Common Names: Wild Thyme, Mountain Thyme, Creeping Thyme, Serpolet
Species: Thymus Serpyllum
Thymus serpyllum or wild thyme, is a specie of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to most of Europe and North Africa but found in North America too. It is a low, usually prostrate subshrub growing few centimeters tall with creeping stems up to 10 cm long. The oval evergreen leaves are small as the strongly scented flowers that are either pink-purple and produced in clusters. The hardy plant tolerates some pedestrian traffic and produces odors ranging from heavily herbal to lightly lemon.
Often used as border plants and ground cover around gardens and stone paths due to its tolerance for low water and poor soils. It can be found growing on sandy-soiled heaths, rocky outcrops, roadsides and riverside banks. Plants are evergreen in mild winters. Cut back stems as necessary to maintain plant appearance, to control growth or to limit unsightly woody stem growth. Wild Thyme may be propagated by seed, but cultivars are best propagated by division or cuttings. It is much picked for the extraction of its yellowish essential oil rich of Phenols. When distilled, 100 kilos of dried material yield about 150 grams of essence (about 6 OZ.).
When cooking with thyme be sure to add it early in the process so the oils and flavor have time to be released. This herb is great both dried and fresh, and goes well in many typical Italian sauces which often feature peppers and eggplants. Wild Thyme and all the other different thyme variety , is a great complement for many vegetables including tomatoes and roasted potatoes. Marinate or stuff your meat/fish with a bunch of fresh thyme, add fresh to your salad or soups to enjoy its fragrance. Thyme essential oil showed potential as a natural preservative of food products against several common food-borne bacteria that cause human illness.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF THE PLANT
In medicine, Wild Thyme is aromatic, antiseptic, stimulant, antispasmodic, diuretic and emmenagogue. The infusion is ideal for weak digestion, being a good remedy for flatulence too, and a relief for hangovers. Wild Thyme Tea, is an excellent remedy for headache and other nervous affections. Both leaves and flowers are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, can stimulate appetite, and are an excellent support to attain a healthy body.
Wild Thyme may be effective at treating acne and the Candida fungus common cause of mouth and vaginal yeast infections. Thyme oil is very effective against insects and pests, as it repels mosquitoes, fleas, bed bugs, flies, and moths. Furthermore, this superb plant can stimulate your circulation, digestion, secretion of hormones, and your entire metabolism.
Nonetheless, properly diluting your essential oils is fundamental to safety and effectiveness, because they are highly concentrated plant compounds. Pure wild thyme oil should only be used externally because may irritate skin and mucous membranes. (Not indicated for pregnant women and those with high blood pressure)