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Encyclopedia > Thyme
Thyme
Broad leaved Thyme Thymus pulegioides
Broad leaved Thyme Thymus pulegioides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Thymus
L.
Species

About 350 species, including:
Thymus adamovicii
Thymus altaicus
Thymus amurensis
Thymus bracteosus
Thymus broussonetii
Thymus caespititius
Thymus camphoratus
Thymus capitatus
Thymus capitellatus
Thymus camphoratus
Thymus carnosus
Thymus cephalotus
Thymus cherlerioides
Thymus ciliatus
Thymus cilicicus
Thymus cimicinus
Thymus comosus
Thymus comptus
Thymus curtus
Thymus disjunctus
Thymus doerfleri
Thymus glabrescens
Thymus herba-barona
Thymus hirsutus
Thymus hyemalis
Thymus inaequalis
Thymus integer
Thymus lanuginosus
Thymus leucotrichus
Thymus longicaulis
Thymus longiflorus
Thymus mandschuricus
Thymus marschallianus
Thymus mastichina
Thymus membranaceus
Thymus mongolicus
Thymus montanus
Thymus moroderi
Thymus nervulosus
Thymus nummularis
Thymus odoratissimus
Thymus pallasianus
Thymus pannonicus
Thymus praecox
Thymus proximus
Thymus pseudolanuginosus
Thymus pulegioides
Thymus quinquecostatus
Thymus richardii
Thymus serpyllum
Thymus striatus
Thymus thracicus
Thymus villosus
Thymus vulgaris
Thymus zygis Common Thyme - photo User:MPF File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Classes Magnoliopsida - Dicots Liliopsida - Monocots The flowering plants or angiosperms are the most widespread group of land plants. ... Orders See text. ... Families See text The Order Lamiales is a taxon in the asterid group of dicotyledonous flowering plants. ... Genera Many, see text Ref: Delta 2002-07-22 Lamiaceae, or the Mint family, is a family of plants in about 180 genera and some 3,500 species. ... Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 13, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Binomial name Loisel. ... Binomial name Thymus praecox Opiz Thymus praecox is a species of thyme. ... Binomial name L. Wild Thyme or Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is a species of thyme native to most of Europe and North Africa. ... Species About 350 species, including: Thymus adamovicii Thymus altaicus Thymus amurensis Thymus bracteosus Thymus broussonetii Thymus caespititius Thymus camphoratus Thymus capitatus Thymus capitellatus Thymus camphoratus Thymus carnosus Thymus cephalotus Thymus cherlerioides Thymus ciliatus Thymus cilicicus Thymus cimicinus Thymus comosus Thymus comptus Thymus curtus Thymus disjunctus Thymus doerfleri Thymus glabrescens Thymus...

Thyme (Thymus) Pronounced ˈtīm also ˈthīm (source - Merriam-Webster & Encyclopedia Britannica) is a genus of about 350 species of aromatic perennial herbaceous plants and sub-shrubs to 40 cm tall, in the family Lamiaceae and native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. A number of species have different chemotypes. The stems tend to be narrow or even wiry; the leaves are evergreen in most species, arranged in opposite pairs, oval, entire, and small, 4-20 mm long. The flowers are in dense terminal heads, with an uneven calyx, with the upper lip three-lobed, and the lower cleft; the corolla is tubular, 4-10 mm long, and white, pink or purple. Red Valerian, a perennial plant. ... This article is about the plants used in cooking and medicine. ... A subshrub (Latin suffrutex) is a horticultural rather than strictly botanical category of woody perennial plant, distinguished from a shrub by variously its ground-hugging stems and lower height, with overwintering perennial woody growth typically less than 10-20 cm tall, or by being only weakly woody and/or only... Genera Many, see text Ref: Delta 2002-07-22 Lamiaceae, or the Mint family, is a family of plants in about 180 genera and some 3,500 species. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... Chemotype - effect of chemical variaity of plants or microorganisms species. ... Look up foliage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ... For other uses, see Flower (disambiguation). ...


