The Sweet Life Gardener: Thyme      

Het my Sweet Lifers! One of the most versatile herbs to have in your garden is thyme. There are more than 400 different species used from culinary to medicinal to just fabulously decorative. The tiny petite flowers are a pretty addition to plates and the scent is lovely when making floral arrangements from your gardens.

The history of thyme has been documented as far back as 2750 BC. The Sumerians used it as a dried herb and prepared it with fruit to make poultices. The Egyptians, used it to embalm the dead as to be expected; and Hippocrates recommended thyme for helping to clear the lungs. It also was used as a repellent for venomous snakes, insects and during the Black Death in the 1340’s the europeans would wear necklaces weaved with thyme to protect them during the pandemic.

 Medicinally speaking this herb contains the biocides thymol, which are substances that can destroy harmful bacteria. It has been studied and found to show correlations with test rats that there are some benefits for patients suffering from various infections both fungal and bacterial as well as hyper tension and some cancers. Of course it has also been used to preserve foods, keeping them safe from food borne illnesses stemming from contact with Enterococcus, Escherichia, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus, strains. Additionally, there is potentially some effective protection against the bacteria that cause acne, Propionibacterium acnes; using thyme oil into a base cream for treatment. 

Culinary uses are so broad it would take me much more space than I have allowed here to describe but suffice it to state, the herb thyme spans across dishes as simple as sprinkling the fresh leaves over eggs, pasta and poultry, to infusing the leaves into oils such as olive and using on grilled mains and sides, to making simple syrups for cocktails and even adding to ice cream. I often add it to my preserves with lemon when cooking down and making blueberry jams. I never make a chicken soup without it either as it adds a richness that can not be missed. For so many reasons, it is an herb for everyone as it is delicate and not too overpowering and can switch easily depending on what you are making from both savory to sweet! It’s also an easy one to grow and one you should try in your own gardens. 

Keep on Growing! 

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