Gone are the days when thyme was used in various ways like embalming, incense and the bestowing of courage. Now it is an herb with a host of culinary and medicinal uses. It is considered a nice ornamental plant to have in your scenic garden as well. In the culinary world, thyme can be used in recipes for soup, poultry, fish and eggs.
Benefits of Thyme
Thyme is an edible herb with wonderful qualities to offer any recipe in which it is included. It is also an excellent herb to dry compared to most, as it holds its flavor well.
Thyme essential oil is full of thymol. This is a powerful antiseptic and used in a lot of the popular home healthcare products that we use today.
Because thyme is a naturally occurring biocide, it has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It is a great herb to treat sore throat, stomach ache and arthritis. Diarrhea symptoms may be treated successfully with it as well.
Because of its powerful insecticide properties, it is capable of killing mosquitos. Thymol in its essential oils does this well, tackling even the tough tiger mosquito larvae. This is a most recent revelation in the use of thyme and of paramount importance due to the tiger mosquito’s potential lethality. It is one of the biggest carriers of West Nile virus as well as several other viruses.
How to Grow Thyme
Thyme needs to be grown in a hot location and climate with a lot of sun. It is best to plant it in well-drained soil. Although it is drought tolerant, able to tolerate cold temperatures and high altitudes, it has a short storage life. Once picked for consumption, it needs to be used or eaten in about a week. If it is frozen, it may last for months.
Spider mites like thyme, so take care to prevent their attacks. Thyme is also prone to root rot, as it likes soil on the dryer side. Be careful to strip leaves from the woody stems before the herb blossoms so as to extract the strongest flavor from the plant.
Thyme can be found in just about every grocery store and specialty food store as well as most farmer’s markets. Have you ever wanted to save thyme in a bottle, well now you can by storing it in oil or vinaigrette. If you have the time, find some thyme!