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erbal Medicine Materia Medica
 


Thyme

© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Thymus vulgaris

Labiatae

Names: Common Thyme, Garden Thyme

Habitat: Thyme is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, and cultivated widely..

Collection: The flowering branches should be collected between June and August on a dry sunny day. The leaves are stripped off the dried branches.

Part Used: Leaves and flowering tops.

Constituents:

  • Volatile oil, of highly variable composition; the major constituent is thymol, with lesser amounts of carvacrol, with l, 8-cineole, borneol, geraniol, linalool, bornyl and linalyl acetate, thymol methyl etherand [[alpha]]-pinene.
  • Flavonoids; apigenin, luteolin, thymonin, naringenin and others
  • Miscellaneous; labiatic acid, caffeic acid, tannins etc.
Actions: Carminative, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, astringent, anthelmintic.

Indications: With its high content of volatile oil, Thyme makes a good carminative for use in dyspepsia and sluggish digestion. This oil is also a strongly antiseptic substance, which explains many of Thyme's uses. It can be used externally as a lotion for infected wounds, but also internally for respiratory and digestive infections. It may be use as a gargle in laryngitis and tonsillitis, easing sore throats and soothing irritable coughs. It is an excellent cough remedy, producing expectoration and reducing unnecessary spasm. It may be used in bronchitis, whooping cough and asthma. As a gentle astringent it has found use in childhood diarrhea and bed wetting.

Kings' Dispensatory describes it thus: "Thyme is tonic, carminative emmenagogue and anti-spasmodic. The cold infusion is useful in dyspepsia, with weak and irritable stomach and as a stimulating tonic in convalescence from exhausting diseases. The warm infusion is beneficial in hysteria, dysmenorrhea, flatulence, colic, headache, and to promote perspiration. Occasionally the leaves have been used externally, in fomentation. The oil is valuable as a local application to neuralgic and rheumatic pains; and, internally, to fulfill any of the indications for which the plant is used. Dose of the infusion, from 1 to 3 fluid ounces; of the oil, from 2 to 10 drops on sugar, or in emulsion. Thyme, skullcap and rue of each 2 ounces; peony and black cohosh, of each, 1 ounce; macerated for 14 days in diluted alcohol, and then filtered, forms a good preparation for nervous and spasmodic diseases of children. It may be given in teaspoonful doses to a child 3 years old, repeating it 3 or 4 times a day, sweetening and diluting it, if desired. A strong infusion of the Thymusserpyllus, slightly sweetened and mixed with gum Arabic, is stated by M. Joset to be a valuable remedy for whooping-cough, convulsive and catarrhal coughs and stridulous sore throat, the favorable result occurring at the end of a very few days. It may be taken ad libitum."

Combinations: For asthmatic problems it will combine well with Lobelia and Ephedra, adding its anti-microbial effect. For whooping cough use it with Wild Cherry and Sundew.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and let infuse for l0 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take 2-4ml of the tincture three times a day

About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary......more
 
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