Thyme

History::

 

Thyme occurs in nature around the Mediterranean, and can be found in many different varieties. In Greece it can be found almost anywhere, from the dry islands of the Aegean, to the high mountains of the Pindos Range, under 600m altitude. Its fragrance fills the air when traveling the Aegean islands, creating a strong memory of summer.
Thyme derives its name from the ancient Greek verb «θύω» (pronounced thio), which means “to sacrifice” or “to be fragrant”. During ancient times, it was used as incense on altars during sacrifices.
The two main ingredients of thyme, responsible for its strong antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties are thymol and carvacrol. It is no coincidence that thyme was found inside the tomb of Tutankhamen, since ancient Egyptians were using it during mummification.
Romans used it to treat sadness, while it was the disinfectant of choice for ancient Greeks. It was also a symbol of courage, and the expression “you smell of thyme” was a compliment.
Cretans used it as a remedy against gingivitis.
From its flowers’ nectar, bees produce the famous thyme honey.

 


Medicinal Properties::

 

Thyme has some excellent medicinal properties. Its infusion is thought to act as a stimulant, strengthening the body, it is an anticonvulsant, and helps with upset stomach. It can also be used as a rinse for the treatment of arthritis. Thyme infusion helps in cases of indigestion and common cold.

 


In Cooking::


Thyme has an intense, spicy taste, reminiscent of oregano. It is used when cooking meatballs, stuffed tomatoes, meat and pies.
Its flavor can withstand prolonged cooking, so it can be added from the beginning of food preparation.
Place a pot of thyme at the kitchen windowsill, provided it is brightly lit. Some moderation in watering is required – frequent watering can rot a robust plant easily. It can easily be grown outside, since it is frost hardy.
Use both stems and leaves.
TIP: If you enjoy a barbecue, place some thyme on the grill, the meat on top, and then cover with some more. Do not place the grill close to the fire source though, because there will be lots of flames – also take care not to leave it unattended. The end result is surely mouthwatering.
Thyme is one of the most efficient and better flavored natural insect repellents. It will keep at bay flies, mosquitoes and all sorts of annoying bugs and, above all, in a natural way.

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