Time to Dry Thyme

This was the first year that Jamie planted thyme. It grew very well and being a perennial should continue to come back year after year. I harvested some all season and enjoyed adding it to various dishes.

Now Autumn is officially here, and the weather has turned cooler. This week I checked the gardens closer to see what else needs to be put up before we have our first deep frost. That’s when it hit me, it’s time (actually past time) to pick the thyme. Otherwise I won’t have any dry thyme on hand for the off season! I picked quite a bit and laid the sprigs on a tray meant for roasting vegetables on the grill. I sometimes use this tray for fast-drying fragile herbs, such as parsley and thyme, instead of bundling them to hang. This tray works well for this purpose because it has holes, and when flipped over it can be propped up off of the counter so the air can circulate. Once dry I’ll store the sprigs in glass mason jars.

 

Thyme is one of the magical herbs that have both culinary and medicinal benefits. Thyme contains anti-microbial, anti-fungal, diuretic, expectorant, detoxifying, and immune boosting properties.

My mom had a bad respiratory infection last month which landed her in the hospital for several days. I was grateful to have fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, and oregano in the garden; I made strong medicinal teas to help nurse her back to health. Each day I’d steep these four herbs in a stainless steel thermos. Then when I got to the hospital she’d breath in the steam so the medicinal properties were inhaled down into her bronchial tubes and lungs. Afterwards, I diluted the strong tea in water and had mom sip some every hour. Making an inhalation steam treatment can be done with fresh or dried thyme, rosemary, sage and/or oregano; you can also use high quality essential oils in this way, but only a drop of each.