Creeping thyme is known by a few common names, such as Mother of thyme or wild thyme. It is native to most of Europe and North Africa. Creeping thyme is a low subshrub growing to 2 cm tall with creeping stems up to 10 cm long, with oval evergreen leaves 3-8 mm long. It has strongly scented flowers that are 4-6 mm long and produced in clusters. This hardy plant tolerates some traffic and produces a light lemon aroma. Creeping thyme is easy to care for and makes a great addition to your garden!
How to Grow Creeping Thyme
Creeping thyme is a perennial plant that is hardy in zones 4 to 8, and it prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Thyme prefers moist, well-draining soil with a pH of 6.6 to 7.5. It will tolerate poor quality soil and drought conditions.
After thoroughly watering the soil, surface sow the seeds and very lightly cover with soil. Keep soil moist but never soggy. For best germination results grow indoors in sterilized soil; black earth/peat moss mixture—transplant outside after risk of frost.
Creeping Thyme Uses
Thyme can be used fresh or dried. The fresh or dried leaves and the flowering tops are used in soups, stews, vegetables, marinades, stuffings etc. Thyme provides a warm tangy flavour. The leaves can also be used in potpourris, and to repel insects such as moths. The essential oil of thyme is also added to soaps, toothpaste, cosmetics, perfumes, and antiseptic ointments. Also, it is used in aromatherapy to relieve pain and elevate the mood. Thyme baths have been used to help relieve aches and joint pains.
Health Benefits of Thyme
All the members of the mint family, including thyme, possess terpenoids that are recognized for their cancer-preventive properties. Rosmarinic and ursolic acids are major terpenoids in thyme that possess anti-cancer properties. A tea can be made by adding one teaspoon of crushed thyme in half a cup of boiling water, letting it steep for 10 mins and then straining. The tea can be drunk 3 to 4 times a day for the treatment of coughs.
Thyme Essential Oil Benefits
Thyme is rich in an essential oil that is rich in thymol. It is a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and a potent antioxidant. Thyme has expectorant and bronchial antispasmodic properties. These properties make it useful for treating acute and chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract.
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