Mastic Thyme (Thymus mastichina)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Mastic Thyme
Thymus mastichina

The essential oil obtained from the leaves is also used in perfumery, as a mouth wash, medicinally etc[200].

  • Medicinal Use

    The leaves, and especially the essential oil contained in them, are strongly antiseptic, deodorant and disinfectant[4, 200, 238]. 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[238].

  • Edible Use

    The leaves are used as a seasoning[183]. They have a pungent eucalyptus-like aroma[238]. 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[200].

    The plant is also the source of an essential oil, called ‘oil of marjoram’, that is used extensively as a flavouring for soups etc[4, 61, 177, 183, 238].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

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. Division in spring or autumn[200]. 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[200]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[200]. Layering.
Requires a light well-drained preferably calcareous soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. Succeeds in dry soils. 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[238]. Plants are hardy to about -10¡c[200], but are best given some protection in the winter – a pane of glass supported over the plant is usually sufficient[1]. The flowers are rich in nectar and are very attractive to honey bees[200]. The bruised leaves are powerfully aromatic[245]. This is a very difficult genus taxonomically, the species hybridize freely with each other and often intergrade into each other[1].
S.W. Europe – Spain, Portugal.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.