Thyme is an herb native to temperate climates and can be annual or perennial. Thyme grows quite hard unlike other plants, forming small bushes. They reach a height of maximum 19 inches depending on the species and the conditions offered.
The leaves are about 0.4 – 1 inch long. Thyme flowers form a small spiral arranged on the stem of the plant. They are white or pale pink.
Thyme is an herb native to the Mediterranean Sea areas. It was very popular in the Middle Ages, when it was used to flavor the foods.
For growing thyme you need to plant the herb seeds. They are sown directly into the soil to a depth of 1.5 – 2 inches. Spring planting is done in mid March.
Thyme can be grown in any region, it is not sensitibe to environmental conditions. It adapts easily to any type of soil and is resistant to both drought and heavy rainfall. However, thyme should be planted in a sunny area of the garden.
It is cultivated for commercial purposes to be sold fresh or dried. Fresh thyme can be found in farmers markets from early summer until late autumn. In contrast, dry thyme is available all year round.
In the garden, thyme is also grown as a decorative plant. Of course, many gardeners prefer to cultivate it for its use in flavoring food.
Thyme was used for its medicinal properties since ancient times. It was always recommended to treat conditions such as colic, headaches, stomach aches or urine retention.
It was shown that thyme is useful in preventing and treating diarrhea and cough. Also, it is a good digestive.
There is a special tincture extracted from thyme. It contains voalatile oils such as linalool, tannin, cymol, carvacrol, 1-x1-pinene and borneol. For this reason, thyme is recommended in treating intestinal, renal and lung infections.
Thyme is mainly used to add flavor to foods. It is a herb that chefs love to use and it is available fresh only in summer. There is also an evergreen thyme species, but this is less used in the kitchen.
Thyme plays an important role in Italian cuisine, especially in the preparation of beans.
Along with other spices, is used to prepare various sauces or garnishes. Also, thyme is used to flavor meat: steaks, food, etc.
It is a traditional plant in Canada, where is mainly used in cooking pork but also to give aroma to the sauces that accompany these dishes.
In winter it is used mainly dry in cooking as it gives a bland, smooth and delicate flavor to the dishes. It is used to prepare pasta and vegetable meals.