Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Thyme for a cure

I thought I had enough to keep me awake at night, but for the last week I've been plagued by the sort of nagging cough that makes you want to decapitate yourself with a bread knife. (I've been waking up every morning feeling like I've been punched in the sinuses too, but that's a different story.)

Years ago I did a night course in herbal medicine, which was fascinating and hilarious in equal measures, not least because of the oddball father and son duo who were among my fellow classmates. I think the son - perhaps in his 30s - had been in a spot of bother with the law for cultivating some herbal medicine of his own and the father had seen this as a way to legally channel his interest. The trouble was, the father asked the teacher so many inane questions ('Where did you get your apron from? How much was it? Can I grow mint in my garden? How much will it cost? Where did you buy your plants from? Can I have one?') that the rest of us didn't have much of a look-in.
Anyway, one of the things we learned was that thyme is good for sore throats and coughs because it is an anti-spasmodic, antiseptic expectorant (in other words, it relaxes your throat, kills germs and helps you clear nasty gunge). Thyme tea, therefore, is just the ticket for an irritating cough. I wish I'd remembered it sooner.

Thyme Tea
Take a few sprigs of thyme from your garden (or cellophane packet) - you want about 2Tbsp of leaves per cup. Leave to steep in freshly boiled water for about five minutes Add a spoonful of honey to taste, though it's quite pleasant to drink as is.

Do you have any secret kitchen cures for irritating ailments or class bores? Pin It


  1. Well I woke up this morning with the mother of all sore throats - do you think it will work??

  2. This sounds really useful - I'll keep it in mind for my next unhealthy day. As for secret kitchen cures, I must point out that the rumours about me and the Cooking Sherry are greatly exaggerated. I'm sure that Sherry would agree with me.

  3. I get quite into wierd herbal teas, even when I'm not ill, it sounds like it would be nice to drink, just for fun! Maybe with a dash of lemon? And whisky?

  4. oh yes, thyme tea! i had one of those horrible throaty-cough-y things earlier this year, and it worked wonders. thanks for the reminder!

    i like pomegranate honey as a cure all: sink the seeds (and a bit of the skin) from one pomegranate in some good honey. leave for a week, then try in teaspoonsful in warm water. tops for a sore throat.

    class bores...hope someone has a good cure for those...

  5. crushed fennel seeds and sliced ginger for a funny tummy x sorry about your dad lucy x

  6. Oh wow, thyme sounds lovely. Much nicer than some I've seen (garlic + honey + lemon + ginger?! Yes to the last three but ergh...)

  7. Wow - I am trying this as I so have the flu at this very moment and am in need of some comfort. Elizabeth from http://thedotdotblog.blogspot.com/

  8. Thyme Tea sounds blissfully soothing! I once got told putting whole garlic cloves in your socks before bed would help a cold. I foolishly tried it and it totally didn't work. Go figure!

  9. what I meant to say was... you've spelt 'time' wrong but in my not hilarious, over arrogant, not at all funny way, I got my sarcasm wrong... doh!

    feel better x

  10. Excellent tip - shall remember this for when the winter hits us again (shouldn't be too far away now!)
    Don't suppose there is a herbal cure for sunburn ... yes, I am hanging my head in shame! the sun snuck up on me though!

  11. I never knew this about thyme - thanks for sharing! I've been fighting off the shadow of a cold lately so maybe this will be just the trick to make it go away for good. Hope you're feeling a bit better :)

  12. Happy Birthday for yesterday! So many July 6th babies :-)
    P.s We've just got onto Olive leaf extract to fight colds. It's been amazing so far!


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