Thyme was cultivated by the Sumerians more than 5000 years ago, for its antiseptic properties. They used it for these and its anti-fungal qualities, and as a disinfectant.
Its name comes from Greek and means to have spirit, or courage. Soldiers from both Rome and Greece would bathe in thyme water before going into battle as it was believed that it gave them courage.
The ancient Egyptians used it in their embalming fluid, and in Greece and other parts of Europe, sprigs of thyme were placed on coffins, so that the dead person’s spirit could live in its flowers.
It’s native to the Mediterranean region and for many centuries it has been used to produce honey on Mount Hymettus, near Athens, Greece. Greeks say that honey from thyme flowers is the best in the world.
rosemary attracts elves in folklore.
Thyme oil is used in toothpastes, antiseptics, anti-dandruff shampoo and insect repellent, echoing its uses in the ancient world.
We think it’s good to use with rosemary in the water you use to rinse your hair after washing it, and thyme tea has a calming effect on our sometimes frayed nerves.
As with other herbs, 1fresh sprig = ½ tsp of the dried herb. We used thyme with rosemary in the last post, and it can be used with meat, chicken and fish. Below is a recipe for thyme vinegar, which we like poured over salads, with olive oil.
3 tbsps thyme leaves, crushed
1 pint white wine vinegar
1 sprig of thyme for each bottle
Bring the vinegar to just below boiling point, and pour over the crushed thyme leaves. Put the mixture in to a wide-necked bottle, seal it and leave it in a dark place for 2-3 weeks. Strain it into a clean bottle with the sprig of thyme, and cork it. It’s ready to use when you need it.
This has Taste and is a Treat.