Tips for using thyme in herbal medicine and home remedies

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.

Thyme, basil, chives, mint, and other sprigs of herbs
Thyme and other culinary herbs - photo by Janice Boling at Payne Mountain Farms

Thyme and other culinary herbs are very useful when treating common health problems.


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 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.

Thyme has strong antiseptic, expectorant, antispasmodic, and astringent properties. An antiseptic is something that kills germs and prevents infection. An expectorant loosens congestion in the lungs. An antispasmodic relieves spasms and cramps. 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.

Essential oil of thyme is very powerful.

Make an effective chest rub or massage oil by combining 10 drops of thyme essential oil with half a cup of almond oil (or olive oil). Massage chest area with gentle circular motions.

Thyme essential oil is good for insect bites and infected sores.

Always dilute thyme essential oil with water or vegetable oil before use. Around 10 drops per half cup of water is about right. Thyme essential oil may also be added to bath water for relief of arthritis and muscle pain. Combine with lavender essential oil for best results.

Thyme essential 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 thyme plants by divisions, stem cuttings, or root cuttings.

Thyme should be propagated by cuttings or division since seeds are difficult to germinate. 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.

Read more about thyme essential oil.

Payne Mountain Farms

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Herb Articles by Janice Boling

"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... , herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer

"Ointment and Perfume Rejoice the Heart." Proverbs 27:9

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