What do I mean when I say that an herb is "anti-bacterial?"
There are many, many strains of bacteria and some are stronger than others. Those bacteria and viruses that cause the common cold, flu or stomach virus are often more mild than those that cause more serious, even deadly infections. In general herbs that are referred to as anti-bacterial are effective against a variety of bacteria that may be harmful to the human system. The more bacteria they are effective against the stronger their anti-bacterial powers are, so to speak, and thyme (see Thyme Honey, 2/20) happens to be one of the more powerful. However, this does not mean that they will be effective against all bacteria. I believe that using anti-bacterial herbs as part of a general wellness plan is very effective in eliminating potentially harmful bacterial while allowing those that help our system to flourish and do their job. It is important to remember that while these herbs are effective against bacteria they are not sterile and of course you may sometimes need a more powerful anti-bacterial agent than the common herb. While it is important to be mindful of bacteria, keep in mind that we live in a culture that is very cautious and weary of bacteria. This caution is important, as I mentioned earlier, bacteria can often be very harmful. But bacteria is also a very important part of all of the earth's ecosystems (including the body) and something that we should definitely not be afraid of. In fact the less bacteria we are exposed to the poorer our digestion and the weaker our immunity. I find that different herbs provide different and refreshing levels of "anti-bacterial" cleanliness. In fact the plant world made an anti-bacterial herb for almost every occasion and you will be able to read about many more of them here at Cook'n Thyme in the months to come!