What Is Lemon Thyme?

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  • Written By: Laura Evans
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 28 January 2020
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Lemon thyme, or Thymus citridorus, is a hardy, perennial plant that has pink or white flowers and prefers to grow in full sun. This herb has a taste and smell reminiscent of lemons. Like other thyme varieties, lemon thyme is often used as a seasoning for foods. As an herbal remedy, Thymus citridorus has anti-aging properties, promotes relaxation and eases coughing.

Lemon thyme is an attractive plant that can grow in pots or in the ground. This plant can attract butterflies, bees and birds to a yard. The plant grows to be about six to 12 inches tall (15 to 30 cm) and should be placed at 18 to 24 inch (45 to 60 cm) intervals. It prefers well-drained, light sandy soil. The plant likes full sun and will bloom during the summer months.

This thyme can be used in any recipe that calls for lemons. In addition, the herb can be used as an accent in chicken dishes, salads, sorbet, and salmon. Chefs and bakers know to use this herb when fresh as the herb loses its flavor when dried.


Lemon thyme tea can be made by pouring a cup of boiling water over 1/4 cup of fresh thyme leaves. Fresh thyme flowers can also be used to make tea. If only dried leaves are available, the tea recipe calls for two teaspoons of the herb. Regardless of whether fresh or dried thyme is used, the tea should sit for five minutes to steep. After straining, the tea is good to drink. Some prefer to add honey to sweeten the taste.

This herb is thought to help treat laryngitis, help the digestion and prevent gastritis. Lemon thyme can also assist in easing a tight chest. The herbal remedy can also be used as an antiseptic.

Thymus citridorus is also used in aromatherapy. This herb’s essential oil can be used in small concentrations to help children fight asthma. This oil can also help children with other respiratory ailments. The essential oil can also be used when taking a bath to help relax muscles. Essential oils should never be consumed or applied on the skin without having been diluted.

Lemon thyme is generally considered to be safe. If a medical condition persists, people should consult their physicians. Some people may also be allergic to the herb. In addition, those with serious medical diseases such as diabetes or thyroid conditions should consult with their doctors before using this herb.


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Post 8

I use lemon thyme to energize me at work. By mid-afternoon, I always seem to get sluggish and lose my motivation. Sometimes, it is hard to stay awake. The smell of lemons stirs my senses and seems to reactivate my brain.

I had a small lemon thyme plant in a pot on my desk. A lady at work complained because she has sensitive sinuses. She said the smell was too powerful, so I had to take the plant home.

I found a way around it, though. I clipped a sprig of it and put it all the way down inside a small glass vase. People passing by cannot smell it, but all I have to do is lift the vase to my nose and inhale to receive a new wave of energy.

Post 7

I like to make chocolate truffles with different flavored centers. The recipe I use for the centers calls for adding lemon thyme to heavy whipping cream while it is gently boiling. I then pour the mixture over chocolate chips and whisk to melt them.

After 45 minutes, I whip the combination with a mixer until it is lighter in color and stiff with peaks. Then, I roll pieces of it into balls and dip them in melted chocolate.

The lemon thyme adds a wonderfully potent flavor to the truffles. Even though the centers are brown instead of yellow, everyone knows that they are lemon truffles. You can smell them through their chocolate coating.

Post 6

@SarahSon - Yum, that lemony fried fish sounds delicious! What sort of fish were you frying? Down here in the South, we fry catfish a lot, and it would be delicious with lemon thyme.

Whether frying or baking fish, I like to use dill weed, butter, and lemon juice. I am going to try substituting lemon thyme for lemon juice next time. I imagine it would give a more intense flavor.

Post 5

I have grown lemon balm in my garden for years. Although this is not the same as lemon thyme, you can use it in many of the same ways. The lemon scent is strong and hard to resist if you love lemon.

If I am cooking a whole chicken, I like to add some lemon balm and rosemary to the cavity before placing in the oven. You can also use it for making tea.

Lemon balm is part of the mint family, so if you have it planted in your garden, you will also have the benefit of attracting many bees. My lemon balm gets very well pollinated from the honeybees and bumblebees.

Post 4

Once you begin using lemon thyme when making chicken, you won't want to be without it. Just this one herb can make such a difference in how the meat tastes.

I will take some lemon thyme leaves and place them under the skin so they are between the skin and the meat. This helps seal in the seasoning so it is not just on top of the meat. The aroma that fills your kitchen will these are baking is wonderful!

Post 3

I love to season my food from my own garden, and growing the lemon thyme herb is one of my favorites. It is so easy to grow and because it is a perennial, it will come back every year.

This is also a great herb to grow indoors because it does not get very tall. Some herbs grow quite large, but thyme doesn't get much taller than 10 inches and does well in smaller spaces.

I have grown both regular and lemon thyme, and because I love the taste of lemon, this is one of my favorites. One great way to use it in the kitchen is if you are frying fish. Fry your fish in some olive oil, use some lemon thyme for seasoning and you can't go wrong.

Post 2

I planted some lemon thyme seeds along with some rosemary, lavender and sweet basil in these cute little terra cotta pots and gave them away as gifts one year.

One of my favorite lemon thyme recipes is homemade chicken noodle soup which includes all four of these herbs in the ingredients. The combination together creates such a rich and unique flavor.

I made copies of the recipe and printed them out on some decorative cards and attached them to the pots with a pretty ribbon. They were a big hit with everyone and I think I'll do a larger one this year for my mother-in-law.

Post 1

It wasn't until recently that I discovered that there are so many varieties of the thyme herb. A friend of mine's cousin owns a greenhouse and grows an abundance of herbs and spices all year long in it. It smells fantastic inside.

He is very generous with his crop and on one particular visit I left there with a whole bag of herbs including some lemon thyme leaves.

That evening I baked lemon thyme chicken using just that herb and a little poultry seasoning. I omitted the lemon juice from my original recipe. My husband couldn't figure out what I had done differently with the chicken but he raved over it for hours.

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