Actions: antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiseptic, antiviral, antiviral, astringent, expectorant, secretolitic, spasmolytic
Thyme is a go-to herb for coughs, colds, flu and bronchitis. As well as stimulating the immune system and strengthening the lungs, it is an expectorant and antispasmodic, which means it helps loosen mucus so you can cough it up, and relaxes constriction in the lungs. Add a spoon of soothing honey to Thyme Tea, or do what I do, and have some Thyme Electuary ready for winter ailments. You can also add some Thyme Infusion to your bath, and lay back to inhale the scented steam.
Thyme is thought to be safe for most people in food amounts and when taken medicinally over a short period of time. Pregnant and breast feeding women should stick to food amounts to be on the safe side. Medicinal amounts should be avoided if you have a bleeding disorder, hormone sensitive conditions such as breast, uterine or ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids or if you are on anticoagulant medication.
Thyme and Lemon Tea
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
250 ml boiling water
2 tsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
Pour the boiling water over the crushed thyme leaves and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and stir in the honey and lemon.
Infuse a handful of fresh herbs or dried herb to 1 pint boiling water for 20 minutes, strain and add to the bath water.
Handful thyme leaves
Handful rosemary leaves
Handful sage leaves
1 litre cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
Roughly chop the herbs and put into a large bottle. Pour on the vinegar. Keep in a cool dark place for two months. Strain off the herb infused vinegar into a spritzer bottle. Use to disinfect work surfaces, or small cuts and grazes.
Put fresh thyme leaves in a glass jar and top up with honey. Leave in a dark place for 3 weeks. Strain if desired.
© Anna Franklin, short extract from The Hearth Witch’s Kitchen Herbal, Llewellyn, 2019