Thyme – the Great Healer

I found a solution to my health issues today – hot thyme tea! Some of the ladies in my cookery course picked a handful of a couple of varieties, and filled up a thermos with a herbal infusion. It’s been working well, and I swilled a great deal of it all day.

Day two of our 5-day cookery course was a success.

Here’s the menu:

Sweet & Sour Chana Dal Soup with Pumpkin
Iranian Spicy Rice with Saffron (Pollou)
Baharat-infused Saudi Spinach, Chickpeas & Tomatoes
Mashed Potato Puffs (Alu Vadas)
Sweet and Sour Date & Tamarind Chutney
Pistachio Milk Fudge (Pista Burfi)

spinach, chickpeas and tomatoes:

Here’s some information about the great herb:

Thyme: Thymus vulgaris

Plant Family: Labiatae

Part Used: flowering herb

Properties: diaphoretic, expectorant, anti-catarrhal, anti-spasmodic, carminative, astringent, tonic, anti-microbial, vulnerary


HISTORY: Native to the western Mediterranean basin and southern Italy, you will find thyme growing wild on the hot arid hillsides. There are hundreds of varieties of thyme yet the cultivated thyme tends to be more tender and bushy. Early Egyptians used thyme in mummification and the Ancient Greeks considered thyme a symbol of courage, from the Greek word – “thumus” meaning courage. During the Middle Ages thyme motifs were embroidered onto the scarves of jousting knights.

TASTE: Thyme is spicy with a distinctive musty and pungent flavor. There are hints of cloves and mint that add a warming and subtle quality to any dish.

CULINARY TIPS: Thyme is most popular for its presence in Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cooking. Thyme is an essential ingredient to add to a bouquet garni, for/use in soups and casseroles.Thyme can overpower a dish, so use it sparingly. Thyme can also withstand long, slow cooking while still imparting its spicy flavor.

MEDICINAL USES: With its anti-microbial properties, thyme’s potent antiviral action can be very effective in the treatment of respiratory infections. Drink a hot infusion at the onset of an infection to stimulate and increase the efficiency of your immune system.

Prepared as an infusion, it can also be used as a gargle for mouth and throat infections – easing the discomfort of laryngitis or tonsillitis.

As an expectorant and anti-spasmodic, thyme makes an excellent cough remedy when prepared as a syrup. It will produce expectoration and reduce the spasms of a cough. Many herbalists consider thyme one of the most effective remedies against whooping cough and bronchitis, and can be combined with a soothing demulcent for this purpose. Thyme has powerful antiseptic and anti-fungal qualities: thyme has been used to fight tooth decay, alleviate stomach upset and helped with a myriad of complaints from headaches to utilizing the herb’s expectorant properties in cough syrups. The essential oil Thymol is a strong antiseptic and can be used as an infusion in gargles, or as a rinse for cuts and scrapes. Do not ever ingest the oil of thyme internally.

It is said that sleeping with a sprig of thyme under your pillow with help to improve your spirits.
Posted by Kurma on 7/7/05; 2:18:53 AM from the Travel dept

Life and Travel

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