Our Rainbow Plant of the week is Thyme. Thymus vulgaris is the garden variety we’ll delve into. You might be very familiar with this plant, and maybe you have it in your own plot. It is always one of the first plants to reappear and flower in the spring. This variety of Thyme is the linalool chemotype, so it is more gentle on your skin than other varieties might be.
The parts of the plant that are medicinal are the flowers and leaves. The flowers are small and purple, and this plant can creep (in a good way) and spread around. It isn’t as aggressive as mint, but it will take up space. Thyme has a pungent fragrance, that I bet most of you are familiar with, as it is commonly used in culinary settings.
It has many herbal actions and can be used in and on the body to warm (carminative) and support different systems. It is most commonly used to support the respiratory, immune and digestive systems. We love this herb and use this plant in essential oil form more than any other form, in this family.
Make note it is very easy to make an infusion with thyme. You can put your fresh or dried herb in a tea ball and boil some water to infuse it. Sweeten that tea with honey. If you have a cough, flu or virus this can be very soothing. I also read that “a tea taken before retiring is effective against nightmares.”
Some of the herbal actions for thymus vulgaris are anthelmintic, antitussive, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, sedative, & vulnerary.
What do we use Thyme for in our family?
- It is one of the key ingredients in our Upcycled Wipes. We use it to clean, or add to cleaning products. We like to take advantage of the power of Thyme.
- Since Thyme is a grounding plant we use it to support our spirits by either applying topically or diffusing. It can bring calm and release.
- We use thyme as an antitussive and expectorant. If someone has a cough a diluted chest rub with thyme or an infusion is soothing. It can help get the gunk moving.
- This herb is a powerful antiseptic so we use it in a homemade mouthwash.
- Since thyme is a vulnerary a salve of thyme can be comforting on wounds or pain. It has repairing qualities and can encourage cell growth on skin that needs mending. Some say it can bring relief if applied to shingles.
- Thyme is a diaphoretic which will help you sweat out the toxins. It can also bring relief in the throws of a virus or post-virus. We sometimes bathe in hot water and a thyme decoction or a drop of the oil with epsom salts.
- We use thyme on our itchy feet and in a lice spray that we make.
This isn’t all, there are many other ways to use this plant. If you have some in your garden you’re lucky. If you don’t, maybe add it to your spring plot, for a quick added flavor to your dinner. Not only does it taste good, but think of all of the other benefits and boosts to your body and immunity.
In our shop this week we’re offering this Rainbow Plant in oil form. Remember it is a bit spicy, so if you use it topically you may want to dilute (with an oil). And just keep in mind you don’t need much. This plant packs a punch. An ounce of the herb infused is really all you’d need in a day to get some benefits. A little goes a long way.