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Herb gardens are found in all manner of places; window sills, by the back door, pots, monasteries, restaurant gardens, backyard gardens sometimes taking center stage sometimes off to themselves. Hardy, resilient, many of our culinary favorites are not native to our country but originate in the warm Mediterranean and North African climates where they thrive needing little fussing

Thyme, from the Greek, thymus, signifies courage. In ancient and medieval days it was considered to be a source of invigoration.

I would like to focus this month on thyme both for its culinary uses and for its medicinal properties.

Where found: cultivated now in most countries and probably brought here by the early colonists. Thyme grows well from seed, cuttings, and layerings; prefers good drainage and full sun. Culinary herbs flavor comes from the oils contained in the plant and need sunlight.

Parts used: leaves, stems, flowers; it flowers in most places from May to August.

Thyme can be dried, hung in bunches and then stored in glass jars ready to add to soups, stews, meats and vegetable dishes. It is one of the ingredients in Herbs de Provence. Recipe is found below. Dried thyme was also placed in cabinets and drawers as insect repellant much like lavender. Thyme is often added to potpourris.

Recipe for Tea: Place 1 tsp dried thyme into 1 cup of hot water. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and add sweetener if needed. I found a source for wild thyme honey apparently a favorite in Greece.

Here’s an interesting site: Wild Thyme Honey: 

Essential oil: thymol is very antiseptic and has a long history of use both internally and externally.

I would encourage you to remember to dry some thyme this season. It is a welcome addition to our kitchen and home medicine chest.

Enjoy your day. Judith


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