Thyme belongs to the mint family. It is botanical name is thymus vulagris. The word “thyme” is derived from the Greek word “thymon”, which was used like incense during sacrifices. It is an indigenous plant of the Mediterranean. The Romans introduced these plants to Britain. It is grown the world over these days.
It appears like a small evergreen shrub and has woody stems. Sometimes these stems are covered with leaves that can be green or gray in color. It has small little flowers that are magenta, pink or white in color. There are over hundred different thyme species found the world over. Differentiating one from the other is quite tricky. The plant is aromatic and is known to attract bees. In fact, it is grown in many places just to attract bees and extract honey.
Thyme is also used as a spice, while cooking different recipes. Lemon thyme is especially added to fish cuisines, and is a foodie’s delight. Dried thyme leaves and flowers are stronger when compared to their fresh counterparts. Dehydrating them in well-ventilated areas and in a dry place will make them lose moisture rapidly. You should store them in airtight containers and place them in a cool dark place. This will prolong their shelf life.
Thyme is also known for its medicinal properties. It is anti fungal and can be used as an anti septic. Egyptians used thyme for embalming purposes. It is also widely used as an insecticide. Thyme plants can successfully ward off any type of insects around the area.
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