The scents of summer: wild thyme

Photo: Arne Ader
Translation: Liis

 
  Breckland thyme, wild thyme Thymus serpyllum    

No introduction to the plant is needed for anyone with the slightest experience of  nature and herbs. The name Jaanitee, “St John’s tea“, says that the plant can be picked for tea at Midsummer (St John’s Day). But experience shows that the flowering green tips of the stems of the breckland thyme or wild thyme can’t really be picked successfully until July; at Midsummer the first flowers usually just begin to open.
 
The plant grows in dense mats, the leaves are around a centimetre long and thick. The flowers are small, bright purple and numerous, and the magical scent of thyme is still present even in August. Of course it is a bee plant. Habitats are dry and sandy areas: sandy plains, dunes, heath and dry grassland pine forests, juniper stands, on pebbly shores ...
 

When does the tea (1 teaspoonful to a glass of water) help? Against all ills in connection with colds: lowers fevers, eases influenza symptoms, acts as a cough medicine; is used for indigestion, liver troubles and inflammations. People of old called the plant “evil eye herb“, it was believed to ward off even the evil eye.



 

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