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Thyme: Folklore, Healing & Magical Properties

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Written by: Tina Caro

Unquestionably you come across it regularly. Maybe you have a plant at home, or it is in a friend’s or relative’s home. So let me tell you something about Thyme Magical Properties.


In magical folklore, thyme is associated with boldness, emotional healing, releasing the past, honoring the deceased, and enhancing prosperity.

Placing thyme on your altar can help ward off negative energy and aid in finding lost items, making it a versatile tool for practitioners of Green Magic.

Thyme has a rich historical and folkloric significance, having been utilized in rituals, ceremonies, and remedies throughout history.

Beyond its magical uses, thyme finds its place in the garden, offering a hardy, aromatic addition, while also being valued for its culinary and healing properties, making it a versatile and cherished herb in various aspects of life.

First of all, what is thyme?

Thyme is an evergreen plant belonging to the Labiate family (which also includes rosemary and lavender), native to the western Mediterranean area.

It grows spontaneously in all regions in well-drained soil.

Thyme magical properties and Green Magic

Thyme is mostly used in green magic.

It comes directly from our Mother Earth, also called Gaia.

As with other magical herbs such as rosemary, burning thyme offers many more benefits than just flavoring the food.

It also has substantial healing, purifying, and liberating power. Similarly, negative influences in your home, in your workplace or your own body may disappear with spells that include this plant.

However, for thyme to be productive, it is also necessary to know how to use it.

Sometimes it is as simple as keeping some dry leaves under the pillow to attract good health and drive away nightmares and bad dreams.

Other times, performing the spell requires knowledge, ingenuity, and wisdom. However, it is an inspiring plant.

The simple fact of having it at home will serve to flood your soul with courage and willingness to overcome how many vicissitudes appear before you.

Old origins of its magical uses and properties

Ancient Greeks considered thyme as a powerful plant endowed with magic. For them, this herb was born directly from Helen of Troy’s tears. They believed that adding thyme into a liquid will enhance this liquid with exceptional medicinal and healing powers.

Historically, all societies have made wise use of thyme. Subsequently, it was the Romans who used it to perfume their products. Thus they managed not only to make them more appealing and fragrant but they had higher invigorating powers.

Folklore or LegendDescription
Ancient Greek BeliefsThyme associated with courage, bravery, and strength
European Medieval BeliefsUsed for protection against evil spirits and witches
Roman TraditionThyme symbolized bravery and was used in purification
Egyptian UsageUtilized for embalming rituals and as a fragrant herb
Table 1: Thyme Folklore and Legends

Thyme was always present in historical societies. And so it reached the practitioners of Wicca magic.

Its users place branches in the corners of their homes. In this way, they prevent lightning strikes and expel bad influences.

Here’s how you can use thyme in magical practice

Magical PropertyDescription
ProtectionUsed to ward off negative energies and evil spirits
PurificationClears spaces of negative energy and purifies objects
Love and RomanceEnhances love spells and promotes affection
Mental ClarityAids in concentration, memory, and mental focus
Table 2: Magical Properties of Thyme

Rituals for boldness

Greek soldiers put thyme into bathwater to become more courageous.

In terms of spellcraft, it’s perfect for a ritual bath before spells for boldness and self-awareness.

Add it to your bathroom before an event that makes you nervous (from public speaking to a decisive game).

Relieve the emotional pain

If you’ve experienced a tragedy or the loss of a loved one, once you’ve gone through your deepest mourning phase, hang thyme’s bags over the windows and doors.

This will remove the heaviness of mourning from your home.

Once you’ve “freed the air,” bury the used thyme near the roots of a sturdy tree and think about the hard times you’ve been through.

Let the past go

Use it in spells to move to a new phase of life and leave the past behind.

Put the dried thyme in a box with the symbols of the part of your past you want to leave (photos, memories, etc.) and leave it there. When you’re ready, burn the box and spread the ashes over a bed of water.

Particularly appropriate for personal resolutions such as quitting smoking or quitting a job.

