Thyme is one of the most versatile herbs around. In the kitchen, it adds savory flavor to meats, soups and stews. Thanks to the potent natural antiseptic thymol, found in the plant’s leaves, this handy herb also lends itself to natural remedies for coughs and sore throats, household cleaners and more. Check out some of the ways you can use thyme around the house:
1. A Taste of the Mediterranean
For a quick Mediterranean-style recipe, try marinating feta cheese with olive oil, thyme, garlic and kalamata olives, then mix with fresh greens and homemade croutons for a delicious salad. Get the full recipe at motherearthliving.com/marinated-feta-cheese.
2. A New Take on Pesto
Thinking of branching out in your culinary repertoire? Thyme and rosemary star in a unique, easy-to-make pesto from Louisiana chef Horst Pfeifer, perfect as an accompaniment to lamb or chicken. Get the recipe at motherearthliving.com/thyme-and-rosemary-pesto.
3. Cough Syrup
According to the German Commission E (part of the German government’s counterpart to the FDA), thyme is an approved treatment for coughs, respiratory infections, bronchitis and whooping cough. Try this simple cough syrup to get the healing benefits of the herb. Boil 1 cup water, remove from heat, add thyme and let sit, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain, and whisk in 1/2 cup honey until combined. The cough syrup can be refrigerated in a glass jar for up to two months.
4. Hair Rinse
The use of thyme and rosemary for soft, silky hair goes back centuries. This herbal rinse keeps hair feeling great, and promotes a clean, healthy scalp. Combine 1 tablespoon fresh (or 1/2 tablespoon dried) rosemary leaves and 1 tablespoon fresh (or 1/2 tablespoon dried) thyme leaves in a bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over the herbs. Steep until cool, and strain into a clean container. Use after shampoo in the shower as a leave-in rinse.
5. Skin Cleanser
Thyme’s natural antiseptic properties make it great for cleaning skin. Try this four-ingredient cleanser. Combine 1/4 cup pure honey, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme and 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap, and pour into a clean container. To use, massage a small amount into skin, rinse with warm water and pat dry.
6. Acne Buster
For a more aggressive skin cleanser that beats blemishes and oily skin, try a natural astringent with thyme, witch hazel, comfrey, green tea and peppermint. Get the full recipe: motherearthliving.com/green-tea-herbal-astringent.
7. All-Purpose Cleaner
To clean anywhere in your home, add 10 drops of antiseptic thyme essential oil to 1 gallon of hot water and 1/2 cup of castile soap. Pour into a spray bottle, shake and spray to clean.
8. Cold-Busting Herbal Tea
Thyme, mullein and horehound are each effective herbs for dealing with cold and cough symptoms. Together they make a powerhouse tea that encourages productive coughs, soothes itchy throats and calms overworked lungs. Learn how to make it at motherearthliving.com/horehound-mullein-and-thyme-tea.