Thyme
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Thymus vulgaris
plant overview
peppery aroma and taste

Thyme is a perennial, woody herb that is original to the Mediterranean region and cultivated as an annual culinary herb in many places in the world. In the garden, this member of the mint family delights with its delicate and fragrant spreading foliage as a container plant or as a natural groundcover. The mild pepper-like flavor of thyme pairs beautifully with sharp and tangy cheeses, potatoes, rice, and eggs. Thyme leaf powder is also used to produce topical skincare formulations, as well as natural dental products. In combination with other herbs and flowers, thyme leaf powder adds an unexpected flavor to tea blends.

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Thyme

01.
A Bit of Botany

a little botanical information on thyme

description
Thymus vulgaris or thyme is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae.

This woody evergreen subshrub is familiar to herb gardens. It is a bushy plant that grows up to a foot tall and 16 inches wide. Its small grey-green leaves are highly aromatic, and in early summer it presents clusters of purple or pink flowers.

common names & nomenclature
The plant's common name thyme is taken from Old French thym, tym (13c.), from Latin thymum, from Greek thymon, possibly from thyein meaning "burn as a sacrifice". If so this would indicate the plant was used as an incense.

Also known as:
common thyme, garden thyme, thyme

Thyme, the herb with a peppery aroma and taste

02.
Where in the World

habitat and range for thyme

Thymus vulgaris is native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations for growing and harvesting thyme

climate
Thyme grows on dry slopes, rocks, rock walls, and in cultivated gardens in a sunny location.

soil
Thyme is often found on clay or limestone soils. It succeeds in dry soils, poor soils and tolerates drought once it is established. Plants can be grown on old walls.

growing
This hardy herb can be propagated from either seed, cuttings, and/or root divisions. For best results, sow seeds indoors keeping the temperature around 70°F for germination. For propagation via cuttings, place snipped stem pieces with new growth in wet sand. In two weeks roots should appear. Root division works best in the spring. Be sure to uproot a plant carefully to preserve as much of its root oil as possible. Divide the root system—in half or thirds—and replant the divisions a foot apart in moist soil.

harvesting
Leaves and flowers may be harvested just before the plants flower, dry for later use.

preserving
Store dried thyme and powdered thyme in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story

additional information

time to grow thyme
Thyme is commonly found in the kitchen herb cabinet...

Like several other aromatic kitchen herbs, thyme was used as a meat preservative in ancient times. It was sprinkled on sacrificial animals to make them more acceptable to the gods. Thyme was introduced into cooking as an offshoot of its meat-preserving action.

Charlemagne ordered thyme grown in all his imperial gardens.

Thyme is an aromatic, perennial, many-branched, ground cover shrub that reaches about 12 inches. It has small, opposite, virtually stalk less leaves and lilac or pink flowers that bloom in midsummer.

This hardy herb can be propagated from seeds, cuttings, and root divisions. Seeds require a temperature around 70F to germinate and often do best when started indoors. For cuttings, snip 3-inch pieces from stems with new growth and place them in wet sand. Roots should appear in about two weeks. The best time for root division is in spring. Uproot a plant carefully preserving as much of its roots oil as possible. Divide it in half or thirds and replant the divisions 12 inches apart in moist soil.

Once established, thyme requires little care. It prefers well-drained soil on the dry side. Clumps tend to become woody after a few years. To prevent this, roots should be divided periodically. Wetting thyme leaves during watering reduces their fragrance. Thyme survives frost, but in areas with cold winters, use mulch. Thyme may be killed if winter temperatures drop below 10F.

Harvest the leaves and flower top just before the flowers bloom. Dry and store them in airtight containers to preserve the herb's oil.

Formulas & recipes
Recipes using thyme leaf
Thyme leaf powder can be used in a variety of ways. There are many health benefits of thyme leaf tea and thyme leaf extract which are listed below. The benefit of using thyme leaf powder as opposed to fresh thyme is the shelf life and versatility. Not only can thyme leaf powder be used for teas and seasoning, but is also commonly added to cosmetic recipes for the incredible peppery aroma.

Thyme-infused olive oil recipe
Ingredients:
-2 cups olive oil
-4 cups of thyme, stems, and leaves removed

Add ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until completely soon. Be sure not to over blend as the motor can wilt the herb. Once blended, take the thyme and oil mixture and put it into a saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer for 45 seconds. Take the oil off the heat and pour it into a cheesecloth or another fine strainer. Pour the infused oil into a container and store it in the refrigerator.

Thyme leaf tea recipe
-Blend 1 teaspoon of thyme leaf herb with tea of choice
-Pour boiled water over tea bag
-Let steep for 5-7 minutes
-Enjoy with added sweetener

Health benefits
How to use thyme leaf
Thyme has a long history. The herb was traditionally used to flavor wines and other foods as well as treat nightmares. Thyme’s culinary appeal remains today and is one of the go-to herbs for chicken seasoning. Thyme leaf powder can also be added to natural salves and other cosmetic products.

Aside from adding flavor, thyme leaf has many great health benefits. Thyme leaf is anti-inflammatory, lowers blood pressure, promotes the immune system, and provides the body with much-needed vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin C.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor,
especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.