Honor the dead

Include the thyme in a funerary bouquet or (if appropriate) throw it on the coffin just before burial to help the spirit transition from one world to another.

Have it on your altar

The association of thyme with the element of water makes it an ideal addition to the altar to represent this element.

“Refresh” the water vibrations in your sacred space with a new branch of thyme from the garden.

Also read:
Ideas for Witchy Altar Setups (Is There the Best One??)
What is the Purpose of an Altar? Do You Really Need One?

Killing the negative vibrations

The ancient Mediterranean cultures used thyme to “disinfect” their homes and temples.

Burning the dried thyme in the family home after disagreements can help resolve disputes, erase negative emotional energy, and rebalance internal relationships.

Find lost items

European pagan traditions claim that fairies love thyme.

According to legend, they also love making your things disappear when you need them.

Fortunately, when asked politely, they usually don’t mind giving them back!

On the night of the full moon, leave an offer of fresh thyme and honey in the woods with the request that fairies should help you find something lost.

Enchant your moon ritual

Add the thyme to your Esbat of the Moon or Samhain, when forest spirits or fairies are said to be the most active, to enchant your circle with an atmosphere of change and mysticism.

Burn it in the cauldron, anoint your instruments with thyme essential oil or decorate your altar with some branches at the base of a candle.

Also read:
Here’s How to Prepare an Altar for Pagan Festivities (DIY Tips)

Attract prosperity

At the beginning of the crescent moon, place several coins or a dollar (euro) bill with a thyme root, and bury it near a sunny spot in your yard.

Care for the plant as you would a good investment, watch it grow and attract prosperity!

Wear it

Do you want to feel like a Goddess?

Combine your wrists with thyme essential oil to embody an “otherworldly” quality or enhance your beauty.

How to use thyme for a relaxing and protected sleep

If you often have nightmares then try putting some sprigs of lemon thyme between the pillow and the pillowcase.

Say these simple words before going to sleep

“Mother Moon pamper me with your sweetness
Father Sun wake me up with your smile”

Dawn’s Thoughts on Thyme

Thyme (Thymus spp.) is a member of the mint family. It is generally a low growing perennial, winter hardy to zone five.

Leaves are generally dark, gray-green in color and the labiate flowers are tiny and generally pink. Blooms in early to midsummer.

There are many tiny oval-shaped leaves on each slender, woody stem.

Thyme in History and Folklore

The word Thyme comes from the Greek meaning to “fumigate”. This indicates that it may have been burned in sacred rites. The Greeks thought very highly of Thyme. It was mixed in drinks to enhance intoxicating effects and induce bravery and warriors were massaged with thyme oil to ensure their courage. Women wore thyme in their hair to enhance their attractiveness. The phrase “to smell of thyme” meant that one was stylish, well-groomed, poised, and otherwise attractive.

Thyme is a Mediterranean native spread throughout Europe by the Romans. Their soldiers added it to their bathwater to increase bravery, strength, and vigor. It enjoyed a long association with bravery. In Medieval England, ladies embroidered sprigs of thyme into their knights’ scarves to increase their bravery. In Scotland, highlanders brewed tea to increase courage and keep away nightmares.

Thyme was used as early as 3000 BCE by Sumerians as an antiseptic. It does indeed have impressive antiseptic qualities.

It was used as an embalming herb in ancient Egypt and was burned in other places as offerings to celebrate Rites of Passing. It was placed in coffins throughout Europe to ensure passage into the next world.

Thyme in the Garden

Thyme grows well in zones 4-9. It prefers full sun to part shade and loose, fast-draining soil, preferably sandy. The roots should never be allowed to stay wet. Thyme is winter hardy, but a light mulch will protect it when the ground freezes. It does not need fertilizers. Thyme does best if it is pruned in the spring or summer after its first year.

With the exception of Common Thyme, which is light germinated, so seeds should be scattered on the surface, the seeds are small and slow to germinate, and many varieties are sterile cultivars, so it is best to propagate by division or cuttings or buy a plant at your local nursery.

