When you smell something cooking and you get a whiff of a couple of the spices that are being used, it makes your mouth kinda water. Our meals wouldn't smell as good or taste nearly as good if it weren't for all those neat spices we get to use. Besides making the meal more appealing in smell and taste, in many instances, the meal wouldn't be as healthy for us without the spices.
Many spices aid in the digestion of our food. They help our stomachs to break down the food particles. Some help to get rid of gas in our stomachs, some break down the cellulose and others help to stimulate our gastric juices. Before some spices became a part of our kitchens and were used to help us cook and make our meals better, they were used as herbal medicines to help keep us healthy. However, when some gained popularity in the kitchen, they were abandoned and forgotten as an herbal medicine. One of these herb is thyme.
A man I knew told his Uncle John, when he was a young man. It was in the late fall, John and his father were out cutting fire wood. It had rained off and on all day long. The wagon was almost loaded when John started on one of his coughing spells. He'd had a cold for a few days and it had settled in his chest. His father said, “We had better get you home son, you don't sound so good.”
When they got home, John was having trouble breathing. His mother said, “Henry, you shouldn't have kept this boy out in the rain so long. He has a bad fever; he could well have pneumonia.”
The mother went to the cupboard and go out her little jar of thyme seasoning. She wrapped John in a blanket and made him a cup of thyme tea. She sent one of the children to the storage shed for a couple of bunches of dried thyme. She made a thyme bath for John. Between the hot thyme tea and the hot thyme bath, he went straight to bed. His mother rubbed some garlic on the soles of his feet. She put a couple of extra blankets on his bed to keep him sweating. John kept covered up and he sweat good the first half of the night. By morning, he was feeling fine.
The thyme we are most acquainted with is garden thyme. IT is a small, perennial bushy plant that people used to grow in their gardens. It has a strong, spicy taste and gives off a pungent odor. The main woody stalk runs along the ground. From this, little branches or stems grow up to about one foot high. The narrow, grey-green leaves grow in pairs on opposite sides of the square stalk. The little purple-white flowers have two lips and grow in whorls or clusters out of the stem just above the leaves.
Thyme is known to help relieve congestion and infection when we have bronchitis, laryngitis, whooping cough and other problems of the respiratory system. It is an expectorant that will help to loosen phlegm and mucus and discharge them from the sinuses or bronchioles. It is as antispasmodic that will relieve the spasms and choking of respiratory congestion.
Thyme is an anthelmintic that will help get rid of parasites and worms and a carminative that will help to relieve digestive discomfort and stomach gas. Thyme is a diaphoretic that will cause perspiration if taken hot. It will also help to get rid of a fever. Thyme is antiseptic to help control unwanted germs. It is one of the main ingredients in Listerine mouthwash, many cough syrups, toothpastes ad digestive aids. It will help a sore throat, relieve shortness of breathe. It will relieve headache, quiet sciatic pains and even help to soothe the pain of shingles. For thousands of years, almost every household grew thyme because it was such a health-giving herb. Why not grow some thyme and use it?