This small-leaved plant is a very common wild herb. The small, purple flowers can be discovered in lean meadows all summer. They serve as a source of food for numerous wild bees and butterflies - they usually buzz around the flowers in large numbers.
Today the creeping thyme or quendel is mainly used in teas. (Photo by: Ruvo233 / Depositphotos.com)
While the real thyme immigrated from the Mediterranean, the creeping thyme, medicinal thyme or quendel is native and widespread in Central Europe.
The undemanding plant can often be found on the edges of paths, pastures and mountain meadows.
Quendel has a milder aroma than the real thyme, but higher values of essential oils.
Quendel was used more as a medicinal plant and the real thyme was used mainly as a herb.
Distribution & location
- Creeping thyme is an undemanding plant and likes to grow on dry, sandy or rocky soil.
- It can often be found in the mountains, the high alpine pastures of the Alps or in the Caucasus.
- It grows creeping, is perennial and often forms large cushions. The plant is robust and very resistant.
Active ingredients, ingredients & taste
- Quendel contains various essential oils, the most effective of which is the thymol contained in the leaves.
- Small hairs on the leaves release an intense fragrance when touched.
- The antiseptic effect of thymol makes the herb versatile.
- Its taste is spicy and bitter.
Health, home & remedies
All types of thyme have been used as remedies since ancient times. Hildegard von Bingen recommended Quendel to add the food to cure skin diseases.
Today, the Quendel is mainly used in teas or herbal juices to treat throat infections and cough.
Due to the expectorant effect, it can help alleviate colds in the respiratory tract. The Quendelkraut is still added to skin creams and skin tinctures.
Due to its anti-inflammatory effect of thymol, it is considered a panacea for rubbing in and even helps with rheumatoid arthritis.
Use in the kitchen
The lovely little blooming flowers are mostly found in the mountains. (Photo by: Mirage3 / Depositphotos.com)
- Quendel, like the real thyme, is suitable as a herb.
- When dried, it has a higher seasoning power than the fresh leaves.
- It is suitable as a component of strong herb mixtures and is indispensable as a seasoning for fish.
- In the past, mountain farmers in the Alps collected the shoots of the Quendel all summer.
- They used it as a seasoning for the daily preparation of sterz, as the simple pan dishes of the former peasant life were called.
- The flowers, poured with hot water, gave a tasty, healthy tea.
Harvest, shelf life & storage
- The small, pink to violet-colored flowers are arranged in small balls, which often sit close together at the ends of the short branches.
- They bloom all summer long, from June to September.
- Quendel is harvested at this time. The individual branches are picked, bundled and hung up to dry in a dry, shady place.
- This way they can be kept for several months.
Special features & season
Quendel used to be hung up in clusters in chicken coops. He should keep the annoying chicken mites away from the poultry.
Today, beekeepers place insects impregnated with thymol in the beehives. The essential oil has been shown to kill the Varroa mites, which are now affecting honeybees across the board.
Risk of confusion
Quendel is only to be confused with the different subspecies of thyme. However, all of them can be used in the same way without exception.
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