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Basil Thyme

Clinopodium acinos

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
25 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, meadows, riverbanks, roadsides, rocky places, wasteland.

Purple, 5 petals
The blue-violet flowers are borne in the leaf axils and appear in whorls of 2 to 6. There is a white patch on the lower lip of the flower. 4 stamens (2 long and 2 short). The 3 lobes on the upper lip are shorter than the 2 lower lobes.
A 4-parted, yellowish-brown capsule.
A short-lived perennial with oval and slightly toothed leaves. The leaves are very short-stalked and have prominent veins. The leaves are in opposite pairs along the stems. Both sides of the leaf are short-haired. The stems are square in cross-section.
Smells similar to Thyme.
Other Names:
Spring Savory.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Clinopodium acinos, also known as basil thyme, is a perennial herb native to Europe and Asia. It is typically found in grassland, meadows, and disturbed areas such as roadsides and pastures. The plant has a compact growth habit and produces small, pink or purple flowers. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens, rock gardens, and as a ground cover. It is also used as a medicinal plant, particularly in traditional medicine, where the leaves and flowering tops are used to make teas, infusions and tinctures, to help with respiratory issues, to relieve pain and to help with digestion. This plant is hardy and easy to grow, it can be propagated by division or seed, and it prefers well-drained soils and sunny positions.


Basil Thyme: The Versatile Herbal Plant

Basil Thyme, also known as Clinopodium acinos, is a perennial herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used for centuries for its medicinal and culinary properties.

Culinary Uses: Basil Thyme is a versatile herb that is widely used in cooking. Its leaves have a strong and aromatic flavor that can enhance the taste of many dishes. It is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and is a key ingredient in many sauces, soups, stews, and marinades. In addition to its use in cooking, basil thyme can also be used to make herbal tea, which is said to have a calming effect on the body and mind.

Medicinal Properties: Basil Thyme has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which make it effective in treating wounds, skin infections, and respiratory infections. It is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain and swelling. Additionally, basil thyme has been used to treat digestive problems such as indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.

Growing Basil Thyme: Basil Thyme is a hardy plant that is easy to grow. It thrives in well-drained soil and full sun. It is best grown from seeds, which should be sown in the spring or early summer. Once established, basil thyme is a low-maintenance plant that does not require much care. It can be pruned regularly to promote bushier growth and to encourage the production of more leaves.

Preserving Basil Thyme: One of the challenges of growing basil thyme is preserving its flavor and aroma. Drying the leaves is a common method of preservation, but this can cause the flavor to fade over time. A better method is to freeze the leaves in an airtight container. This will help to preserve the flavor and aroma for up to a year. Another option is to make basil thyme oil or vinegar. Simply infuse oil or vinegar with the fresh leaves, and the result will be a flavorful condiment that can be used in cooking or as a dressing.

Cooking with Basil Thyme: Basil Thyme is a flavorful and aromatic herb that can add depth and complexity to a wide range of dishes. Its strong flavor pairs well with chicken, fish, and other meats, as well as with vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplant. It is also a key ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, such as pesto, bouillabaisse, and ratatouille. When cooking with basil thyme, it is best to add it at the end of the cooking process to preserve its flavor and aroma.

Incorporating Basil Thyme into Your Beauty Routine: In addition to its culinary and medicinal properties, basil thyme can also be used in your beauty routine. The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of basil thyme make it an effective ingredient in skin care products. Try making a basil thyme facial toner by steeping fresh leaves in water, straining the liquid, and using it as a toner after cleansing your face. Additionally, basil thyme can be used as a natural remedy for dandruff and other scalp problems. Simply massage the leaves into your scalp and let it sit for 30 minutes before washing your hair.

Basil Thyme is a versatile and highly valued herb that is prized for its culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic uses.

Companion Planting with Basil Thyme: Basil Thyme is a popular herb for companion planting, meaning it can be planted alongside other plants to improve their growth and health. For example, planting basil thyme near tomatoes can improve the flavor of the tomatoes, deter pests, and repel insects that are harmful to the tomato plant. Basil thyme is also a great companion for other herbs and vegetables, such as basil, oregano, and peppers.

When planting basil thyme, it is important to consider the growing conditions that are required by the other plants in your garden. Basil thyme prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so it is important to plant it in an area that meets these requirements. In addition, it is important to space the plants appropriately so that they have room to grow and thrive.

Uses in Aromatherapy: In addition to its culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic uses, basil thyme is also valued for its use in aromatherapy. The strong and aromatic essential oils that are present in basil thyme have a calming and uplifting effect on the body and mind. Inhaling the scent of basil thyme can help to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation. To use basil thyme in aromatherapy, simply add a few drops of its essential oil to an aromatherapy diffuser or to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam.

In conclusion, Basil Thyme is a versatile and highly valued herb that is prized for its many uses, including cooking, beauty, aromatherapy, and companion planting. Whether you are using it to add flavor to your dishes, improve your health, or enhance your garden, basil thyme is a valuable and versatile herb that is well worth incorporating into your life.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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