Thyme

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Thyme is an evergreen perennial shrub we are all familiar with, it grows wild all over the hills of the southern Mediterranean a bit like Heather does in the uk, it is related to mint surprisingly and closely related to oregano, it loves a hot sunny location with well drained soil, and tolerates drought and freezing, but not wet feet.

It is gathered in late spring and summer, Use it to create bouquet garni and herbes de provence. Dried thyme keeps its aroma very well. Fast freezing fresh thyme also works if its put straight into the dish before defrosting.

The essential oil Thymol derived from its flowering tops is a powerful antiseptic and antifungal and is used in mouthwash  and natural hand sanitizers , along with its cousin menthol. It has been used in treating whooping cough and parasitic infections. It is toxic in high doses and best left to the experts to formulate medicinal products.

Thymus citriodorus-Lemon thyme is a sub species. All thymes especially wild creeping thyme are great nectar sources and produce the distinctive flavoured dark honey sold throughout Greece and Italy which interestingly has the same properties as the plant.thyme-177261_1920

As with vegetables never plant the same herb in the same place use a 3-4 year rotation. Thyme is beneficial planted next to cabbages.

The Egyptians used thyme in the embalming process, it also repels moths pop some dried with lavender  in a pot pouri sachet in your cupboards and chest of draws.