History of Thyme


The Latin name is Thymus vulgaris (Thymus common). It is found in the southern and Mediterranean regions of Europe, in various parts of Asia and is grown in North America.

Other names are thyme, savory and melitzini. It is a small shrub whose height does not exceed 40 cm. Its color is grayish. Its stems are woody, upright, well branched, square. Leaves small, oval, plush underneath. Flowers small and rosy. It is excellent bee plant. Bees in spring are by tens on each bush sucking nectar to produce amazing honey thyme.

The Egyptians used it for mummification and for aromatic uses. Dioscorides recommended it as a disinfectant for various diseases from the 1st century AD. Pliny recommended it as an antidote for snake bites, againt the poison of the “sea creatures” and headaches.

The Romans burned the plant believing that the smoke was repelling scorpions and used it in their baths to gain vigor and energy. In the Middle Ages women embroidered branches of thyme for wandering knights for the same reason. During the 16th century was established as a medicine in Europe.

In folk medicine used thyme to cure scabies. Solutions of thyme soap was used by surgeons to disinfect hands.

In Crete appreciated from the old times thyme’s antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Cretans chewed flowers or rub their gums to make strong teeth. Rubbed also with flower pustules of smallpox not to leave marks. The thyme oil with other flavoring oils was used against rheumatism.