Thyme Leaf and Herb Profile
Also known as
Thymus vulgaris, Creeping Thyme, French Thyme, Garden Thyme, Common Thyme, Mountain Thyme. Botanists refer to the species of the herb used in cooking as garden thyme and to other species as simply "thyme" As with other mints, there are many thyme variants with interesting tastes and fragrances, including lemon thyme, orange thyme, and caraway thyme.
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.
No one should take thyme oil internally. Women who are pregnant should not drink thyme tea, although small amounts of thyme used in cooking do not cause side effects. Do not take thyme as a medicine if you have a duodenal ulcer or if you have thyroid disease.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.