A number of years ago, Philly's own Todd Rundgren penned a song "Time: heals the wounds no one can see." While that ditty was referring to matters of the heart, it also applies to the internal and external benefits of using thyme.
As a child, I was most familiar with the cooking benefits of thyme. Ground, with its amigos, sage, rosemary and marjoram, it creates the basis of home made poultry seasoning. In Jamaican brown chicken soup, it couples with a scotch bonnet pepper to give a punch of flavor. I've used it to posh up that British staple, Mushrooms on toast, where it compliments morels, oyster and Portabello varieties of the fungi. And, I've added it to lemonade, to add a refreshingly green and herbal flavor to a simple syrup. But it's only as an adult, I discovered the medicinal wonders of thyme when used as an "herbal tea" or, as it's correctly called, tisane.
As a Tisane:
Thyme shares two major properties with other members of the Lamiaceae family (mint/oregano, lavender) in that is it has an affinity for both respiratory and digestive ailments. Simply steeping dried thyme in boiling water and adding lemon or honey, creates a tonic whose antibacterial and antimicrobial activity can help ease a sore throat, or loosen the phlegm and pressure of bronchitis. It also works to fight cold flu. It can slow down not only the rate of infection but proliferation of bacteria, which makes it a great intestinal antiseptic for gastric infections.
If you have respiratory infections, you can use it to help loosen congestion and help with overall aches and pains. You can even use thyme on children over the age of three as long as you do not apply it directly in their mucus membranes (so stay away from their face) but 6 drops in one ounce of carrier oil, like coconut, can be applied to chest or soles of the feet for relief, while adults can increase the dosage to 3% or no more than 18 drops in one ounce of carrier oil.
Applied, this oil can be used in keeping diseases of the tooth and gum at bay. By adding just a drop of thyme oil to your Waterpik, you can not only dislodge plaque, but fight gingivitis. While you should change your toothbrush about every three months, a drop of thyme essential oil on your brush can keep it clean between replacements. You can also add it to warm water and gargle to clear up sore throats and infections.
For me, the wound that won't heal is joint issues. If you have achy knees or any joint, thyme contains carvacrol which is believed to be the active ingredient fo rinhibiting co oxygenase 2 which promotes swelling, inflammation and pain in the body, so you can blend with Copaiba for inflammation and birch or peppermint for pain and create an all natural muscle rub.
The essential oil is wonderful diffused through the home to clear the air, without that over zealous disinfectant fragrance you get from Tea tree.
Inhaled, thyme is what you need it to be. It can both revive and strengthen mind and body as well as relax you. It can enliven you when you want to feel awake or relax you or diffused for those suffering insomnia.Feeling anxious, the antianxiolytic properties can help calm you down and reduce your stress.
With so many applications for both the herb and the oil, you may run out of time before you've explored all the benefits of thyme.