Herb Of The Month ~ February 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013
Herb of the Month for February 2013 ~ Thyme

     Can someone please tell me where the month of January has gone??  It seems like I was wishing people Happy New Year a few days ago and now the month is over and Imbolc is here.  I'm sure the arrival of Imbolc has you green thumb bearers looking to the warmer months and contemplating the work that needs to be done in the gardens.  At this time of year, hardy, cool weather herbs and vegetables can be planted. So I thought it best we discuss one these herbs.  Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is an herb that almost everyone has heard of.  It is a member of the mint family and its leaves are a dark gray green color.  Thyme blooms in early to mid-summer and has small pink or purple flowers. Ruled by Venus, Thyme is a feminine herb and its element is water.  Folk names for Thyme are Garden Thyme and Common Thyme.  

Thyme  is one of the easiest herbs to acquire.  You can find it at any supermarket.

Newly bloomed Thyme

Fresh cut Thyme

Dried Thyme

     The word Thyme comes from the Greek word thermos and the Latin word fumus which mean "to smoke" or "fumigate".  This translation indicates that Thyme was used as a smudging herb.  The aroma of Thyme warded off disease and the smoke removed negative and harmful energies.  The herb was burned in Greek temples for purification purposes.  To this day Thyme is burned prior to rituals because of its purification abilities. The Greeks thought highly of Thyme and used it frequently.  Greek warriors were massaged with Thyme to increase courage before battle and they made drinks from Thyme to enhance bravery.  Greek women wore Thyme in their hair to increase attractiveness.  Although Thyme is native to the Mediterranean, the Greeks aren't the only people that enjoyed this bravery enhancing herb.  The Romans are responsible for Thyme finding its way into Europe.  It was added to the bathwater of Roman soldiers to increase strength and bravery.  In Scotland, tea was brewed using Thyme to keep bad dreams away and increase courage.
     Thyme can do more than increase bravery and courage.  This herb also has healing abilities and is a natural antiseptic.  Adding Thyme to bath/massage oils can help treat aches and pains, including arthritis.  Thyme has anti fungal and antibacterial properties and its strong scent helps loosen phlegm from congested lungs.  The use of Thyme oil will help alleviate the pain and congestion of colds, bronchitis etc.  Place a few drops of Thyme oil (NEVER ingest Thyme oil) in a diffuser or, if you're old school like we are, place a few drops in a pot of boiling water.  Inhale the fumes to relieve congestion.  Soak your feet in a combination of dry Thyme leaves and hot water to get rid of athlete's foot or use this as a compress for rashes on your skin.
     Thyme also increases psychic powers, awareness and memory.  Wear Thyme to increase your psychic powers; add it to your food or drink it as a tea.  Use it in love spells to increase understanding in a relationship or wear a sprig of Thyme in your hair to attract a new lover.  Planting Thyme in your garden or a fairy garden will attract fairies.  Fairy folk are fond of Thyme and wearing/carrying Thyme will help you communicate with them.  During early spring, many of us focus on renewal, leaving what is no longer needed behind and starting fresh.  Thyme renews and cleanses the spirit, leaving you energized and ready for what is to come.  Use Thyme in a cleansing bath to ensure your old sorrows are removed and left in the past (you can also smudge with Thyme for the same purpose).  Thyme can also rid your home of negative energies, especially after a long battle with illness or a death.  Open the windows and smudge your home with Thyme, removing sadness, depression, hopelessness etc.  Bad dreams are kept away with Thyme.  Place sachets of dried  Thyme leaves under your pillow and you will have peaceful nights' sleep.

Interesting Tidbits:
1) There are over 100 different varieties of Thyme.
2) In Medieval England women braided Thyme into the scarves of knights to increase bravery.
3) Thyme was used by the Sumerians as an antiseptic as early as 3000 BCE.
4) Ancient Egyptians used Thyme as an embalming herb.
5) "According to legend, Thyme derives from Helen of Troy's tears and thus shares her essence.  Bath in an infusion of fresh herbs to radiate the power of a love magnet.  Use carefully, remember Helen was kidnapped twice!" (4)

Will Thyme kill me?
 No, Thyme will not kill you.  People have cooked with Thyme for centuries and the common varieties of Thyme used for cooking are English Thyme and Common Thyme.  You can use Thyme for just about any dish especially when preparing meat, stews and vegetables.  All parts of the herb are edible and it is often used as a garnish.  Although people eat Thyme everyday the oil is a different story. Thyme oil is very toxic and should never be ingested!  Placing a few drops of Thyme oil in a spray bottle with water makes a great natural cleaning solution but ingestion of the oil and prolonged exposure to the skin is bad news.  When working with Thyme, stick with the herb and handle the oil carefully.  ***

     Burn Thyme to attract good health and wear it for the same purpose.  Use it to cleanse and purify your home, especially before performing ritual and after a death.  If courage and bravery are what you need, go to the supermarket and pick up some Thyme.  Boiling water and a few drops of Thyme oil will break up chest congestion, but don't forget the oil is toxic and should not be ingested.  If your intuition, psychic powers and stew recipe need a jump start consider cooking with Thyme.  Place it under your pillow or hang a few sprigs above your bed to keep bad dreams away.  Thyme can help you talk to the fairy folk, so think about adding it to your garden.  Are you in the market for a new love? Wear Thyme in your hair or carry it with you but don't forget the trouble Helen of Troy got into.  Thyme is a killer of germs and can be used as a household cleaner.  Add a few drops of Thyme oil to a spray bottle of water and start cleaning.  There's  a lot more information out there so make time for Thyme research. 


Bright Blessings,
~Amethyst~


***I am not a doctor and I don't play one on TV. Do your research before you consume any herbs via potions etc.


Sources:
1)Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by: Scott Cunningham
2)The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients by: Lexa Rosean
3)witchipedia.com

4)The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells  by: Judika Illes 

1 comments:

  1. Interesting, thanks for sharing.

    Imbolc blessings!


    Lluisa xx

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