previous next


Thyme1 should be gathered while it is in flower, and dried in the shade. There are two kinds of thyme: the white thyme with a ligneous root, which grows upon declivities, and is the most esteemed of the two, and another variety, which is of a darker colour, and bears a swarthy flower. They are, both of them, considered to be extremely beneficial to the sight, whether used as an article of food or as a medicament, and to be good for inveterate coughs. Used as an electuary, with vinegar and salt, they facilitate expectoration, and taken with honey, they prevent the blood from coagulating. Applied ex- ternally with mustard, they dispel chronic fluxes of the fauces, as well as various affections of the stomach and bowels. Still, however, these plants must be used in moderation, as they are of a heating nature, for which reason it is that they act so astringently upon the bowels. In cases of ulceration of the intestines, the dose should be one denarius of thyme to one sextarius of oxymel; the same proportions, too, should be taken for pains in the sides, between the shoulder-blades, or in the thoracic organs. Taken with oxymel, these plants are used for the cure of intestinal diseases, and a similar draught is administered in cases of alienation of the senses and melancholy.

Thyme is given also for epilepsy, when the fits come on, the smell of it reviving the patient; it is said, too, that epileptic persons should sleep upon soft thyme. It is good, also, for hardness of breathing, and for asthma and obstructions of the catamenia. A decoction of thyme in water, boiled down to one-third, brings away the dead fœtus, and it is given to males with oxymel, as a remedy for flatulency, and in cases of swelling of the abdomen or testes and of pains in the bladder. Applied with wine, it removes tumours and fluxes, and, in combination with vinegar, callosities and warts. Mixed with wine, it is used as an external application for sciatica; and, beaten up with oil and sprinkled upon wool, it is employed for diseases of the joints, and for sprains. It is applied, also, to burns, mixed with hogs' lard. For maladies of the joints of recent date, thyme is administered in drink, in doses of three oboli to three cyathi of oxymel. For loss of appetite, it is given, beaten up with salt.

1 See c. 31 of this Book. Thyme yields an essential oil, possessed of stimulating properties. Most of the assertions here made as to its virtues are quite unfounded.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (13 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: