Wild Thyme

Common name:
Wild Thyme
Thymus polytrichus
Lus mhic righ breatain
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Flowering period:
Limestone grasslands and heaths
Conservation Status:

Short description:

Small creeping aromatic plant with tiny pink flowers and aromatic green leaves.

Noteworthy characteristics
Wild thyme makes a beautiful site against the backdrop of bare grey limestone.

Uses, Folklore and other points of interest
Wild thyme was highly valued for its medicinal properties in Ireland where it was formerly used in the treatment of coughs, colds and digestive disorders. It was used as a specific, for whooping cough and tuberculosis where it was taken as an infusion mixed with wild sage and honeysuckle.

Although Wild thyme is not as strongly aromatic as its cultivated cousin Thymus vulgaris, on crushing the small leaves in your hand the scent is released.

Wild thyme is used as flavouring in many culinary dishes, a particularly interesting use I came across in one of my favourite books (Irelands Generous Nature, Wyse Jackson, 2018) is as an additional flavour to crab apple jelly- to make a delicious sounding thyme jelly.

Thyme is highly valued by herbalists as an antiseptic, antispasmodic and relaxant.

It was a belief in Ireland that Wild thyme had the ability to ‘influence the course of true love’ (Ui Chonchubhair, 1995)

Personal note
I find the scent of wild thyme wafting in a warm summer breeze over limestone pavement wonderfully uplifting. It was considered to have a calming effect on our nervous system by our ancients.

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