A wild plant, frequent about way-sides, in many places, but superior to the other in beauty and in virtues. It very well deserves a place, on both accounts, in our gardens. It grows a foot and a half high. The stalk is firm, very upright, a little hairy, and of a purplish brown colour, extremely regular in its growth. The leaves are broad and short, of the bigness of one's thumbnail, and of a dark green colour; two stand at every joint, and they have long foot stalks. The flowers grow on the tops of the branches: there stand on these long scaly heads, of a beautiful form, and purple colour; from different parts of those, arise the flowers, which are little, but of a beautiful red colour. The whole plant has a fragrant smell, and an aromatic taste.
The fresh tops of the herb are to be used. They are best taken in infusion: they strengthen the stomach, and are good against habitual colics: they are also good in head-achs, and in all nervous complaints; and they open obstructions, and are good in the jaundice, and to promote the menses. Chymists sell what they call oil of origanum, but its commonly an oil made from garden thyme. It is very acrid; a drop of it put upon lint, and laid to an aching tooth, often gives ease.