Payne Mountain Farms
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Using thyme in herbal medicine

Thyme is a well known culinary herb. It is also useful in homemade remedies and herbal medicine. Thyme is especially suited for soothing deep seated coughs. Use thyme when ever you need an antiseptic, expectorant, antispasmodic, astringent, or diuretic.

An antiseptic is something that kills germs and prevents infection (like witch hazel). An expectorant loosens congestion in the lungs (like mullein). An antispasmodic relieves spasms and cramps (like peppermint). Astringents cause tissues to shrink (take a bite of a lemon to get the idea). Diuretics increase the flow of urine.

Thyme does it all. Applications of thyme can help heal external wounds. Apply as a warm compress to fight infection. Apply to bruises and sprains to increase blood flow -- which speeds healing.

Thyme is ideal for soothing bronchitis and other chest infections. Use internally as tea, externally as a warm compress or poultice, and as a steam inhalant. Thyme is also a remedy for digestive and stomach problems -- but not constipation. Use to stop diarrhea, chills, bed wetting and menstrual pain. Take internally as tea, infusion, syrup, or tincture.

Thyme is also used to speed recovery from sore throat. Brew a strong infusion, cool, and use as gargle four or five time a day. (Thyme contains high concentrations of the antiseptic thymol which is the main active ingredient in Listerine mouth wash).

Essential oil of thyme is very powerful. Make an effective chest rub or massage oil by combining 10 drops of thyme oil with half a cup of almond oil (or olive oil). Thyme oil is good for insect bites and infected sores. Always dilute with water before use. Around 10 drops per half cup of water is about right. Thyme oil may also be added to bath water for relief of arthritis and muscle pain. Combine with lavender essential oil for best results.

Thyme oil is useful in the treatment of toenail fungus. Mix with tea tree oil and dilute with water before using. Apply often throughout the day and before bed for faster results. This treatment takes patience so don’t give up. Give it two or three months before results are really noticeable.

There are many types of cultivated thyme including orange, ginger, and caraway scented. All thymes are wonderfully aromatic. Thyme grows best in full sun and well drained soil. It may grow to a height of twelve inches with woody twig like stems and tiny oval leaves. Creeping or wild thymes may have a more delicate appearance. Clip often to encourage new growth. Propagate by divisions, stem cuttings, or root cuttings. Thyme should be harvested before and during flowering. Store dried thyme in a cool, dark, dry place.

* Avoid thyme essential oil when pregnant as it is a uterine stimulant. Thyme oil can irritate mucus membranes so dilute well before use. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.

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