Thyme: Cultivation, Medicinal And Culinary Properties
Thyme: Cultivation, Medicinal And Culinary Properties

Video: Thyme: Cultivation, Medicinal And Culinary Properties

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Thyme has long been used in folk medicine.

And now - in landscape design


Thyme (Thymus), thyme or Bogorodskaya herb is a plant of the labiate family, long known as a medicinal and spicy plant. Thyme is widely used in traditional medicine and cooking.

Its healing properties were known to ancient healers such as Dioscorides and Theophrastus. The ancient Greeks used thyme to treat infectious diseases. He was considered a symbol of hard work. In ancient Egypt, it was used for embalming. Thyme was also used in sacrificial rites.

As a healing drug, it was actively used in the Middle Ages, it has long been known in Russia. Thyme was used to fumigate cattle; it was also believed that it was able to scare away evil spirits.

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Due to the content of thymol in thyme, it has antiseptic properties, in addition, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, diaphoretic, analgesic and wound healing effect. It is used for diseases of the upper respiratory tract, for pneumonia, for the treatment of diseases of the genitourinary system, and is used internally for gastritis and diarrhea. Thyme is believed to improve digestion, which is important when used in cooking (especially in combination with fatty foods).

It is taken in the form of infusions, alcoholic tinctures, baths, compresses, poultices. Lotions treat scratches in pets. In the Russian bathhouse, the stove was watered with tincture of Bogorodskaya grass to breathe in the steam, which has healing properties. For joint pains, baths with thyme are recommended, as well as rubbing with tincture. It is also used in the treatment of alcoholism and hard drinking; it is believed that thyme tincture causes disgust or indifference to alcohol. Thyme is part of some medicines (pertussin).

In aromatherapy for the treatment of arthritis, cellulite, rheumatism, skin diseases (rash, eczema), as well as for wound healing, thyme oil is used. The main components of the oil are thymol and corvacrol, the latter is toxic to the human body, therefore, additionally refined, so-called "white" thyme oil is suitable for home conditions. It is believed that thyme oil increases immunity, strengthens hair and nails, relieves spasms, and removes toxins. It is also used for diseases of the genitourinary system.

The use of thyme for pregnant women is not recommended (previously it was even used as a contraceptive), it is also believed that a side effect may be an overactive thyroid gland.

The properties of thyme have found application in the perfumery and cosmetic industry. In particular, it is used in the manufacture of shampoos, colognes, aftershaves, tooth powders and pastes, as well as in soap making.

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Bogorodskaya grass has also found wide application in cooking. Thyme contains vitamins, essential oils, calcium and iron salts that are well absorbed by the body. Thanks to these properties, it was used to increase the shelf life of meat. It is recommended to put this herb in dishes in small quantities. Used fresh and dried, the shelf life of dry herbs is up to two years. Thyme is used in the preparation of dressing soups, in hodgepodge, in lamb and poultry dishes, in sauces, in dishes with beans, peas and other vegetables. Many people recommend using thyme when pickling vegetables.

The optimal use in cooking is Spanish thyme (Thymus zygis), but other types are also used. Lemon-smelling thyme (Thymus citriodorus) is recommended for fish dishes and fruits, preferably fresh.

For culinary purposes and the manufacture of dosage forms, the following types are mainly used: creeping thyme, Spanish thyme, lemon-scented thyme and common thyme. Grass is harvested during flowering, dried in the shade. Thyme is also a melliferous plant, in some countries thyme honey is a delicacy.

The genus Thymus has about 400 species, about 16 grow in Russia. These are mainly perennial dwarf shrubs with woody stems up to 50 cm tall, some species have creeping shoots. Representatives of the genus have small, whole leaves, the arrangement on the stem is opposite. The flowers are small, they can be white, pink or lilac, collected in intermittent spicate or capitate inflorescences. The fruit is a nut.

The most famous types of thyme:

  • Flea thyme (Thymus pulegioides) - has pink flowers, flowering occurs in June - August.
  • Lemongrass thyme (Thymus citriodorus) is a naturally formed hybrid of flea thyme and common thyme, purple flowers, flower stalks up to 30 cm high flowering in June - July.
  • Thyme ordinary (Thymus vulgaris) - peduncles up to 15 cm tall, there are various varieties, flowers can be white, red, etc.
  • Creeping thyme (Thymus serpillum) - peduncles up to 15 cm tall, there are varieties with different colors of flowers (white, pink, carmine), flowering occurs in July - August.

There are also varieties with different foliage colors (golden, silvery green, edged). In Russia there are also endemics (from the Greek "endemos" - local - species characteristic only of a certain habitat), such as beautiful thyme (Thimus pulchellus), which grows in the Western Ciscaucasia, and bedbug thyme (Thimus cimicinus), which grows in the eastern part The East European Plain and the Southern Urals. Both species are endangered, as they suffer from various factors, including grazing, and bug thyme is also actively collected by the local population as a medicinal drug.

Thyme prefers light, dry, well-drained soil and a sunny location; acidic soils are not desirable. Propagated by seeds, dividing the bush and cuttings. Thyme is perfect for rock gardens, rocky gardens, can grow in cracks between slabs, stones, and it can also be used to create an alpine lawn.

Also read:

Thyme - a medicinal and spicy perennial plant

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