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Herbs & Plants

Thymus vulgaris

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Botanical Name ; Thymus vulgaris
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Thymus
Species: T. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : Origanum thymus Kuntze. Thymus collinus Salisb. [Illegitimate] .

Common Names: Common thyme, German thyme, Wild Thyme , Garden thyme or Just thyme

Habitat: Thymus vulgaris is native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy. It grows in dry slopes, rocks and maquis. Always found on clay or limestone soils

Description:
Thymus vulgaris is an evergreen Shrub growing to 15–30 cm (6–12 in) tall by 40 cm (16 in) wide, it is a bushy, woody-based with small, highly aromatic, grey-green leaves and clusters of purple or pink flowers.

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It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden. Prefers a light, dry calcareous soil and a sunny position. Succeeds in dry soils, poor soils and tolerates drought once it is established. Plants can be grown on old walls. Thymes dislike wet conditions, especially in the winter. A layer of gravel on the soil around them will help protect the foliage from wet soils. Thyme is hardy to about -15°c, though it is even hardier when grown on old walls are in well-drained poor light soils[4]. Thyme is commonly grown in the herb garden, there are many named varieties. It is also harvested commercially for its essential oil. The leaves are very aromatic. It is sometimes grown as an annual from seed when used for culinary purposes. The flowers are rich in nectar and are very attractive to honey bees. Thyme is a good companion for most plants, it is said to repel cabbage root flies when grown near brassicas. This is a very difficult genus taxonomically, the species hybridize freely with each other and often intergrade into each other. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Seed can also be sown in autumn in a greenhouse. Surface sow or barely cover the seed. Germination can be erratic. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed can keep for three years in normal storage[4]. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of young shoots, 5 – 8cm with a heel, May/June in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves and flowering tops – raw in salads, used as a garnish or added as a flavouring to cooked foods, going especially well with mushrooms and courgettes.   It is an essential ingredient of the herb mix ‘bouquet garni’. It retains its flavour well in long slow cooking. The leaves can be used either fresh or dried. If the leaves are to be dried, the plants should be harvested in early and late summer just before the flowers open and the leaves should be dried quickly. A nutritional analysis is available. An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. Pungent and spicy.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)

•276 Calories per 100g
•Water : 7.8%
•Protein: 9.1g; Fat: 7.4g; Carbohydrate: 63.9g; Fibre: 18.6g; Ash: 11.7g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 1890mg; Phosphorus: 201mg; Iron: 123.6mg; Magnesium: 220mg; Sodium: 55mg; Potassium: 814mg; Zinc: 6.2mg;
•Vitamins – A: 3800mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.51mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.4mg; Niacin: 4.94mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses :

Common thyme has a very long history of folk use for a wide range of ailments. It is very rich in essential oils and these are the active ingredients responsible for most of the medicinal properties. In particular, thyme is valued for its antiseptic and antioxidant properties, it is an excellent tonic and is used in treating respiratory diseases and a variety of other ailments. The flowering tops are anthelmintic, strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, sedative and tonic. The plant is used internally in the treatment of dry coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis, bronchial catarrh, asthma, laryngitis, indigestion, gastritis and diarrhoea and enuresis in children. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tonsillitis, gum diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and fungal infections. The plant can be used fresh at any time of the year, or it can be harvested as it comes into flower and either be distilled for the oil or dried for later use. Thyme has an antioxidant effect, thus regular use of this herb improves the health and longevity of individual body cells and therefore prolongs the life of the body. The essential oil is strongly antiseptic. The whole herb is used in the treatment of digestive disorders, sore throats, fevers etc. The essential oil is one of the most important oils used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is ‘Bacterial’. It is used especially in cases of exhaustion, depression, upper respiratory tract infections, skin and scalp complaints etc. The oil can cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin and mucous membranes.

Other Uses:
Deodorant; Disinfectant; Essential; Fungicide; Pot-pourri; Repellent.

An essential oil from the leaves is frequently used in perfumery, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, medicinally etc. It has fungicidal properties and is also used to prevent mildew. The leaves are dried and used in pot-pourri. The plant makes an attractive ground cover for a sunny position. Plants are best spaced about 30cm apart each way. The dried flowers are used to repel moths from clothing whilst the growing plant is said to repel cabbage root fly

Known Hazards: A comment has been made in one report on medicinal uses that the plant should be used with caution. No explanation was given. It quite possibly refers to overuse of the essential oil. All essential oils, since they are so concentrated, can be harmful in large doses. Avoid if inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Internal use contraindicated especially in pregnancy. Caution if sensitive to grasses . Dilute oil in carrier oil before topical use.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus_vulgaris
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thymus+vulgaris

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Featured News on Health & Science

Regular Use of Indoor Swimming Pools May Cause Asthma to Children

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Children who regularly use indoor swimming pools may be more likely to develop asthma, scientists have warned.

