It is always wise to use your thyme well. - P.D.Burns, February 2009
Molly uses only the best thyme (Thymus vulgaris or common thyme) in her folk remedies. To assure that she gets only the best she grows it herself in a sunny location in her healing garden with well drained soil. She plants it in the spring and it then grows as a perennial. Each year she sows new seeds in her sunny kitchen window then plants them when they are about four inches high and all danger of frost is gone. This way, she never runs out of this valuable herb. She also grows the same herb in her culinary garden, so she makes sure she always has plenty of seedlings each year.
Molly has some wonderful remedies that are made from thyme. For culinary uses, thyme is a very good source of iron and is one of the most popular and most often used herb. On meats, in soups and stews, lamb, tomatoes and eggs, it adds a nice mellow flavor that does not overpower other tastes and it blends well with other herbs and spices. Molly uses if often in her cooking.
For medicinal purposes, Molly finds that thyme comes in very handy for several uses. Since common thyme contains thymol, it is a natural antiseptic and works well for a variety of remedies. Some of Molly's recipes for using thyme in home remedies are:
In a tightly covered container, bring one pint of water just to a boil. Add one ounce of dried thyme, cover, remove from heat and let this steep for 10 - 20 minutes. Allow to cool. This can be used to gargle with three times a day. This method of preparation is referred to as an infusion.
Bronchitis and Cough and Laryngitis
In one quart of water, add two ounces of cut or dried thyme. Gently boil this down till it is only about one pint. Strain. While still warm, add one or two ounces of honey and/or glycerine. This preparation is referred to as a syrup. Take one half to one teaspoon as needed.
For a tea to drink, steep one ounce in one pint of boiled water, strain and sweeten with honey. Take only one cup of tea a day. This should not be taken in larger doses.
Diarrhea or Chronic Gastritis
One cup of tea daily.
Infections and Wounds
Infections and wounds can benefit from dripping the infusion gently over them. Applying the thyme infusion to the skin can prevent the growth of bacteria. In the old days, this infusion was applied to bandages to help prevent infections.
Athlete's Foot and Toenail Fungus and Skin Parasites
Add four ounces of cut or powdered thyme to one pint of vodka, rum or vinegar in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Gently shake the mixture at least once a day for two weeks. Strain the liquid, pour into a clean jar or bottle with tight fitting lid. Saturate cotton ball and dab on affected areas once a day. This preparation is referred to as a tincture.
Boil about two to three cups of water, reduce to simmer, add a few sprigs of thyme and let this simmer for about five minutes. Cool to comfortable temperature, strain and use as an after shampoo rinse.
Joint Problems and Sprains
Gently rub the thyme infusion over sprains or achy joints.
Molly occasionally feels the need for relaxation for herself after helping others with healing remedies. For this gift she gives to herself she keeps her own bath herbals on hand. She combines equal parts of garden mint, thyme, lavendar, rose petals, hyssop and valerian. She keeps this in an airtight large jar and tosses about half a handful in her tub when the water is running. Then she gets in and relaxes.
Molly also makes little herbal pillows. In some of them she puts dried thyme inside. This helps to aid sleep and to prevent nightmares.
Burning thyme as an incense can give one a source of courage. Women would give knights and warriors sprigs of thyme for courage in battle.
At a funeral, the burning of thyme can assure that the deceased has a safe journey to the afterlife.
Note from Editor: I do not guarantee that these remedies will work for anyone. Please check with your family physician or a qualified herbalist before trying any herbal remedies. Thank you, Phyllis D. Burns
Some excellent books on this subject can be purchased through the Amazon links below.
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