Perennial herb with Latin name Thymus Vulgaris.Also called garden thyme and German thyme. Thymus vulgaris is native to the western Mediterranean area, and now widely cultivated throughout temperate climes. Naturalized patches have been seen in western Massachusetts. Also, it can be found growing wild in the Catskill Mountains of New York where it is believed to have been introduced in the fleece of sheep imported from Greece. For the Greeks, thyme represented style and elegance. Its name may come from the Greek word for courage or the word meaning to fumigate. It was once burned in homes to get rid of stinging insects. It was believed that fairies made their homes in patches of thyme, and gardeners of old set aside patches for them. In the Middle Ages, it represented chivalry. In France, it represented the Republican spirit. It was a flavor in liqueurs and cheese. Caraway thyme became the choice seasoning for beef. It was used medicinally to treat epilepsy, melancholy, the plague, and as an antiseptic on the battlefield in World War I. Thyme tea was believed to give shy persons courage and to alleviate nervous disorders and even nightmares.
Uploaded: May 19, 2015