Thyme and lavender grow well together, perhaps mainly because they enjoy the same conditions. You can also grow thyme amongst cabbages to protect them from cabbage worms, flies, beetles and aphids.

Thyme attracts bees and faeries and makes a good ground cover in sunny areas.

Harvesting and Storing Thyme

Leaves can be harvested as needed throughout the year. Give the plant a year to get established before doing any heavy harvesting. The best flavor is right before flowering.

Thyme dries very well. It should be dried like any other herb on the stem and the leaves stripped off later.

Magical Attributes of Thyme

Thyme is feminine in nature and associated with the element of water and the planet Venus. Thyme is also associated with Freya, Aphrodite, and Ares.

Thyme can be used in magick spells to increase strength and courage.

When working hard to achieve a goal that seems unachievable, thyme can be used in spells to help you keep a positive attitude.

Fumigate your home or make a floor wash with thyme to dispel melancholy, hopelessness and other mellow but negative vibrations, especially after a family tragedy or during a long sickness. Add marjoram to the mix to help draw joy back in while you’re at it.

Place thyme beneath your pillow for a restful sleep and happy dreams and to prevent nightmares.

Faeries love thyme. Its addition to your garden will attract them and it can be used in spells to communicate with faeries.

Thyme is excellent in ritual baths and fumigation for early spring festivals when we seek to leave the old behind and begin anew.

Thyme Around the House

The tiny flowers will attract bees to your garden. Honey made from these flowers is highly prized.

Sachets of thyme hung in your closet or folded in with your stored clothes will keep moths out, and smells nicer than mothballs.

A strong infusion of thyme makes a great hair rinse for dark hair and repels head lice. You can add rosemary as well if you have problems with dandruff.

Oil of thyme can be used as a household cleaning agent as it is a good germ killer and drives away pests. Just put a few drops in a spray bottle with 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar.

Thyme for Healing

Thyme has been used as a cough remedy and digestive aid as well as a treatment for internal parasites.

The active constituent, Thymol, has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and a strong scent that helps loosen phlegm and soothes the respiratory system. It is used in many over-the-counter cold remedies.

Healing PropertyDescription
Anti-bacterial and Anti-microbialHelps fight against infections and harmful bacteria
Respiratory SupportRelieves cough, congestion, and respiratory issues
Digestive AidAssists with digestion and relieves digestive problems
AntioxidantProtects against free radicals and oxidative stress
Table 3: Healing Properties of Thyme

It is also used for athlete’s foot and hemorrhoids.

For internal use, steep two teaspoons of fresh herb or one teaspoon of dried herb in one cup of boiling water. Drink no more than twice a day, in the morning and evening, to relieve lung problems and dispel parasites.

A stronger infusion can be used as a mouthwash to treat sore gums, as a foot soak to get rid of athlete’s foot, a body or hair rinse for lice or dip a rag in it and use it as a compress for skin inflammations.

Thyme can also be added to massage and bath oils to treat rheumatism and general aches and pains. These oils can also be used for colds and lung complaints.

Use oil of thyme by dropping into an infuser, or into a pan of boiling water and inhaling the fumes up to four times daily to relieve congestion. Never take essential oils internally.

Culinary Use

Thyme has a long association with cooking and is part of French Bouquet Garni and Herbes de Provence. The most common type of thyme used in cooking is Common Thyme or English Thyme, but many varieties can be used, all bring their own personality to the table.

It adds a marvelous rich flavor to meat dishes and stews. Adds flavor to veggies too and is especially good on potatoes. Actually, you can put thyme on just about anything. Try it on grilled cheese sandwiches or in scrambled eggs. The song says it combines well with parsley , sage,and rosemary.

Thyme is a tough herb and should be added early in cooking as heat slowly releases the flavor.

The flowers are edible as well as the leaves and make a lovely garnish.

The woody stems can be laid over charcoal when barbecuing to flavor the smoke.

Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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