Planetary ruler - Venus
Element - Water
Magical properties - Health, healing, sleep, peace, psychic powers, love, purification, courage, releasing and beauty
Actions - Carminative, Anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, astringent, anthelmintic
Thyme is one of the few herbs growing in my garden at this time of year as it is an evergreen woody shrub that grows between 3-18 inches. The name Thyme comes from the Greek word meaning fumigation, an allusion to the healing properties of its smoke. The smell of it can ease depression and calm anxiety. The flowers, leaves and oil are used.
It can be used in incense to cleanse and purify your home in place of white sage, and it can be used in spells for healing, peace, love and courage.
Roman soldiers used to bathe in thyme to give them courage and vigour and it became well known in Europe as an emblem of bravery and energy. In the Scottish Highlands, it was used in a drink for strength, courage and to prevent nightmares.
Thyme is a powerful antiseptic and preservative, and it was used by ancient Egyptians in the embalming process.
Ancient Greeks used it in baths and as an incense for courage. In European middle ages it was placed under pillows to help with sleep and to ward off nightmares. It was also placed in coffins to ensure a safe journey to the afterlife, although it was never included in wreaths or funeral flowers as a well known superstition at the time holds ' the dead have nothing to do with time/thyme'.
Throw a sprig of thyme onto a fire to attract good health.
Wear thyme to ward off negativity and evil.
Drink as a tea to help focus on personal energies and to help you get through difficult times.
On St Agnes eve ( 20th January ) enquiring girls put a thyme leaf in one shoe and rosemary in the other, then laid them on either side of their beds saying ' St Agnes, that's to lovers kind, come ease the trouble of my mind.' She would then hope to dream of her future husband.
Thyme and garlic were sewn into a bridegroom's clothes as a charm against bewitchment on the way to church. A cup of thyme and beer is said to have been a cure for shyness.
Culpepper says thyme is ' a notable strengthener of the lungs. It purges the body of phlegm, and is an excellent remedy for shortness of breath : it kills worms in the belly. An ointment made of it takes away hot swellings and warts, helps the sciatica and dullness of sight, takes away pains and hardness of the spleen.'
Thyme has long been used as an antiseptic and wound treatment, to soothe the digestion and to clear the head, it was also valued against the plague. Before antibiotics thyme oil was used to medicate bandages.
Today thyme oil is an ingredient in some mouthwashes and hand sanitisers. As a tea it can be drunk to ease coughs and bronchitis and as a gargle for laryngitis and tonsillitis. It can also help colic, arthritis, upset stomach, diarrhoea, bed wetting, flatulence, parasitic worm infections and as a diuretic. Do not use the oil neat on your skin, always mix it with a carrier oil. Also DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY IF YOU ARE OR MAY BE PREGNANT.
Red thyme oil is used in manufacturing some perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and toothpastes.
Pots of thyme growing on your kitchen window sill will deter flies and other pests from flying into your kitchen. The oil can be added to cleaning water and used to kill germs around your home during sickness ( door handles, light switches, kitchen worktops etc. ).
I have made this delicious drink before when I've had a sore throat, and found it very soothing:
Lemon thyme throat soother
1 tsp. dried lemon thyme or 1 tbsp. fresh leaves.
1 litre organic lemonade
honey to serve
Bring Lemonade to boil in a saucepan. Turn off heat and add lemon thyme, leave to steep for 15 minutes. Add honey and re-heat if needed. Sip slowly to help with a sore throat and nasal congestion.