On the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, it was customary to decorate icons and temples with fragrant flowers of thyme. That is why they have become synonymous with thyme: Bogorodskaya grass. Also, according to some reports, thyme-thyme was used in rural churches instead of expensive incense.
It is not for nothing that another name for thyme is “incense” (from the word incense). The people attribute simply miraculous properties to thyme, calling it a herb for all diseases.
Thyme is a beautiful small subshrub up to 15 cm tall, its flower-bearing stems are slightly rising, elliptical leaves are up to 1 cm long, with glands filled with the most fragrant essential oil.
In the forest, from afar, you can see its pink-purple flowers, collected in capitate inflorescences in the form of a brush. We can observe this beautiful bloom from the end of May to the very September.
Thyme grows on sandy soils in the forests of Eurasia, from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean and from Britain to Eastern Siberia.
The aerial part of thyme contains essential oil of a pleasant spicy scent with an extensive chemical composition, thanks to which thyme has an amazing aroma and medicinal properties. Also in thyme we will find flavonoids, tannins, gums, resins, oleanolic and ursolic, coffee, quinic acids, saponins, bitterness.
Thyme Botanical characteristic
Thyme is a perennial shrub with a pleasant aroma. Grows in the form of a low creeping shrub from 10 to 35 cm in height and forms small turf.
Thyme has a thin main stem and straight, rounded or tetrahedral flowering branches, pubescent with hairs.
The leaves of the plant are small, whole-edged, elliptical-oblong in shape, kept on short petioles. From edge to middle, leaf blades are ciliate; from below, they are covered with inconspicuous drop-shaped glands, which contain essential oil.
The flowers are double-lipped, mauve shades, collected at the tops of the stems in half whorls. They smell good.
Depending on growing conditions, the plant blooms from late May to late August.
Useful properties of thyme in nutrition
Thyme is a great honey plant, which gives our bees a lot of nectar, from which they make the most fragrant and useful honey.
Thyme is actively used in perfumery. It is used as a fragrant dressing in cooking. Thyme has a pleasant, strong spicy aroma, bitter taste. Its cooks add it to smoked meats, to meat – pork, lamb, to meat pates. In fasting, thyme goes very well with mushroom dishes and lentils.
In not very large quantities, it is added to cottage cheese and cheese, to game and veal, to fried fish and liver. As a seasoning when soaking chicken meat for kebabs, it is also very pleasant (from my own experience).
Thyme leaves are used in canning and preparing drinks, teas and cocktails. It should be literally added to tea a pinch on a teapot so as not to spoil the taste of the tea.
Useful properties of thyme in medicine
Thyme thyme has bactericidal properties, and also perfectly heals wounds. Medicines from the Mother of God herb soothe pain and the nervous system. The antiparasitic properties of thyme, as well as antifungal action, have been proven. Expectorant properties combined with bactericidal action are wonderfully combined in the treatment of respiratory tract infections.
In folk and official scientific medicine, thyme occupies one of the leading places. Thyme herb, harvested during flowering, threshed and dried in the open air in the shade, is stored for 2 years. In medicine, sprigs of thyme with leaves are used.
They are used in the form of infusions, decoctions, preparations and extract:
- for acute and chronic respiratory diseases
- as part of the complex therapy of infectious and inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract (tracheitis, bronchitis, bronchopneumonia)
- with tuberculosis,
- with convulsive syndrome,
- in the form of an infusion, topically for rinsing with inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity and pharynx
The essential oil of thyme is applied externally in rubbing for pain in muscles and joints, for bites of mosquitoes and midges: a 10% cosmetic mixture is made from 10 ml of essential oil of thyme and 90 ml of olive oil.
In folk medicine, thyme is used for neuralgia, for pain in the joints, muscles in the form of baths and lotions, as part of complex preparations for neuroses, with hypertension and as a diuretic.
Contraindications for use
Contraindications to the use of thyme preparations are individual intolerance, kidney disease, liver disease, stomach and duodenal ulcer, pregnancy, breastfeeding period, in some sources (on a pharmacy box with chopped grass) it is indicated as a contraindication for children under 12 years of age.
In various reference books on herbal medicine and traditional medicine, various options for infusions from thyme are given, the beneficial properties of which are used for many diseases. In these collections, the action of thyme is harmoniously complemented and enhanced by other medicinal plants.
Thyme preparations exhibit expectorant, antibacterial, antispasmodic and analgesic effects, have a calming effect on the central nervous system, and stimulate the secretion of gastric juice.
Thyme Use in cosmetology
Thanks to its antiseptic, antimicrobial, regenerative and strengthening properties, thyme herb is an effective component in hair, face and body skin care.
It is useful to wash your face with a decoction of thyme and wash your hands as a bactericidal agent. It destroys microbes and helps to restore the correct metabolism in cells, making the skin more elastic and elastic.
Thanks to this, thyme helps to cope with dryness, itching and is effective in treating a wide range of dermatological problems.
On the basis of thyme, lotions are prepared and used, which help to solve the problems associated with oily skin type of the face, since they dry out, relieve inflammation, normalize metabolic processes, and narrow pores.
Compresses with thyme herb infusion are widely used, which help against skin inflammation, edema, enlarged pores and capillaries.
Warm aromatic bath with thyme well relaxes joints and muscles after physical exertion, heals the skin, and also helps fight cellulite and restores skin tone.
Thyme herb fights off unpleasant symptoms such as dandruff, hair loss or baldness, oily seborrhea and the like. It is also effectively used to strengthen hair – damaged and weakened by external adverse factors.
Thyme Collection features
Harvesting of raw materials is carried out in the flowering phase of thyme – during June-July. To do this, completely cut off the upper herbaceous shoots with a knife, pruner or sickle, with the exception of coarse lignified stems located close to the soil.
In no case should you pull out the plant by the root, as this leads to the destruction of thickets.
You can re-collect the grass for harvesting in the same area no earlier than after 2-3 years.
SELF-TREATMENT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH. BEFORE USING ANY HERBS – GET CONSULTATION FROM A DOCTOR!