There’s A Thyme For Everything
Lets’ go back in thyme. In the ancient Greece, thyme was considered as a symbol of bravery and sacrifice. They use thyme incense in their temples too. Its medicinal properties are also found in the ancient writings of Diosorides. The Romans use thyme to flavor their cheese and liquors. And in the Middle Ages, thymes are given to knights for their bravery on the battlefield. They were even placed under pillow with the belief that the scent can ward off depression.
Thyme belongs to the mint family of low growing, perennial shrubs called Thymus vulgaris. They are very easy to grow on the hills and mounds. It is native to the Mediterranean and grow in Spain, Portugal, France and most of southern Europe. Thyme leaves are tiny, no more than a quarter inch long and has a grayish-green color. It is slightly minty flavor with a slightly dry aroma. It’s a very powerful herb and must therefore be used with care.
Thyme is packed with all the essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, selenium, magnesium and manganese. It is also an abundant source of vitamins A, B-complex, C, K, and E including folic acid.
With that being said, this superfood definitely has tons of health and medicinal benefits.
The aqueous extract that thyme holds can reduce high blood pressure. It has anti-inflammatory properties to treat the body of chronic inflammation, which can lead to heart disease.
Thyme contains the highest level of antioxidants than all other herb like thymol, a very strong antioxidant that protects the brain cell from premature aging. It also increases the level of omega-3 fatty acids, including healthy fats in the brain. It can reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease as it stores thymonin, luteolin and naringein.
Loads of essential nutrients found in thyme helps in proper bone development and the production of energy.
The oil extracted from thyme can be used to treat Candida albicans also known as thrush, a common fungus that causes yeast infections in the body.
It can also give relief to symptoms of bronchitis like cough, fever and flu. It acts as an antispasmodic to give intestinal cramping relief and can bring about a normal bacterial growth in the gut.
As for cooking, thyme leaves are usually dried and are either chopped or grounded when used as condiments. It’s a wonderful addition to egg and vegetable dishes and a great seasoning for stocks and stews.
What are the side effects of thyme? Well, generally, it is safe when consumed in food, even for pregnant and nursing women. But when taking it as a medicine for an extended time may cause upset stomach.
That’s all the thyme we have…. Oh, if you’re having omelet, try adding some fresh thyme, you’ll be surprised. Bon appetite!
Photo from Flickr