The word Thyme comes from the Greek meaning to “fumigate.” This indicates that Thyme was used as a smoke cleansing herb. It was often mixed into drinks to enhance intoxicating effects and induce bravery, while warriors massaged with thyme oil to ensure their courage. Women wore thyme in their hair to enhance attractiveness.
In Medieval England, ladies embroidered sprigs of thyme into their knights’ scarves to increase their bravery.
In Scotland, highlanders brewed tea to increase courage and keep away nightmares.
Thyme was used as early as 3000 BCE by Sumerians as an antiseptic, as it does have rather great antiseptic qualities. It was used as an embalming herb in ancient Egypt and was burned in other places as offerings to celebrate Rites of Passing. It was placed in coffins throughout Europe to ensure passage into the next world.
Propagation, Harvest & Storage:
Thyme prefers full sun to part shade and loose, fast draining soil, preferably sandy. The roots should never be allowed to stay wet. Thyme is winter hardy, but a light mulch will protect it when the ground freezes. It does not need fertilizers. Thyme does best if it is pruned in the spring or summer after its first year.
Leaves can be harvested as needed throughout the year. Give the plant a year to get established before doing any heavy harvesting. The best flavor is right before flowering.
Thyme dries very well. It should be dried as any other herb on the stem and the leaves stripped off later.
Thyme is associated with the element water and the planet Venus. Also associated with Freya, Aphrodite, and Aries Used in spells to increase strength and courage, maintaining a positive attitude, communicate with the fae, or honor new beginnings.
Used as a cleansing herb when burned to dispel melancholy, hopelessness, and other mellow but negative vibrations, particularly after family tragedy or during a long sickness
Faeries also love Thyme and its addition to your garden will attract them.
Tips for Using Thyme:
Place thyme beneath your pillow for a restful sleep and happy dreams and to prevent nightmares.
The tiny flowers will attract bees to your garden. Honey made from these flowers is highly prized.
Sachets of thyme hung in your closet or folded in with your stored clothes will keep moths out, and smells nicer than mothballs.
Oil of thyme can be used as a household cleaning agent as it is good germ killer and drives away pests. Just put a few drops in a spray bottle with 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar.
A strong infusion of thyme makes a great hair rinse for dark hair and repels head lice. You can add rosemary as well if you have problems with dandruff.
Thyme has been used as a cough remedy and digestive aid as well as a treatment for internal parasites. It is also used for athlete’s foot and hemorrhoids.