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Here’s Why You Should Grow Thyme & 18 Ways To Use It

Thyme is usually used for culinary purposes, although it also boasts a surprising number of medicinal benefits.

Here are the reasons why thyme deserves a place in every garden:

1. It’s Practically Immortal

Thyme is a hardy and easy to grow herb, and it doesn’t need much care once established.

It does best in loamy or sandy soil, and in full or partial sun. It is best if you start with seedlings, because the seeds germinate unevenly. Those who practice companion planting should plant the thyme near cabbage.

If you are planning to keep your thyme plant indoors, give it at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day, and place it only in a room with average temperature and humidity levels.

2. It Smells Beautiful

If you’re looking for an aromatic garden or home, make sure to choose thyme.

Thyme boasts a pungent, clover-like flavor and smell. Once you get a whiff of the thyme plant, you’ll understand why the Romans used its scent to purify rooms..

3. It Repels Garden Pests

Planting thyme in the garden is an amazing idea for organic gardeners. It will help you keep certain pests at bay including whiteflies, cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, tomato hornworms, and small whites.

4. It Attracts Pollinators

Bring beneficial bugs to the garden, including butterflies and bees. Not only do these insects bring color and vibrancy to your outdoor space, but they’ll work hard to pollinate your flowers and plants.

Uses for Thyme In The Kitchen

Here are 18 ways in which you can use your thyme plant to best effect!

1. Infused Vinegars and Oils

Make a simple vinegar or oil infusion. It takes just minutes, doesn’t require any specialized equipment, and imparts wonderful flavor to anything it’s drizzled on.

This delicious raspberry thyme vinegar is great as a salad dressing or marinade. Or this rosemary thyme and lemon oil can be used for salads, marinades and more.

2. Herbal Butter

Add some homegrown thyme. It’s great to liven up cooked meats and vegetables, pasta, potatoes and breads.

3. Lemon Thyme Salt

Impart a burst of flavor to a simple grilled fish dish or plate of roast vegetables with a light sprinkling of this one-step thyme and lemon sea salt recipe.

4. Sauces and Soups

You can’t make a mistake pairing thyme with citrus, garlic, peppercorn, cream, butter, olive oil, white wine, or even Dijon mustard.

In soups, the herb pairs well with potato, roast mixed vegetables, chicken, mushrooms, and leafy greens, etc.

5. Salads and Salad Dressings

Try fresh or dried thyme in a simple mixed tomato salad; in this warm lemon chicken salad; or with orzo, arugula, mozzarella and sundried tomatoes.

Other amazing salad recipes which feature thyme include a summery apple and spinach salad; a refreshing pea and fennel combination; or this honey-roasted pear dish.

6. Breads and Pastas

Plain home-baked breads and pasta can be easily flavored with a drizzle of thyme infused oil or vinegar.

Why not try a crusty French bread with Kalamata olives and thyme or a slice of garlic thyme focaccia?

7. Desserts

Try thyme in a blueberry soup with honey vanilla mascarpone; a tender and moist olive oil-thyme cake with figs and black pepper; gluten-free Meyer lemon pots de crème; or a simple lemon cake.

8. Drinks

Use thyme in everything from refreshing detox waters to cocktail party favorites.

This lemon, lime, grapefruit and thyme detox water is both delicious and hydrating.

In the evenings, relax with a uniquely tasting pear thyme cocktail, or a thyme-infused honey bourbon.

9. General Cooking

Thyme’s culinary uses don’t just end here!

It pairs especially well with mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, fish, chicken, and roast potatoes. Experiment with your thyme harvest and see what amazing combinations you can make!

 For Health and Wellbeing

Use your thyme plant to:

10. Make a Healing Oil

In order to make a less potent thyme oil  infuse the dried herb in a carrier oil like jojoba or olive for 3 to 6 weeks, leaving in a sunny spot. This can be used to boost memory, treat skin and hair conditions, improve oral health, and to give an invigorating massage.

11. Kill Pain

Thyme is an excellent pain-relieving herb, which actually works better than ibuprofen, particularly when it comes to relieving menstrual pain.

Rub thyme oil on your skin around the affected area and you should soon experience pain relief.

12. Boost Cognitive and Mental Health

Add thyme oil to your diffuser or oil burner to stimulate the mind, aid memory and concentration, and reduce stress and anxiety.

13. Brew A Soothing Tea

This tea can act as an expectorant, clearing the lungs of congestion. It is also said to settle the stomach, soothe a sore throat and relieve aches and pains.

14. Enjoy Healthy Hair

Massage thyme oil into your scalp to kill the bacteria and fungi that contribute to unhealthy scalp conditions like dandruff.

15. Get Glowing Skin

Use thyme to fight acne, eczema, inflammation, and signs of ageing; or to treat minor cuts, wounds, skin itching, and even razor burn.

16. Ease Congestion and Fight Mucus

Combine thyme’s congestion-fighting properties with those of steam therapy, an effective and safe way to enhance health, and one which has been used for millennia. Make a steam bowl by filling a heat-proof pan with some just-boiled water. Stir in two spoons of fresh or dried thyme, or some thyme oil.

Drape a towel over your head and lean over the pan. Breathe in the vapors for up to 10 minutes.

17. Improve Oral Health

Thyme oil is fantastic natural alternative to conventional oral hygiene products.

It can be used to treat tooth decay, gingivitis, plaque, and bad breath thanks to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

18. Repel Bugs

To repel these insects – along with beetles and moths – from your home, use thyme oil in your diffuser, or add a few drops to a cotton ball and leave it in your closets and drawers.

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