Latin Name: Thymus
Thyme is an evergreen herb with culinary and medicinal uses. Thyme is of the genus Thymus, most commonly Thymus vulgaris.
A delicate looking herb with a strong fragrance, thyme is a wonderful addition to bean, egg and vegetable dishes. Both fresh and dried thyme is available in your local supermarket throughout the year.
Thyme leaves are curled, elliptically shaped and very small, measuring about one-eighth of an inch long and one-sixteenth of an inch wide. The upper leaf is green-grey in color on top, while the underside is a whitish color. Along with fresh sprigs of parsley and bay leaves, thyme is included in the French combination of herbs called bouquet garni used to season stock, stews and soups.
Thyme is sold both fresh and dried. The fresh form is more flavourful, but also less convenient; storage life is rarely more than a week. While summer-seasonal, fresh greenhouse thyme is often available year round.
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.
The flowers, leaves and oil of thyme are commonly used by people for the treatment of bedwetting, diarrhoea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, bronchitis, flatulence and as a diuretic.
*It is the policy of www.LoveHerbs.ie not to advise or recommend herbs for medicinal or health use. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any particular medical or health treatment. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for advice if you suffer with an illness, symptom or health issue.
History & Tradition
Egyptians used thyme for embalming. The Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as an 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 flavour to cheese and liqueurs.