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The Courageous Magickal Properties of Thyme

Hi, my loves, and welcome to WiccaNow. Recently I’ve been sharing guides to all my favourite magickal plants and herbs with you, like this post about the magickal properties of lemon balm. I’ve also shared a post all about the magick of oak and acorns, a guide to using oregano in magick, another post all about parsley and most recently a guide to the magickal properties of nettles. Today I want to continue down this wonderful path by sharing my guide to the magickal properties of thyme with you!

Thyme has been used for thousands of years in order to treat wounds, prevent sickness and to keep nightmares at bay. It is strongly antiseptic and was used by the Ancient Egyptians as part of their embalming process. The magickal properties of thyme include purification, love, abundance and courage among others. 

botanical illustration of thymus vulgaris for magickal properties of thyme
This is a botanical illustration of Thymus Vulgaris, the most common variety of thyme.

Disclaimer: Any medicinal benefits given here are a product of my own research and as such should not be taken over the advice of trained medical professionals. If you are ill, please go and see a doctor. Always make sure that anything you consume is 100% safe. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor or midwife before consuming something you haven’t tried before.

History of Thyme

Thyme, the most common of which is called Thymus vulgaris, is a member of the Lamiaceae family which also contains mint, lavender and sage among others. There are more than 350 different species of thyme, most of which grow no taller than 40cm. Thyme is native to temperate regions in Europe, Asia and North Africa. 

The use of thyme goes back thousands of years. The first written mention of it dates back to the famous Sumerian cuneiform tablets from around 2400BC. These tablets are thought to be the earliest written medical texts and contain a recipe for a poultice made with dried thyme, pear, fig and water. 

The Ancient Egyptians used thyme as part of their embalming process as it is strongly antiseptic. The Ancient Greeks used to bath with it and also burned it in their temples as they believed that it would bring them courage and purify them. They also flavoured cheese and liqueurs with it. It’s mentioned by the poet Horace (65 – 8BC) who said that it was grown extensively by beekeepers. 

wild thyme on rocks
You can see why these gorgeous purple flowers are a firm bee favourite right? This wild thyme is flowering with abandon and it’s so beautiful!

Thyme was actually spread all through Europe by the Romans. They believed it was an important herb and took it with them whenever they invaded another part of Europe. They would plant it where they camped and in this way, it was spread relatively quickly. 

The Romans loved to eat thyme before or after every meal as they believed that it would protect whoever ate it from poison. They believed that taking a bath with thyme would negate the effects of inadvertently consumed poison. This made it a particular favourite with the upper classes and the Emporers. I guess they believed in the magickal properties of thyme too!

Roman soldiers would exchange thyme springs as a sign of respect for each other. They believed that it would increase their strength and bravery during battle while also giving them a boost of courage. Both the Ancient Greeks and Romans believed in these properties and would burn thyme as a way of invoking the spirit of courage. 

During the Middle Ages, thyme was used to ward off nightmares, bring sweet dreams and aid with sleep. Women also gave knights or warriors they were interested in charms made of thyme to give them courage while they fought. These charms were often carried in a pocket during battle although there are some records of soldiers pinning these charms to their clothing as a badge of honour. 

Carrying thyme during battle also served a different purpose. It was used during funerals as people believe it assured the departed an easy passage into the next life. This meant that warriors wearing thyme were given both courage, and an easy journey if they happened to fall during battle. 

In the late 1340s, when the Plaque hit, many people turned to thyme in the hopes of an antidote. It was worn in herbal posies around the neck to prevent the wearer from catching the plague. It was also used in poultices which were applied directly to the skin of those suffering in the hopes of giving some relief. While there isn’t actually any evidence that this would have helped, thyme does contain a compound known as thymol which is a very powerful antiseptic. 

tied bundle of wild thyme

During Victoria times, people believed that patches of wild thyme growing in the forest were evidence that the Fae had recently danced there. Curious people would camp in these spots overnight in the hopes of seeing these revelries for themselves. While they believed in the more mythical aspects of thyme, they were also quite clever and used to bath bandages in thyme water in order to sterilise them. The interesting thing here is that in the 1800s, the way infection worked wasn’t fully understood, so using an antiseptic herb to prevent it spreading is actually very clever. 

While thyme was used medicinally for centuries, it was also often used in cooking throughout history. This is a very clever use of this herb as it’s antiseptic qualities meant that food spoiled less quickly and meat stayed fresh longer.  

Thyme arrived in the Americas with the first European colonists, and was used there primarily for medicinal purposes and as a food preservative. 

Today, thyme is a common plant to find in kitchen gardens and as a dried herb in many spice cabinets throughout the world. Thymol, the compound found in thyme, is still commonly used in mouthwash, acne medication and hand sanitizer. 

