apothecary tips herbal actions salve thyme Jul 03, 2024
thyme herb

One of my favorite scents, Thyme is a powerhouse of a healing herb. Most of us think of it for pizza or our favorite Italian or Middle Eastern dishes, but it is a marvelous apothecary herb prized for its uses for supporting health.

Fairly easy to grow, Thyme wants dry soil and lots of sun. It's a Mediterranean herb, after all. Grow it along with rosemary, sage and oregano and you'll have a great harvest throughout your growing season. Harvest the upper stalks and strip the tiny leaves off with your fingers just prior to use, whether fresh or dried. Use thyme when it's flowering or not, both produce good results.

I've enjoyed including thyme in my medicinal salves, especially my best-selling first-aid ointment made with olive oil and beeswax. It offers its powerful fragrance, its healing qualities, but not much in the way of color.

Thyme can infuse an oil for cooking and also for use topically to address wounds. It also makes a stellar compress and a decent poultice, though for a poultice it's a bit woody. (For this reason, toss it on your evening fire for an incredible scent.)

Think of thyme when formulating a remedy for cuts, scrapes, rashes, minor wounds, topical abrasions, athlete's foot, foot balms in general, sore muscles (along with arnica and valerian), and super-fragrant ceremonial ointments with balsam fir.

Add a little bit of thyme to winter cold-and-flu teas, though not too much to overpower them. Thyme can be included in bath salts, bath bombs, soaps, and washing potions.

For more information on growing and using calendula, purchase Llewellyn's Little Book of Herbs here or for more in-depth formula-making and apothecary guidance, purchase An Herbalist's Guide to Formulary here.

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