Thyme is one of the perennial plants found in the garden at the Hummingbird Naturopathic Clinic. There are 3 types of thyme, each growing along the south side of the sidewalk, close to the driveway. The medicinal or common thyme is currently awash in tiny pale mauve blooms. Happily, this, and the kale flowers seem to be attracting a lot of bees to the garden.
Thyme is one of the unsung heroes of the medicinal herbal garden. A flavourful herb, it is generally grown as a delicious addition to soups, stews and meat dishes. Common thyme, however, is also one of the most beneficial herbs for infections in the respiratory system, particularly the lungs. From pneumonia to whooping cough to colds and bronchitis, the addition of thyme to the appropriate immune boosting herbs makes an effective combination.
Thyme is an effective antimicrobial and a deep detoxifier. It acts as a calming expectorant; both relaxing ineffective fits of coughing, and thinning mucus, making it easier to get rid of. Thyme is a gentle bronchodilator which eases breathing. In addition, thyme is warming, improves digestion and calms the nerves. For simple colds and coughs, try adding fresh chopped thyme to chicken broth. More serious coughs should always be assessed by either your naturopathic physician or your family doctor.
This cheerful little plant is easy to grow and stays green year round. It is a wonderful addition to any herb garden.
By Dr. Loreen Dawson, ND