Thyme is a Mediterranean plant, often found in Europe and Asia. The name comes from the ancient Greek word θυμός which means courage in some contexts or by the ancient Greek verb θύω which is the verb sacrifice. References of it can also be found in the Sumerians, the Egyptians and the Romans with different usages. Its scientific name is Thymus Vulgaris and is part of the family Laminacea. It is being produced in Mediterranean countries such as Spain (with the biggest production), France, Portugal, Greece and other Balkan countries.
Thyme is a perrenial plant of height up to 40cm, with oval leaves, various scents across its different types and purple flowers. Its main substance is Thymol that provides the plant with its pharmaceutical properties. It is of the genus Thymus that contains more than 200 types. The most common variety is Thymus Vulgaris often being used in cooking.
In Greece there around 20 varieties found both in the mainland and the islands. It is an excellent beekeeping plant providing fine honey. It is being harvested once per year when it begins to flower around June. It is best dried under shade so that the essential oils and color can be preserved.
Thyme is being used extensively in aromatotherapy, cosmetics, pharmacy and also distillery. It is also provided in respiratory infections, strengthens the immune system, sooths skin problems and helps digestion and generally the digestive system. In the form of tea, it is also used for treating of bronchitis and coughing.
To prepare a beverage add 1 teaspoon of dried herb in a cup of boiling water, cover and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Then strain.