Thyme (Thymus vulgaris ) is a bushy plant with small, narrow leaves, grayish to purple in color, which we love using in our favorite dishes. This plant hides a few more secrets that you may not have known. With its delicate taste and rich aroma, this herb can be used fresh as well as dried. Thyme is used as a spice for many dishes, it goes well with fish, chicken, lamb, and various salads.
So, why don’t you grow fresh thyme at home and always have it in stock?
Grow Thyme At Home
The procedure for planting thyme is very similar to that for basil. If you decide to grow thyme in pots use soil that is well-drained and very fertile. But acidic and moist soil should be avoided because it dries out the plant. Place the pot in a sunny place. If you buy the whole plant, be sure to split it. If the plant grows slower, don’t worry, thyme is a bit of a whimsical plant; it likes to fall asleep here and there. It’s not too aggressive, so feel free to combine it with other spices or ornamental varieties that aren’t aggressive either. For example, you can grow it with basil, but at a distance of 20 to 25 cm.
If you are transplanting thyme like an adult, you can plant it at a distance of 15 cm. Thyme can overwinter if it is sheltered from wind and frost, and temperatures do not go below zero indefinitely. However, with age, the plant loses its aroma. The smell of thyme repels vermin, although unfortunately today’s vermin aren’t repelled that easily. It’s like they have developed some kind of nose plugs because nothing can repel them anymore.
Do not water it too much, thyme does not like moisture. And that’s it, enjoy your thyme. Tear or slice it and cook with it. Moreover, if you want to save it for the winter, pick it in the summer while it blooms. Hang the upper side of the stem upside down in a dry place, preferably on a light draft, and when completely dry, store it in a jar or ceramic bowl.
Health Benefits Of Thyme
The smell of thyme is well preserved even after drying, and its essential oil, which contains about 50% thymol (Oeum Thymi) has a strong antiseptic effect. In addition to thymol, it also contains carvacrol, cinnamon, linalool, pinene, and other terpene compounds. The plant also contains tannins and significant amounts of manganese.
The thymol found in thyme is a powerful antiseptic (antiseptics work by preventing the growth and development of microorganisms). It is good for the respiratory system, against coughs, common cold, flu, and inflammation (most often found in cough syrups).
You can make a tea out of it as well. Just put one teaspoon of dried thyme in a cup filled with boiling water. Cover the cup and leave it for 10 minutes. Then, strain the liquid and drink it 2 times a day. Thyme tea is great for sore throat, bronchitis, common cold, and so on. If you have strep throat, gargle it. Thyme tea will help you fight the infection and relieve throat pain.
The smell of thyme can also help you reduce anxiety. Some studies showed that a compound found in thyme carvacrol has an anti-anxiety effect. So whenever you feel stressed just put a couple of drops of thyme oil on a tissue and breath in. Or just, make yourself a cup of fresh thyme tea and enjoy it.