Thyme is one of the most ancient herbs used by humans for its medicinal properties. The first usage of these plants dates 5,000 years back when Sumerians extensively cultivated thyme for its antiseptic and anti fungal properties.
The word thyme finds it origin in Greek. It was derived from the Greek word thymos, which means courage or spiritedness. Greeks used these plants in temples. They also consumed thyme tea and cultivated these herbs for preserving their beehives.
The Romans used thyme for flavoring cheese. They were responsible for introducing thyme to Britain. In Egypt, thyme was used as an embalming agent for preserving dead busies. Scotts on the other hand used to drink thyme tea thinking they would become braver and courageous before going to the battlefields. The English women used to weave and embroider their scarves with thyme plants and bees, which often used to hover around these plants. In Wales, thyme plants were symbolically planted on graves. Thyme was also believed to line the manger at the time of Christ's birth. It is therefore depicted in numerous photos, plays and movies today
Galen in the 2nd century was the first person to discover the properties and functions of thymus gland. It is believed that he named the gland thymus because it reminded him about the thyme plants, which were a symbol of courage and bravery. According to Galen, the thymus gland also stands for courage and affection.
In the 18th century, Caspar Neumann extracted the functional constituents in thyme to produce thymol, an oil, that is extensively used even today to cure numerous fungal related disorders and problems in humans.
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