Another herb that came up in conversation around the same time as Tarragon (see previous blog post) was Thyme. I love thyme!
Fresh thyme has such a distinct scent – woody but with a vague minty whiff! Thyme is a member of the mint family but is also closely related to the Oregano genus too. Thyme is a popular herb and is grown primarily in the Mediterranean. It is quite a woody stemmed plant with clusters of tiny aromatic green grey leaves throughout the lengths of its stalk. Although there are many varieties, the one used here in the UK is the ‘common’ or ‘garden’ thyme.
Thyme itself is a herb that has been used for many healing and magical properties for many many years.
Ancient Egyptians used it for embalming. The Greeks burnt it as incense in their temples – and in Europe, it was placed beneath pillows to help with sleep and to promote pleasant dreams. Thyme was seen as a herb of courage and a bunch was often given to knights and warriors to promote this. The name Thyme means ‘Thymos’ in Greek meaning spirit or smoke. It was often burned at funerals and placed in coffins. It was believed that the herb assured the passage of the deceased into the next life.
Thyme has some interesting health benefits: it is antibacterial properties. Thyme steeped in alcohol – known as a tincture – is an excellent tonic for treating acne. Thyme tea makes for a soothing cough remedy. Thyme is also said to be beneficial for lowering blood pressure and helping with digestive health. Thyme essential oil in an oil burner is good for promoting relaxation and a sense of well being.
Thyme can be worked with for many magical practices – to inspire courage, good health, protection. Added to bath water for mental clarity. Pop some fresh thyme into your pillow case for dream magic. Carrying sprigs of thyme on your person will help with psychic abilities.
Planet – Venus Element – Air/Water Gender – Feminine