possibly the best antiseptic herb by throat pain, lit gums, bowel and worm infections.
By coughs and cold on the breast. With name good by whooping cough and dry cough.
With bladder inflammation and bed watering through children.
By indigestion, flatulence and colic’s.
Tea: 1 teaspoon per cup boiling water. Drink three cups per day (more by acute infections). Deeply breathe in the steam. Add by throat pain and cough some honey.
Use the tea as a mouth spool means or dilute a teaspoon tincture together half a cup of water.
Thyme vinegar, in 1:3 dilution with water, can be used by sprue and vaginal infections as spool means, and also as a gurgle drink.
Take oil-extract or diluted ethereal thyme oil (50 drops on 50 ml olive oil) of the nights as rub substance on the breast with violent cough attack. Also one is good ointment against rheumatism. Some drops of ethereal oil in hot water are good as inhale, to steam.
For foot mould, make a powder by mixing 5 ml thyme oil with 1 dl baby powder.
Applications with ethereal oil.
Thyme oil burns on the skin, thus do never use it pure. The oil is obtained by water vapour distillation under low pressure by the blossoming plants. The oil has a spicy almost stinging smell.
Thyme can o. a. be used by: abscesses, bruises, blue spots, eczema, scabies, gums infections, arthritis, warts, unclean skin, flu, bronchitis, being stuck cough, rheumatic problems, muscle pain, joints pain, hair outburst, (over) tiredness, cellulites, oedema, strains, sport injuries, diarrhoea, infections at the urine road, cold, infectious disease, headache, low blood pressure and fight of Candidacies. Can also lighting bring by childhood diseases as bump and whooping cough.
Here some applications of the ethereal oil of Thyme follow.
By unclean skin.
Mix 3-5 drops of Thyme with 50 ml Jojoba-oil, with this, treat the skin 2 times a day.
By stuck cough.
Add 3-5 drops of Thyme in a dish with hot water and steam 1-2 times per day.
By rheumatic problems, muscle and joints pain.
Mix 25 drops of Thyme in a tablespoon Nut oil and massage with this the painful places.
6-8 drops of Thyme in the aroma lamp drive away fear and depressions.
In the plant present compounds.
Caffeic acid, Flavonoids (Apigenin, Luteolin, Naringenin, Thymonine), Iron, Labiatin acids, Tannins, bitters matter (Serpylline) Ethereal oil.
Active components in the Ethereal oil.
1,8-cineol, a-pinene, borneol, carvacrol, geraniol, para-cymene, thymol, thymol methyl ether
linalool 60-80%, terpine-1-ol-4
bornyl-acetate, linalyl-acetate, variable percentage
Avoid large quantities during the pregnancy. Normal quantities in the food can no wrong. Wild thyme can arouse the menstruation and may not be used during pregnancy.
The most ethereal oils cannot be taken in without risk.
Use ethereal oil only internal if you have sufficient knowledge or consult a (homeopathic) physician. In general however is the working by external use more strong than by internal use. The ethereal oil can cause skin irritation.
Leaf of Real thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Mix thyme with parsley and laurel in a bouquet garni. You can add this at broth, marinades, stuffing’s, sauces and soups. Use fresh thyme careful because it is extra spicy. It promotes the digestion of fat food. Thyme fits well with food that is boiled slowly in wine. It gives Benedictine liqueur its taste. Thyme tastes also delightfully in brown sauces, game dishes and legume fruits.
Leaf of lemon thyme
This variant of thyme is good to use with fish, warm vegetables, fruit salads and jams.
Leaf of Thymus herba-barona
Use this variant to bring beef on taste.
There are many different variants of thyme in different colours and different smells.
Thymus caespititius (Thymus azoricus)
Crawl plant with pink flowers and narrow to pine fragrant green leaves. Height 5 cm.
Crawl plant with light purple flowers and grey leaves, narrower and closer to each other hanging clusters. Height 6 cm.
Small bush with pink flowers, bented branches and to caraway smelling, dark green leaves. Height 10 cm.
Thymus pallasianus (Thymus odoratissimus)
Bush with pink flowers, weak branches and citrus like leaf. Height 20 cm.
Thymus pseudolanuginosus (Thymus lanuginosus)
Crawl plant with pink flower and quite hairy, grey leaves. Height 8 cm.
Thymus vulgaris "fragrantissimus"
Bush with light lilac flowers and sweet, fruity, bluish grey leaves. Height 38 cm.
Thymus x citriodorus "silver lemon queen"
Bush with light pink flowers, narrow, sweetly to lemon fragrant green leaves. Height 5 cm.
Thymus x xitriodorus
Bush with dull lilac flowers and to lemon fragrant clear green leaf. Height 30 cm.
Thymus praecox arcticus "aureus"
Pink-purple like flowers with golden leaves that get paler by insufficient sun. Height 10 cm.
Thymus praecox arcticus "citriodorus"
Crawl plant with pink flowers and large strongly to lemon smelling green leaves. Height 15 cm.
Thymus praecox arcticus "coccineus"
Crawl plant with bright red flowers and small, light smell green leaves. Height 8 cm.
Thymus praecox arcticus "doone valley"
Crawl plant with dull purple flowers and to lemon fragrant clear green leaf with golden spots. Height 8 cm.
Thymus praecox arcticus "lemon curd"
Crawl plant with pink flowers, long entwined branches and narrow, notwithstanding that lemon fragrant green leaves.
Thymus praecox arcticus "minus"
Crawl plants with pink flowers and small means green leaf. Height 5 cm.
Thymus praecox arcticus "snowdrift" ("Albus")
Crawl thyme with white flowers and small, faintly fragrant clear green leaf. Height 8 cm.
Bush like bush with light purple-pink flowers and strongly tasting leaves, that larger and redder are then the usual thyme kinds. Height 38 cm.
Thymus richardii (Thymus nitidus)
Beautiful bushes with light lilac flowers and narrow clear green leaf. Height 15 cm. Thymus Carnosus has white flowers.
Thymus vulgaris "silver posie"
Bush with light pink to lilac flowers and green leaves with silver edges. Height 38 cm.
A Thyme bed with different variants of thyme
. Bremness, Lesley;- The Complete Book of Herbs: A Practical Guide to Growing and Using Herbs - Fifth edition; Studio (1994). ISBN 0140238026
. Britton, Jade & Kircher, Tamara; - Herbal Remedies - First edition; Marshall Editions (1998). ISBN 1840280719
. Dr. C. Norman Shealy; - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies - First edition;
Element Books Ltd. (2000). ISBN 186204516X
. Shaw, Non; - Herbalism: An Illustrated Guide - First edition; Element Books Ltd. (2000). ISBN 1862042241
. Rüdt, U.; - Therapeutic and poisonous plants - First edition; Zutphen: B. V. W. J. Thieme & Cie (1973). ISBN 90-03-94630-2