Thymus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera insect species including Chionodes distinctella and the Coleophora case-bearers C. lixella, C. niveicostella, C. serpylletorum and C. struella (the latter three feed exclusively on Thymus). A larval insect A larva (Latin; plural larvae) is a juvenile form of animal with indirect development, undergoing metamorphosis (for example, insects or amphibians). ... The order Lepidoptera is the second most speciose order in the class Insecta and includes the butterflies, moths and skippers. ... Chionodes is a genus of moths of the family Gelechiidae. ... Coleophora is a very large genus of moths of the family Coleophoridae with over 750 described species. ...

Contents

History

Ancient Egyptians used thyme in embalming. The ancient Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing that thyme was a source of courage. It was thought that the spread of thyme throughout Europe was thanks to the Romans, as they used it to purify their rooms. In the European Middle Ages, the herb was placed beneath pillows to aid sleep and ward off nightmares. (Huxley 1992). In this period, women would also often give knights and warriors gifts that included thyme leaves as it was believed to bring courage to the bearer. Thyme was also used as incense and placed on coffins during funerals as it was supposed to assure passage into the next life.[1] Khafres Pyramid and the Great Sphinx of Giza, built about 2550 BC during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom,[1] are enduring symbols of the civilization of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeastern Africa concentrated along the middle to lower reaches of the Nile River... Embalming, in most modern cultures, is the art and science of temporarily preserving human remains to forestall decomposition and to make them suitable for display at a funeral. ... The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. ... Incense is composed of aromatic organic materials. ... For other uses, see Courage (disambiguation). ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... For people named Coffin, see Coffin (surname). ...


Cultivation

Thyme is widely cultivated as a grown for its strong flavour, which is due to its content of thymol.[2] Thymol is a phenol derivative of cymene, C10H13OH, isomeric with carvacrol, found in oil of thyme, and extracted as a white crystalline substance of a pleasant aromatic odor and strong antiseptic properties. ...


Thyme likes a hot sunny location with good-draining soil. It is planted in the spring and thereafter grows as a perennial. It can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or by dividing rooted sections of the plant. It tolerates drought well.[3]


Thyme retains its flavour on drying better than many other herbs.


Culinary use

Thyme is used most widely in cooking. Thyme is a basic ingredient in Spanish, French, Italian, and Turkish cuisines, and in those derived from them. It is also widely used in Lebanese and Caribbean cuisines. Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Amerindian, French, Indian, and Spanish cuisine. ...


Thyme is often used to flavour meats, soups and stews. It has a particular affinity to and is often used as a primary flavour with lamb, tomatoes and eggs.


Thyme, while flavourful, does not overpower and blends well with other herbs and spices. In French cuisine, along with bay and parsley it is a common component of the bouquet garni, and of herbes de Provence. In some Middle Eastern countries, the condiment za'atar contains thyme as a vital ingredient. French cuisine is a style of cooking derived from the nation of France. ... bay leaves Bay leaf in Greek Daphni (plural bay leaves) is the aromatic leaf of several species of the Laurel family (Lauraceae). ... This article is about the herb. ... Bouquet garni of thyme, bay leaves, and sage, tied with a string. ... Herbes de Provence (Provencal herbs) is a mix of aromatic plants, sometimes dried. ... Zaatar manakish, the spices spread onto the dough Zaatar (Arabic زعتر , Hebrew זעתר, Armenian զահթար) is a popular mixture of spices that originated in the Middle East. ...


Fresh, Powdered, and Dry

Thyme is sold both fresh and dried. The fresh form is more flavourful but also less convenient; storage life is rarely more than a week. While summer-seasonal, fresh thyme is often available year-round.


Fresh thyme is commonly sold in bunches of sprigs. A sprig is a single stem snipped from the plant. It is composed of a woody stem with paired leaf or flower clusters ("leaves") spaced ½ to 1" apart. A recipe may measure thyme by the bunch (or fraction thereof), or by the sprig, or by the tablespoon or teaspoon. If the recipe does not specify fresh or dried, assume that it means fresh.


