Thyme Tea: An Herbal Cure for Nightmares

Thyme is one of many beneficial herbs that can be used for medicinal purposes including thyme tea as a cure for nightmares and to aid the digestion of fatty foods, it can also be used to add flavor to soups, stews, fish and poultry.


| July/August 1979



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Thyme was once prescribed as a cure for nightmares.


MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Lately, more and more people hove begun to understand just how limited — in both variety and nutritional value — our "modern" diets have become. This realization has sparked a new and widespread interest in the culinary and therapeutic uses of herbs . . . those plants which — although not well known today — were, just one short generation ago, honored "guests" on the dinner tables and in the medicine chests of our grandparents' homes. In this regular feature, MOTHER EARTH NEWS will examine the availability, cultivation, and benefits of our "forgotten" vegetable foods and remedies and — we hope — help prevent the loss of still another bit of ancestral lore. 

I've grown common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) in my garden for five years . . . and, with each new season, I've found more and more uses for the hardy plant's delicious leaves.

The herb is not a fussy crop to raise: It actually likes rather poor (but well-drained) soil. In fact, if the earth is too rich, thyme will grow tall and rangy . . and its usually strong, clovelike flavor will suffer.

Propogate and Preserve Thyme

There are many varieties of thyme: Woolly and creeping species are grown for ground covers . . . common thyme is noted for its aroma and flavor . . . silver and lemon types are primarily planted as ornamentals. (Lemon thyme has wonderfully fragrant foliage . . . and — as its tiny gray green leaves are variegated with yellow — is also a very attractive addition to any garden.)

The semi-woody shrub's small bluish-purple flowers usually appear in June or July and sometimes last well into September.

To propagate this pungent plant, I soak seeds for 24 hours, then start them in the greenhouse or on my windowsill in a mixture (approximately four to one) of potting soil and sand.





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