Whole fresh or dried or powdered, esential oil
Morocco and Mexico
Tannins, Volatile oil, Flavonoids
Thyme is a low-growing, woody perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region and widely cultivated elsewhere.
The powdered herb can be used in cooking just like the fresh or dried leaf. Powdered thyme is also used to make a natural mouthwash and gargle, facial toners, poultices and other skin care formulations.
Background: Thyme is a common herb used in culinary dishes. It often draws the attention of bees and gives honey a distinctive flavor. Thyme has many uses that go beyond the delicious flavor it gives to food.
Description: Thyme is a shrub that grows about 12 inches tall. It has green
leaves and pink flowers. Thyme is native to Europe, but is grown all over the
world. The aerial parts are picked in the summer.
Safety: Do not use thyme essential oil internally. Do not use the essential oil in
any way if you are pregnant. Consult your health care provider before beginning
use of any herb.
Ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. The ancient Greeks used it in
their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing it was a source of courage. The spread of thyme throughout Europe was thought to be due to the Romans, as they used it to purify their rooms and to "give an aromatic flavor to cheese and liqueurs". In the European Middle Ages, the herb was placed beneath pillows to aid sleep and ward off nightmares. In this period, women would also often give knights and warriors gifts that included thyme leaves, as it was believed to bring courage to the bearer. Thyme was also used as incense and placed on coffins during funerals, as it was supposed to assure passage into the next life.
The name of the genus Thymallus first given to grayling (T. thymallus) described in the 1758 edition of Systema Naturae by Swedish
zoologist Carl Linnaeus originates from the faint smell of the herb thyme, which emanates from the flesh.
In some Levantine countries, and Assyrian, the condiment za'atar (Arabic for thyme) contains thyme as a vital ingredient. It is a common component of the bouquet garni, and ofherbes de Provence.
Thyme is sold both fresh and dried. The fresh form is more flavorful, but also less convenient; storage life is rarely more than a week. While summer-seasonal, fresh greenhouse thyme is often available year round.
Fresh thyme is commonly sold in bunches of sprigs. A sprig is a single stem snipped from the plant. It is composed of a woody stem with paired leaf or flower clusters ("leaves") spaced 1⁄2 to 1" apart. A recipe may measure thyme by the bunch (or fraction thereof), or by the sprig, or by the tablespoon or teaspoon. Dried thyme is widely used in Armenia (called Urc) in teas.
Depending on how it is used in a dish, the whole sprig may be used (e.g. in a bouquet garni), or the leaves removed and the stems discarded. Usually when a recipe specifies "bunch" or "sprig", it means the whole form; when it specifies spoons it means the leaves. It is perfectly acceptable to substitute dried for whole thyme.
Leaves may be removed from stems either by scraping with the back of a knife, or by pulling through the fingers or tines of a fork.
Thyme retains its flavor on drying better than many other herbs. Substitution is often more complicated than that because recipes can specify sprigs, and sprigs can vary in yield of leaves.
Oil of thyme, the essential oil of common thyme (Thymus vulgaris), contains 20–54% thymol. Thyme essential oil also contains a range of additional compounds, such as p-Cymene, myrcene, borneol and linalool. Thymol, an antiseptic, is the main active ingredient in various commercially produced mouthwashes such as Listerine. Before the advent of modern antibiotics, oil of thyme was used to medicate bandages. Thymol has also been shown to be effective against various fungi that commonly infect toenails. Thymol can also be found as the active ingredient in some all-natural, alcohol-free hand sanitizers.
A tea made by infusing the herb in water can be used for coughs and bronchitis.
One study by Leeds Metropolitan University found that thyme may be beneficial in treating acne.