Fun Facts about Thyme

  • Thyme is one of the traditional herbs in a “bouquet garni”.
  • Thyme is the main food plant for a number of butterflies and moths. 
  • Thymus vulgaris also goes by the name of common thyme, garden thyme and German thyme. 
  • A lot of commercially produced thyme comes fro Hungary, Germany and Turkey.
  • Thyme makes a delicious addition to cocktails as well as baking. It gives a lightly savoury note which works really well to combat sweetness.
pink cocktail with thyme on top
  • Using thyme was once considered a treatment for fainting. 
  • The bed that Mary gave birth to Jesus in was said to contain thyme, along with woodroof and groundsel. 
  • A love potion, which is meant to give you a vision of your future love, features thyme as a key ingredient.
  • The flowers of thyme are really interesting. Some flowers are male on the first day before changing to female on the second while others stay female the whole time. This theory was first tabled in the 1900s by Neltje Blanchan and hasn’t actually been proven. It’s believed that this happens to attract insects as the male flowers are showier than the female flowers and tend to attract more pollinators. 
  • There is a fish genus, called Thymallus, which gets its name because it smells faintly of thyme. 
  • Thyme likes a hot and sunny position (same here!) with well-drained soil. It can tolerate drought well and doesn’t mind the cold winters.

Medicinal Benefits of Thyme

All parts of thyme can be used medicinally. Thyme oil is often used in mouthwashes and can also be applied to the scalp to help treat baldness. The oil can also be used to fight bacterial and fungal infections. 

Often thyme will be taken in conjunction with other medicines. It can be taken orally as a treatment for whooping cough, bronchitis, sore throats and stomach pains. Taken this way it also helps to prevent bad breath and may help with swollen tonsils. 

Thyme is considered safe when consumed in quantities found in food. Taking it medicinally is also considered safe if not taken for too long as extended use can cause headaches, dizziness and may upset the digestive system. Thyme oil is considered reasonably safe when applied to the skin. As always, be particularly careful when taking any herbs in medicinal quantities while pregnant.

thyme oil with flowers inbackground
  • Can help lower blood pressure. Substitute thyme for salt in your cooking to help lower high heart rates.
  • May help with baldness
  • May help with bronchitis
  • May help with coughs 
  • Might be useful at preventing bedwetting
  • Might help to fight ear infections
  • May help with sore throats
  • Helps boost your immune system
  • Antiseptic
  • Antifungal
  • Thyme oil may be a good way to reduce harmful mold in the home.
  • Insect repellent
  • Boosts your mood
  • May help against muscle spasms
  • Can help to combat tooth decay
  • May help to prevent blood clots

Magickal Properties of Thyme

Burn dried thyme to purify your home and keep everyone inside healthy while filling your home with loving and peaceful vibrations. Wear an amulet filled with thyme to attract love to you or place it under your pillow to help you sleep peacefully. Sleeping with thyme near you will also help you to decode your dreams. 

If you enjoy ritual baths, add thyme to your bathwater to help you let go of past problems and baggage. This will also fill you with love and peace while strengthening your willpower and resolve. Bathing with thyme is also a great way to increasing your courage if you have difficult problems to face. 

If you are starting a new venture, the magickal properties of thyme are perfect for you. Thyme will increase the flow of money coming to you in a healthy and sustainable way. To harness this, plant thyme in your garden or keep a small pot in the office.

If you are going to an important meeting, prepare a few days before by making a thyme tea, and then adding the strained tea to the washing machine with the outfit you plan on wearing to the meeting. This will imbue you with calming energy while also giving you courage. It will also help to ensure that you get what you want and need from the meeting. 

lady bird on blooming thyme plant

If you have experienced a heavy loss, such as a loved one passing, the magickal properties of thyme can help you heal. Once your deepest grief has passed, hang bundles of fresh thyme into the windows and doors of your home and open as many of them as you can. Burn a dried thyme bundle and walk through the house, allowing the thyme to cleanse your home of the heaviest grief and allow peace back in. Let the smoke from the thyme escape out of the windows and doors. Take the hanging thyme bundles and bury them close to your favourite tree to honour the person who has passed. 

Some people believe that wearing thyme allows you to see the Fae. If you want their help finding something that you’ve lost, make them an offering of thyme. Take fresh thyme and honey outside under a full moon and leave it as a gift for them. Ask them for help in finding the thing you have lost. Once you’ve found what you were looking for, leave them another gift of fresh thyme to say thanks. 

Other Magickal Properties of Thyme
  • Purification
  • Sleep
  • Love 
  • Courage
  • Psychic work
  • Healing
  • Strength
  • Faery magick
  • Abundance
  • Prosperity

Magickal Associations of Thyme

Deities – Mars, Aries, the Fae

Magickal Correspondences of Thyme

Zodiac – Aries and Capricorn

Planet – Venus

Element – Water and air

Gender – Feminine

CrystalsCitrine, amethyst and bloodstone

thyme against a white background

So my lovelies, I hope that this guide has given you everything you were looking for about the magickal properties of thyme! May your dreams be sweet, your days filled with love and your life full of abundance and prosperity. 

Until next time,

Blessed be,

Amaria xx