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5-Day Herbal Reset Challenge: Day 1 Fennel & Thyme

Here we go. It’s the start of connecting with pantry and as MORE than just a flavoring. It’s about using all these spices and herbs to enhance your body in sickness and in health.

I’m going to start with FENNEL. If you have fennel seed (or powder) take a small amount maybe two seeds and put them in your mouth.

Close your eyes.

And chew.

Instantly your mouth gets more saliva activation, the licorice flavor coats your mouth creating a moist cascade of taste. I always taste a little bit of salty, bitter, licorice and menthol flavors but what is your experience?

Fennel Seed typically comes from the plant Foeniculum Vulgare.

It is one of the easiest to grow and treasured plants medicinally. In the garden, I usually grow bronze fennel a 4 foot plant that cascades along the garden’s edge.

Medicinally, fennel is for flatulence. It is a digestive soother and carminative which is a gas dispeller. It supports the body’s natural digestive processes of elimination (if you will) and cramping all along the digestive tract.

For the digestive system:

Antispasmodic and carminative

Demulcent (coats and soothes) and is one of the best for calming a stomach

CarminativeAnthelmintic aka gets rid of parasites

Increases metabolism and sense of fullness

Reduces belching and bloating

Helps with constipation 

For the Respiratory System: 

Again an antispasmodic for chronic cough

Expectorant helps remove the phlegm from the body 


It helps with a gentle release, mental clarity and sense of calming to all body systems

Easy DIY recipes for Fennel: 

I love crushing a few fennel seeds and a slice of ginger (especially in the winter) and adding it into my water bottle in some muslin.

Add a ½ teaspoon to your morning smoothie to blend.

In the garden I absolutely let my fennel spread as a perennial weed and harvest it wherever I can. 


Our fresh plant of the day is THYME. You can use dried, but it doesn’t last too long before it loses its vibrancy.

Thyme is a diminutive herb that creeps slowly into the nooks and crannies of your garden and yet has a lot of very practical uses (besides making my roasted delicata squash taste pretty much like magic). 

Spasmodic coughs, whooping cough, anything with the infections of the bronchioles. 

I love to use it specifically for lung congestion, respiratory tract infections, damp boggy coughs, sinus congestion, pertussis, colds, and influenza.

It’s going to move out phlegm wherever it may be settling. Like the way it grows, it is reaching into the cracks and crevices of our bodies and pulling out infection.

The easiest way to use this powerful herb is in tea. Dried or fresh thyme is filled with the active Thymol and is warming and drying, which you need when your body is filling up with fluids. My standard recipe is 1 tsp per cup of water fresh and dry.

I love combining it with ginger, honey, and lemon in tea for lung support along with conventional care.

A few notes on when to use thyme energetically. Because thyme is a warming herb, you want to note that if the person is already dry or depleted you may need to add a demulcent that is moistening and cooling like marshmallow root, plantain or mullein to your tea.

I like to think of demulcents like oil for cars: they just keep it all moving along. If you don’t have this, the expectorant action of thyme may cause irritation.  

Also, I learned this from Maria Noel Groves’s book, Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies, that thyme is one of the main ingredients for Listerine, and can be used as an antiseptic/antifungal spray for mouthwashes, foot spray and wound compresses. 

As a flower essence or plant spirit, thyme is alive in the now when there seemingly isn’t enough thyme or time. (see what I did there). 

 Enjoy this oxymel recipe for your fall and winter health.You can download a PDF of this recipe HERE.

Thyme & Elderberry Oxymel

1 oz of fresh thyme (my favorite is lemon thyme) or ½ oz of dried thyme if you have to

4 oz of elderberries fresh or 2 oz dried1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

1.5 cup apple cider vinegar½ cup honey

I like to use the shake, stir & set method for this if you have the thyme (haha). Fill your pint jar with all the herbs about one-fourth to one-fifth full. You do not need to de-stem the thyme, but do pack it in pretty well. 

Cover with either a plastic lid or a lid that is covered with parchment paper.

Stir the herbs together, and then every day for two weeks give it a good shake.

After 2 weeks, strain it and you have your oxymel!

I love using this as a condiment or base for salad dressing. OR if you feel anything coming on, then take 30-60 drops, up to 5x a day, to activate your immune response and the medicinal oomph of thyme.

YAY, you’ve completed your first day.

Up next Garlic & Coriander. YUM   

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