Thyme is an evergreen herb with culinary, medicinal and ornamental uses. The most common variety is Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is of the genus Thymus of the mint family, and a relative of the Oregano genus Origanum
HOW TO GROW
- It’s hard to grow thyme from seeds because of slow, uneven germination. It’s easier to buy the plants or take some cuttings from a friend.
- For a head start, plant the seeds/cuttings indoors 6 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost. (See your local frost dates.)
- Plant the seeds/cuttings 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost in well-drained soil about 9 inches apart. For best growth, the soil should be about 70ºF.
- The plants should grow 6 to 12 inches in height.
- In the garden, plant thyme near cabbage or tomatoes.
Water normally and remember to trim the plants.
- Prune the plants back in the spring and summer to contain the growth. You can take some cuttings and plant them indoors in pots, too.
- If you have cold winters, remember to lightly mulch around the plants after the ground freezes.
- Root rot
Thyme is taken by mouth for bronchitis, whooping cough, sore throat, colic, arthritis, upset stomach, stomach pain (gastritis), diarrhea, bedwetting, a movement disorder in children (dyspraxia), intestinal gas (flatulence), parasitic worm infections, and skin disorders. It is also used to increase urine flow (as a diuretic), to disinfect the urine, and as an appetite stimulant.
- Some people apply thyme directly to the skin for hoarseness (laryngitis), swollen tonsils (tonsillitis), sore mouth, and bad breath.
- Thyme oil is used as a germ-killer in mouthwashes and liniments. It is also applied to the scalp to treat baldness and to the ears to fight bacterial and fungal infections.<br>Thymol, one of the chemicals in thyme, is used with another chemical, chlorhexidine, as a dental varnish to prevent tooth decay.