They say the chlorine used in the pools can increase a youngster’s risk of asthma up to six-fold, while rates of hay fever and other types of allergic sniffles are also higher.

This is because the by-products of chlorination contaminate the air of indoor pools, irritating the airways and lungs and making them more vulnerable to allergens.

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Researchers from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium say the effect of chlorine on the respiratory systems of young people was up to five times more than the effect of secondhand smoke.

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Wheezy: More than 5million people are thought to be suffering from asthma in the UK.

But  asthma charities said the research was not conclusive enough to make them advise parents against indoor pools.

They said chlorine, added to kill germs, has saved hundreds of lives.

More than five million people are estimated to suffer from asthma in the UK.

The Belgian study, reported in the journal Pediatrics, compared the health of 733 teenagers between 13 and 18 who swam regularly in chlorinated pools with that of 114 who swam mostly in pools sanitised with a mix of copper and silver.
They found the highest proportion of asthma among the children who used the pools the most.

Toxicology professor Alfred Bernard, who led the research, said: ‘There is little doubt that pool chlorine is an important factor implicated in the epidemic of allergic diseases affecting the westernised world.

‘It is probably not by chance that countries with the highest prevalence of asthma and respiratory allergies are also those where swimming pools are the most popular.’

But Dr Elaine Vickers, of Asthma UK, said: ‘Asthma develops as a result of a complex mix of genetic and environmental factors, so more research is needed before we can make a conclusive link with the use of chemicals in swimming pools.

‘Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for children with asthma as it can help improve lung capacity and the warm, humid air of indoor pools is less likely to trigger asthma symptoms.

‘We would advise parents of children with asthma not to worry about letting their child go swimming, unless they develop asthma symptoms in the pool environment.’

Source: mail Online ; 16 Sept.’09

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Categories
Positive thinking

Cleansing The Heart Of Your Existence

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Ways To Have A Healthier Home :
Our homes serve as sanctuaries in which we are protected from what is potentially harmful. If we are not careful, however, we can inadvertently surround ourselves with substances that can be toxic to our bodies. It is precisely because we rely on our private spaces to serve as refuges from the world that we must exercise great care when choosing how we build, furnish, cleanse, and decorate our homes. Here are some suggestions for creating a healthier home:

1. Be a conscious consumer : If you buy products that contain wholesome, organic, and inert components, you will avoid most common household toxins. Read labels.

2. Your spaces will be as healthy as they are clean when you use natural cleansers and detergents: Almost everything in the home can be cleaned and disinfected using varying combinations of baking soda, vinegar, salt, tea tree oil, herbs, and gentle castile soap. Organic cotton slipcovers can be washed regularly to keep dust mites at bay and to keep us from close contact with furniture that may be off-gassing toxins.

3. Plants clean and add oxygen to the air you breathe when you place them in your personal spaces. Two plants in each room of your dwelling will rid the air of toxins and pollutants while balancing indoor humidity levels. Air purifiers are an easy way to have clean air and are especially useful in a bedroom. Try and clean your air ducts and furnace and change filters regularly.

4. Natural décor that incorporates pesticide-free wood and fibers, organically grown materials, and nontoxic paints and varnishes adds beauty to your house or apartment while lowering your exposure to unsafe chemicals.

5. Scents can help you maintain a hazard-free home. As you enter your home after an absence, pay close attention to the dominant fragrance you perceive. You may discover toxins that might otherwise have gone unrecognized.

6. Be aware of the water you drink and bathe in and consider adding a whole-house filter system.

7. Getting a good night’s rest is easier when your bedding is comprised of natural materials. Organic cotton sheets, down comforters, and wool fiber mattresses offer a wonderful alternative to standard bedclothes.

8. Negative ions are invisible molecules that promote whole-self wellness found in the clean air atop mountains and near rushing water. Equipping your home with a negative-ion generator or salt lamp will ensure that you feel alert and refreshed whenever you are at home.

9. If building a new home, consider carefully the materials you choose and research how much they off-gas toxins.(this is very important) You may not be aware of many glues and hidden substances. Choosing sustainable wood floors over wall-to-wall carpeting can be very beneficial to those with allergies and sensitivities.

Making a few easy changes in your home can provide years of healthy living for you, your family, and pets. A healthy home is a good foundation for living. And whether you use these suggestions or others, the best thing you can do is be aware.

