Thymon is the Greek word for courage and is thought to be where the word thyme is derived from. The botanical name for thyme is Thymus. Thyme can be grown as a small shrub or as ground cover. It is wonderful to plant along stepping stones because it releases wonderful aromatic scents when disturbed. There are many different types of thyme, some are lemon scented, others caraway scented.
Thyme seeds do not need to be covered with soil. Watering them will wash just enough soil over the tops of them. Plant seeds 8-10 inches apart. This herb needs full sun, a light well-drained soil and 1 inch of water per week. Thyme makes a wonderful container plant. It will keep for years if you harvest the leaves and prune the roots and transplant to a larger pot when needed. Thyme can be grown in greenhouses, just make sure the foliage is kept dry to prevent rot. Cut leaves as needed. If you want to harvest a large amount of leaves wait until mid-summer.
History of Thyme
The Greeks used the expression "to smell of thyme" as a compliment meaning someone had a graceful elegance. They used thyme infused oils for massages. Roman soldiers bathed in thyme water to give them virtue and courage. Thyme was embroidered into tokens by ladies to give to their knights during the Middle Ages. Egyptians knew of thymes preservative and antiseptic qualities. They used thyme to aid in embalming. Thyme is the first herb herb listed in the Holy Herb Charm.
Cooking With Thyme
Common thyme is used in cooking as both a fresh herb and a dried herb. It is added to stocks, soups, marinades and in rubs. It goes well with beef, poultry, fish, seafood, and vegetables. Here are some wonderful recipes that highlight thyme. Remember 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs=1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
Thyme in Hair and Skin Care
• Infuse with rosemary and water to use as a hair rinse that will aid with dandruff.
• Use in baths and facial steams to stimulate circulation and help with skin spots.
• Make essential oils to use as an antiseptic in toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Household Uses For Thyme
• Steep in hot water to make a safe household disinfectant.
• Use to help get rid of mold.
• Add to potpourri and floral arrangements for it's aromatic scent.
• Can be used as an air freshener
Medicinal Uses For Thyme
• Infuse with tea to aid in digestion and to relieve hangovers.
• Helps relieve sore throats and coughs.
• Infuse with oil and rub on forehead to help relieve headaches