Herb: Basil Thyme

Latin name: Acinos arvensis

Synonyms: Acinos thymoides, Calamintha acinos, Satureja acinos

Family: Labiatae

Medicinal use of Basil Thyme:

Basil thyme was a great favourite of the ancient herbalists, though it is little used medicinally at present. The herb is diuretic, odontalgic, rubefacient and stomachic. The essential oil has been applied externally as a rubefacient, whilst one drop of it put into a decayed tooth is said to alleviate the pain. The plant has also been added to bath water, especially for children, and is said to be a strengthener and nerve soother. The flowering plant is harvested in the summer and is normally used fresh in infusions.

Description of the plant:


15 cm
(6 inches)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry sunny banks and in fields on chalky, gravelly and sandy soils.

Edible parts of Basil Thyme:

The flowering tops are used as a flavouring and in salads. Said to be similar to thyme in odour but milder and more pleasant. The plant is only faintly aromatic and does not really make a very good substitute for thyme.

Other uses of the herb:

The plant makes a good ground cover.

Propagation of Basil Thyme:

Seed - sow early spring in a cold frame. If you have sufficient seed then you could try sowing in situ in April or May. Germination should take place within a month. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in late spring. Very easy.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry sunny banks and in fields on chalky, gravelly and sandy soils.

Known hazards of Acinos arvensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.