Herb of the Day: Thyme

( Thymus vulgaris )

This evergreen shrub a native to the Mediterranean area has gray green leaves. The garden variety has very fragrant clusters of mauve flowers. The oil’s color can be white, red, or orange brown, depending on the type of still and storage container. It has been used since ancient times. The Egyptians included it as an ingredient in embalming. Greeks and Romans drank it as a tea to aid digestion following banquets. It also was used as an antidote to bites from poisonous snakes. Soldiers from ancient times through the Crusades would bathe in thyme before battle, believing it to instill bravery.
Thyme has strongly stimulating, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. It also has antispasmodic and digestive actions.
Aids with; laryngitis, coughing, bladder infections, joint pain, rheumatic aches, pains, diarrhea, gas, asthma, depression, tiredness, colds, flu, backaches, sciatica.
Precautions are; Buy Thyme essential oil from a source other than eastern Europe. Thyme harvested in eastern Europe may contain high concentrations of radioactive fallout from Chernobyl nuclear plant accident. Avoid if pregnancy, avoid if you have high blood pressure, Do not use thyme oil internally. The oil is potentially toxic and can cause kidney damage. Thyme oil can be irritating to mucous membranes and skin. Use in moderation and in low dilutions.
Thyme used in aromatherapy inhalation may help laryngitis, coughing, asthma, depression,tiredness, colds, flu. Use in a diffuser to sent the air, or place a few drops in hot water or on a tissue.
Baths and skin application help to relieve skin problems, bladder infections, joint pain, depression, backaches, flatulence, tiredness.
To make a massage oil, add 10 drops oil of thyme, 5 drops eucalyptus oil, 2 drops wheat germ oil to 1 Tbs. soy oil.
For pain relief add 5 drops oil, 2 Tbs. bicarbonate of soda to reinforce the action of the oil.


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