A low-growing perennial up to 46 cm tall, with woody stems forming a dense mat, covered with tiny dark-green aromatic leaves and spikes of pinkish flowers in summer.
In the flowering stems and leaves; essential oil rich in thymol and other pungent aroma-chemicals, also bitters, tannins, flavonoids, and saponins, giving antiseptic, expectorant, uterine-stimulant, antimicrobial, and vulnerary properties.
Do not use medicinally in pregnancy; used sparingly as a food flavoring, it is safe.
With meat and fish, in casseroles and stews, and with root vegetables like carrots; also in herbal vinegars and oils.
Standard infusion of fresh/dried leaves with 1 tsp honey in an excellent tonic for sore throats, coughs and colds, shortness of breath, and hoarseness. Thyme can also be made into a syrup for use in the wintertime as an antiseptic.