Source:Daily Om

Categories
Featured

Vinegar Is Superb

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With 175 different uses, this super item deserves a reserved space in your home.Around the House

Clear dirt off PCs and peripherals Your computer, printer, fax machine, and other home office gear will work better if you keep them clean and dust-free. Before you start cleaning, make sure that all your equipment is shut off. Now mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bucket. Dampen a clean cloth in the solution — never use a spray bottle; you don’t want to get liquid on the circuits inside — then squeeze it out as hard as you can, and start wiping. Keep a few cotton swabs on hand for getting to the buildups in tight spaces (like around the keys of your PC keyboard).

Clean your computer mouse:
If you have a mouse with a removable tracking ball, use a 50/50 vinegar-water solution to clean it. First, remove the ball from underneath the mouse by twisting off the cover over it. Use a cloth, dampened with the solution and wrung out, to wipe the ball clean and to remove fingerprints and dirt from the mouse itself. Then use a moistened cotton swab to clean out the gunk and debris from inside the ball chamber (let it dry a couple of hours before reinserting the ball).


Clean your window blinds:

You can make the job of cleaning mini-blinds or venetians considerably less torturous by giving them “the white glove treatment.” Just put on a white cotton glove — the kind sold for gardening is perfect — and moisten the fingers in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and hot tap water. Now simply slide your fingers across both sides of each slat and prepare to be amazed. Use a container of clean water to periodically wash off the glove.

Unclog and deodorize drains:
The combination of vinegar and baking soda is one of the most effective ways to unclog and deodorize drains. It’s also far gentler on your pipes (and your wallet) than commercial drain cleaners.

  • To clear clogs in sink and tub drains, use a funnel to pour in 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar. When the foaming subsides, flush with hot tap water. Wait five minutes, and then flush again with cold water. Besides clearing blockages, this technique also washes away odor-causing bacteria.
  • To speed up a slow drain, pour in 1/2 cup salt followed by 2 cups boiling vinegar, then flush with hot and cold tap water.


Get rid of smoke odor:

If you’ve recently burned a steak — or if your chain-smoking aunt recently paid you a surprise visit — remove the lingering smoky odor by placing a shallow bowl about three-quarters full of white or cider vinegar in the room where the scent is strongest. Use several bowls if the smell permeates your entire home. The odor should be gone in less than a day. You can also quickly dispense of the smell of fresh cigarette smoke inside a room by moistening a cloth with vinegar and waving it around a bit.

Wipe away mildew:
When you want to remove mildew stains, reach for white vinegar first. It can be safely used without additional ventilation and can be applied to almost any surface –bathroom fixtures and tile, clothing, furniture, painted surfaces, plastic curtains, and more. To eliminate heavy mildew accumulations, use it full strength. For light stains, dilute it with an equal amount of water. You can also prevent mildew from forming on the bottoms of rugs and carpeting by misting the backs with full-strength white vinegar from a spray bottle.

Clean chrome and stainless steel:
To clean chrome and stainless steel fixtures around your home, apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a recycled spray bottle. Buff with a soft cloth to bring out the brightness.

Shine your silver:
Make your silverware — as well as your pure silver bracelets, rings, and other jewelry — shine like new by soaking them in a mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse them under cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Polish brass and copper items:
Put the shimmer back in your brass, bronze, and copper objects by making a paste of equal parts white vinegar and salt, or vinegar and baking soda (wait for the fizzing to stop before using). Use a clean, soft cloth or paper towel to rub the paste into the item until the tarnish is gone. Then rinse with cool water and polish with a soft towel until dry

Erase ballpoint-pen marks:
Has the budding young artist in your home just decorated a painted wall in your home with a ballpoint original? Don’t lose your cool. Rather, dab some full-strength white vinegar on the “masterpiece” using a cloth or a sponge. Repeat until the marks are gone. Then go out and buy your child a nice big sketch pad.


Unglue stickers, decals, and price tags:

To remove a sticker or decal affixed to painted furniture or a painted wall, simply saturate the corners and sides of the sticker with full-strength white vinegar and carefully scrape it off (using an expired credit card or a plastic phone card). Remove any sticky remains by pouring on a bit more vinegar. Let it sit for a minute or two, and then wipe with a clean cloth. This approach is equally effective for removing price tags and other stickers from glass, plastic, and other glossy surfaces.

Burnish your scissors:
When your scissor blades get sticky or grimy, don’t use water to wash them off; you’re far more likely to rust the fastener that holds the blades together — or the blades themselves — than get them clean. Instead, wipe down the blades with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar, and then dry it off with a rag or dish towel.


Get the salt off your shoes:

As if a winter’s worth of ice, slush, and snow wasn’t rough enough on your shoes and boots, the worst thing, by far, is all the rock salt that’s used to melt it. In addition to leaving unsightly white stains, salt can actually cause your footwear to crack and even disintegrate if it’s left on indefinitely. To remove it and prevent long-term damage, wipe fresh stains with a cloth dipped in undiluted white vinegar.

Clean your piano keys:
Here’s an easy and efficient way to get those grimy fingerprints and stains off your piano keys. Dip a soft cloth into a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed in 2 cups water, squeeze it out until there are no drips, then gently wipe off each key. Use a second cloth to dry off the keys as you move along, then leave the keyboard uncovered for 24 hours.

Deodorize lunch boxes, footlockers, and car trunks:
Does your old footlocker smell like, well, an old footlocker? Or perhaps your child’s lunch box has taken on the bouquet of week-old tuna? What about that musty old car trunk? Quit holding your breath every time you open it. Instead, soak a slice of white bread in white vinegar and leave it in the malodorous space overnight. The smell should be gone by morning.


Freshen a musty closet:

Got a closet that doesn’t smell as fresh as you’d like? First, remove the contents, then wash down the walls, ceiling, and floor with a cloth dampened in a solution of 1 cup each of vinegar and ammonia and 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water. Keep the closet door open and let the interior dry before replacing your clothes and other stuff. If the smell persists, place a small pan of cat litter inside. Replenish every few days until the odor is gone.

Brighten up brickwork:
How’s this for an effortless way to clean your brick floors without breaking out the polish? Just go over them with a damp mop dipped in 1 cup white vinegar mixed with 1 gallon (3.7 liters) warm water. Your floors will look so good you’ll never think about cleaning them with anything else. You can also use this same solution to brighten up the bricks around your fireplace.

Revitalize wood paneling:
Does the wood paneling in your den look dull and dreary? Liven it up with this simple homemade remedy: Mix 1 pint warm water, 4 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a container, give it a couple of shakes, and apply with a clean cloth. Let the mixture soak into the wood for several minutes, then polish with a dry cloth.

Restore your rugs:
If your rugs or carpets are looking worn and dingy from too much foot traffic or an excess of kids’ building blocks, toy trucks, and such, bring them back to life by brushing them with a clean push broom dipped in a solution of 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water. Your faded threads will perk up, and you don’t even need to rinse off the solution.

Remove carpet stains:
You can lift out many stains from your carpet with vinegar:

  • Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.
  • For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.
  • For tough, ground-in dirt and other stains, make a paste of 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and rub it into the stain using a dry cloth. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.
  • To make spray-on spot and stain remover, fill a spray bottle with 5 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Fill a second spray bottle with 1 part nonsudsy ammonia and 5 parts water. Saturate a stain with the vinegar solution. Let it settle for a few minutes, then blot thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Then spray and blot using the ammonia solution. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Remove candle wax:
Candles are great for creating a romantic mood, but the mood can quickly sour if you wind up getting melted candle wax on your fine wood furniture. To remove it, first soften the wax using a blow-dryer on its hottest setting and blot up as much as you can with paper towels. Then remove what’s left by rubbing with a cloth soaked in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and water. Wipe clean with a soft, absorbent cloth.Give grease stains the slip

Eliminate grease stains from your kitchen table or counter by wiping them down with a cloth dampened in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. In addition to removing the grease, the vinegar will neutralize any odors on the surface (once its own aroma evaporates, that is).

Conceal scratches in wood furniture:
Got a scratch on a wooden tabletop that grabs your attention every time you look at it? To make it much less noticeable, mix some distilled or cider vinegar and iodine in a small jar and paint over the scratch with a small artist’s brush. Use more iodine for darker woods; more vinegar for lighter shades.


Get rid of water rings on furniture:

To remove white rings left by wet glasses on wood furniture, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply it with a soft cloth while moving with the wood grain. Use another clean, soft cloth to shine it up. To get white water rings off leather furniture, dab them with a sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar.

Wipe off wax or polish buildup:
When furniture polish or wax builds up on wood furniture or leather tabletops, get rid of it with diluted white vinegar. To get built-up polish off a piece of wood furniture, dip a cloth in equal parts vinegar and water and squeeze it out well. Then, moving with the grain, clean away the polish. Wipe dry with a soft towel or cloth. Most leather tabletops will come clean simply by wiping them down with a soft cloth dipped in 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Use a clean towel to dry off any remaining liquid.

Revitalize leather furniture:
Has your leather sofa or easy chair lost its luster? To restore it to its former glory, mix equal parts white vinegar and boiled linseed oil in a recycled spray bottle, shake it up well, and spray it on. Spread it evenly over your furniture using a soft cloth, give it a couple of minutes to settle in, then rub it off with a clean cloth.

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