Thyme: A must-have herb during the cold & flu season

Thyme is definitely a must have herb during the cold & flu season.  It is also an amazing kid’s herb.  Like many of the culinary herbs, it is often overlooked but possesses deep healing capabilities.  When my kids are sick or I am feeling sick, thyme is usually the first herb I think of.  It is gentle and safe enough for little ones, but powerful enough to get the job done. And often times, you already have it in your spice drawer.

Thyme contains high amounts of volatile oils that are highly antimicrobial and help to fight infection.  It is especially helpful for respiratory infections, coughs & sore throats.   During respiratory infections, the oils can help relax the respiratory passageways, loosen phlegm and settle a spasmodic cough.  This can be accomplished both by breathing in the aromatic oils and drinking a tea.

One of my favorite things to do with thyme is to put it in the crock pot and place it overnight in a sick child’s bedroom.  Fill a medium sized crock pot with water and add 1 ounce of dried thyme leaves.  Place the crock pot uncovered in a safe place in the child’s room and leave it on low all night long.  Keep the door closed, allowing the room to completely fill with the aromatic thyme.  This allows them to breathe in a gentle thyme steam all night long which fights the infection, helps them to relax and breathe easier and get a more peaceful night’s sleep.

You can also use the essential oil of thyme in the bath or shower when your kids are sick.  When adding essential oils to the bath, first dilute them in a carrier oil, like olive oil.  This will incorporate the oil into the bath better, preventing skin irritations from the concentrated essential oil.  Add 3 drops of thyme essential oil to 1 tbsp of olive oil, mix well and pour into the bath.  If your child has a really spasmodic, croupy cough and they need immediate relief, try a steam shower.  Take them into the bathroom, close the door and turn the shower on really hot in order to fill the room with steam.  Sit in a comfy spot with your child (outside of the shower, but in the bathroom).  Drop 5 drops of thyme essential oil into the steaming shower.  Help your child to take calm deep breaths.

To prepare a yummy thyme tea, mix equal parts of Thyme, Peppermint & Elder Berry.  Use between 1 tsp-1 tbsp of combined herb to 1 cup of water.  Steep for 5-10 minutes.  Add a generous amount of honey, which is also so great for coughs and respiratory irritations.  Drink frequently throughout the day.

The next time your family gets sick, you may only have to go as far as your spice drawer for a gentle and effective remedy!


shared on frugal days, sustainable ways blog hop #95, thank goodness it’s monday blog hop #42, homemade mondays blog hop #52

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  • Reply
    KC @ The Real Thing with the Coake Family
    October 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve never heard of using the crock-pot and thyme like a vaporizer. I love the idea! I will try that next time one of my girls is sick. Thanks,

    • Reply
      the little herbal
      October 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Great to hear this idea is catching. It is simple and yet so effective! Thanks for reading KC

  • Reply
    Deborah Davis
    October 29, 2013 at 1:11 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed your tips for using thyme. I love using natural remedies for colds but I have not used thyme for that purpose. Now I am going to try it. Glad I found your post on Thank Goodness It’s Monday.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 1:36 am

    What a fantastic post about such a lovely herb. I would have never though about placing some in a crock pot on my toddler’s room. Brilliant!

    Thanks for sharing last week on *Mostly* Homemade Mondays. Hope to see you back again tomorrow!


    • Reply
      the little herbal
      November 4, 2013 at 2:00 am

      Thanks Jess! I so appreciate your blog hop. It is a great chance to reach more people and also connect with other like minded natural mamas 🙂

  • Reply
    Thank Goodness It's Monday #43 - Nourishing Joy
    November 4, 2013 at 7:31 am

    […] Thyme: A Must-Have Herb During Cold and Flu Season from The Little […]

  • Reply
    Thyme: A Simple, Natural Remedy for Cold, Cough, Congestion, & Sore Throat
    September 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    […] the other great things about thyme is that it is a safe herb for kids (11), and this article by the Little Herbal Apothecary has great suggestions for using it for children. I gave a very diluted thyme tea to my congested […]

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