Some Herb Basics: Most herbs work better on an empty stomach. A few exceptions are garlic, goldenseal and cayenne due to stomach upset. Herbs work in a cumulative fashion meaning they are not a “one dose wonder.” They need to build up in the system a little, usually within 2-3 doses, before any real affect can be noticed. Fresh herbs always work better than old herbs and science is always proving the fact that a whole herb usually is more effective than one isolated compound of that herb.
Medicinal Properties: Thymol, the active medicinal component of thyme, has antiseptic, disinfectant and anti-inflammatory traits. Thyme has also been used for colic and flatulence because it has the ability to relax the stomach muscles, and for bronchitis and asthma. The oil can be applied to teeth to relieve a toothache and prevent decay.
How to Use: Simmer 1/2 C herb in 2 C. water for 20-30 minutes. Dip a cloth into this decoction to make a fomentation to apply externally. Make a tea of 1 tsp dried herb to 1 C water for bronchial complaints or colic.
Parts Used: Leaves, upper plant.
Warning: Thymol, if taken as a pure essential oil, can cause dizziness, nausea, muscle weakness, diarrhea, cause the heart muscle to relax too much and lower breathing and body temperature. It can also over stimulate the thyroid.
Growing: There are many varieties of thyme, but the most medicinal is common thyme or wild thyme. Needs a minimum of 70 degree temps to germinate from seed and good drainage over the winter. (Will not over winter in some harsher climates but will if mulched in milder climates.)
How to use herbs for maximum benefit. Short and sweet descriptions and uses written by our on-staff Nutritional Herbalist. Always remember that herbs should be treated as a medicine. Almost all of our modern-day medicines are derived from compounds found in herbs and plants. If you have not used a particular herb before, try a half dose at first to make sure you do not have an unfavorable reaction to it.