This is definitely our favourite of the local herbs and we use it as a spice or infused in our Native Thyme Oil.
Native Thyme, sometimes called cut-leaf mint (you’ll know why when the menthol aroma hits) was used by Indigenous Australians for its medicinal properties but we now use it in cooking. Best fresh but also potent dried and ground. Very easy to grow at home directly in the ground or in small pots on a balcony if you have a smaller space.
It’s a highly aromatic shrub, rich in essential oils, giving off a minty aroma when crushed or rubbed. This shrubby plant is found throughout NSW along the coastline, in sheltered rainforest margins, beneath sclerophyll forest trees, and around the Central Tablelands.
◎ Common Name: Native thyme - Sometimes called cut-leaf mint (you’ll know why when the menthol aroma hits)
◎ Scientific or Latin Name: Prostanthera incisa
◎ Comparison: Thyme or Mint
◎ Seasonality: All year dried
◎ Region: Grow at home
◎ Taste Profile: Native Thyme boasts a more complex flavour than Mentha mints. With hints of pepper and earthy tones, both the leaves and flowers have minty qualities.
◎ Types: We offer Native Thyme two ways; dried & ground as a spice, and infused with olive oil.
Dried & Ground: As a spice it makes a great flavoursome herb for chicken, fish, emu, roo and lamb dishes.
Infused Olive Oil: Infused with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, this Native Thyme combination is perfect mixed with our vinegars as a delightful salad dressing, great in savoury baking or drizzled over meats and vegetables.
- Rich in essential oils.
- Native thyme is packed with vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A.
- It's a good source of copper, fibre, iron, and manganese.
- Essential oil of thyme and thymol hold many fungicidal properties, which can be used in cleaning products and as natural pesticides.
- Can help to treat acne.
Aboriginal & Traditional
Australian Native Thyme is a national herb that's origins date back centuries. It was previously used medicinally by Indigenous Australian's however is now more commonly used in cooking and the making of herbal teas.
Western & Modern
It's a highly aromatic herb that's rich in essential oils that give off a minty aroma when released. When used in dishes featuring chicken, turkey, pork or lamb, a small amount makes a big difference.
To harvest, just pluck fresh leaves off the growing plant, or prune whole stalks at a time. Once established this plant is very tough and will provide you with year round food. The plant grows in the same way as basil or mint and can be used in tomato dishes, soups, salsas, salads. Both the leaves and flowers have minty qualities, and may be steeped in hot water to make a herbal tisane, used fresh, or chopped and dried for later use. Just remember the flavour will fade over time after harvesting.
MedicinalThyme varieties are taken by mouth for bronchitis, whooping cough, sore throat, colic, arthritis, upset stomach, stomach pain (gastritis), diarrhea, bedwetting, a movement disorder in children (dyspraxia), intestinal gas (flatulence), parasitic worm infections, and skin disorders.
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Native Thyme is featured in these recipes in Warndu Mai:
- Tamarind & Thyme Creme Brulee
- Chia crusted Barramundi with chickpea mash & muntrie salsa
- Bush recipe: Muntrie, Fig and Prosciutto Salad
- Wallaby Shanks
Warndu Products featuring Native Thyme
Note: The term 'Bush Tucker' and 'Bush Food' are not Warndu's preferred terms for Australian Native Ingredients or Australian Botanicals.
Images: © Luisa Brimble