An aromatic herb in the mint family, thyme grows to a height of fifteen inches (about 40 cm), with small rounded leaves and pink flowers on woody stems. This herb is not the same species as mother of thyme of wild thyme. Today the plant is common throughout North America, but it originated in the southern Mediterranean. Experts in language tell us that thyme's name was derived form the Greek word thumus, or courage. In Medieval times, knights wore sprigs of thyme on their armor as a sign of courage. The scent of thyme was thought to give them strength in the midst of battle.
Alpha-linolenic acid, anethole, apigenin, borneol, caffeic acid, calcium, chromium, eugenol, ferulic acid, geraniol, kaempferol, limonene, lithium, luteolin, magnesium, manganese, methionine, p-coumaric acid, potassium, rosmarinic acid, selenium, thymol, tryptophan, ursolic acid.
Fresh or dried sprigs or leaves.
Teas, tinctures, baths, gargles, toothpaste.
The fragrance and flavor of thyme leaves have long been a favorite of cooks for seasoning meats, soups, and stews. Thyme is especially common in Mediterranean and French cuisine, and is an ingredient in the seasoning blend herbes de Provence.