Thyme Facts

Thyme Facts
Thyme is herb that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. There are around 350 species of thyme that are native to Europe, Asia and Africa. Thyme prefers sunny areas and well-drained soil. It tolerates frost and drought. People are familiar with flavoring and medical properties of thyme at least couple of thousand years. Thyme is cultivated mainly as spice and as an ornamental plant today. Essential oils extracted from the leaves and flowers are used in chemical industry for the production of hand sanitizers and in the industry of perfumes. Thyme is also often used in a treatment of numerous disorders.
Interesting Thyme Facts:
Thyme has narrow, grey to green stem covered with hairs. It can reach 16 inches in height.
Thyme is evergreen plant. It has small, aromatic leaves that are oval in shape. Leaves have whole margin. They are arranged in opposite pairs on the stem.
Thyme produces white, yellow or purple flowers, arranged in dense clusters at the end of the branches. Flowers contain both male (stamens) and female (pistil) reproductive organs. Honeybees and butterflies are in charge for the pollination of flowers.
Thyme can be propagated via seed, plant cuttings and parts of the root.
Leaves and flowers are used as spice for soups, stews and sauces. They can be used fresh or dry for dishes made of red meat, chicken, fish and root vegetables.
Thyme was used for the process of mummification in the ancient Egypt.
Ancient Greeks used thyme as an ingredient of baths because of the beautiful aroma of this plant. Scent of burned thyme was used as freshener of temples.
Bravest knights were wearing scarves embroidered with thyme as a symbol of courage during the medieval times.
Leaves and flowers of thyme were used to protect against nightmares in the past. People believed that placing of thyme under the pillow ensures pleasant dreams.
Thyme was also part of funeral rituals in the past. Coffin filled with thyme was a guarantee for safe and successful passage to the next life.
Hymettus honey is special type of honey made from the pollen and nectar collected from thymes that grow on the Mount Hymettus in Greece.
Essential oils extracted from the leaves and flowers contain substance called thymol. This substance has antiseptic properties. Thymol is active ingredient in the popular mouthwashes such as Listerine.
Thyme was used for soothing of the wounds and for the prevention of infections in the past. It was also used in a treatment of cough, congestion, stomach pain and gout.
Latest medical studies revealed that thyme can be used in a treatment of bronchitis, fungal infections and skin disorders (acne). Thyme is usually applied in the form of tea or ointments.
Thyme is perennial plant which means that it can survive more than two years in the wild.

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