Depending on how it is used in a dish, the whole sprig may be used (e.g. in a bouquet garni), or the leaves removed and the stems discarded. Usually when a recipe specifies 'bunch' or 'sprig' it means the whole form; when it specifies spoons it means the leaves. It is perfectly acceptable to substitute dried for whole thyme.


Leaves may be removed from stems either by scraping with the back of a knife, or by pulling through the fingers or tines of a fork. Leaves are often chopped.


Thyme retains its flavour on drying better than many other herbs. Dried, and especially powdered thyme occupies less space than fresh, so less of it is required when substituted in a recipe. As a rule of thumb, use one third as much dried as fresh thyme - a little less if it is ground. Substitution is often more complicated than that because recipes can specify sprigs and sprigs can vary in yield of leaves. Assuming a 4" sprig (they are often somewhat longer), estimate that 6 sprigs will yield one tablespoon of leaves. The dried equivalent is 1:3, so substitute 1 teaspoon of dried or ¾ tsp of ground thyme for 6 small sprigs. [4]


As with bay, thyme is slow to release its flavours so it is usually added early in the cooking process.

Medicinal Use

The essential oil of common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is made up of 20-55% thymol.[5] Thymol, an antiseptic, is the main active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash.[6] Before the advent of modern antibiotics, it was used to medicate bandages.[7] It has also been shown to be effective against the fungus that commonly infects toenails.[8] Thymol is a phenol derivative of cymene, C10H13OH, isomeric with carvacrol, found in oil of thyme, and extracted as a white crystalline substance of a pleasant aromatic odor and strong antiseptic properties. ... An antiseptic solution of Povidone-iodine applied to an abrasion Antiseptics (Greek αντί, against, and σηπτικός, putrefactive) are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction. ... Various Listerine products Listerine is a brand name for antiseptic mouthwash. ... An antibiotic is a drug that kills or slows the growth of bacteria. ...


A tea made by infusing the herb in water can be used for cough and bronchitis.[9] Medicinally thyme is used for respiratory infections in the form of a tincture, tisane, salve, syrup or by steam inhalation[citation needed]. Because it is antiseptic, thyme boiled in water and cooled is very effective against inflammation of the throat when gargled 3 times a day.[citation needed] The inflammation will normally disappear in 2 - 5 days. Other infections and wounds can be dripped with thyme that has been boiled in water and cooled.[citation needed] An infusion is a beverage made by steeping a flavoring substance in hot or boiling water. ... Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi (medium-size airways) in the lungs. ... In medicine, a tincture is an alcoholic extract (e. ... Herbal tea A tisane, ptisan or herbal tea is any herbal infusion other than from the leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis). ... Look up salve in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In cooking, a syrup (from Arabic شراب sharab, beverage, via Latin siropus) is a thick, viscous liquid, containing a large amount of dissolved sugars, but showing little tendency to deposit crystals. ...


In traditional Jamaican childbirth practice, thyme tea is given to the mother after delivery of the baby. Its oxytocin-like effect causes uterine contractions and more rapid delivery of the placenta but this was said by Sheila Kitzinger to cause an increased prevalence of retained placenta. Oxytocin (Greek: quick birth) is a mammalian hormone that also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. ...


Important species

Thymus vulgaris (Common Thyme or Garden Thyme) is a commonly used culinary herb. It also has medicinal uses. Common thyme is a Mediterranean perennial which is best suited to well-drained soils and enjoys full sun. Species About 350 species, including: Thymus adamovicii Thymus altaicus Thymus amurensis Thymus bracteosus Thymus broussonetii Thymus caespititius Thymus camphoratus Thymus capitatus Thymus capitellatus Thymus camphoratus Thymus carnosus Thymus cephalotus Thymus cherlerioides Thymus ciliatus Thymus cilicicus Thymus cimicinus Thymus comosus Thymus comptus Thymus curtus Thymus disjunctus Thymus doerfleri Thymus glabrescens Thymus... For other uses, see Herb (disambiguation). ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ...


Thymus herba-barona (Caraway Thyme) is used both as a culinary herb and a groundcover, and has a strong caraway scent due to the chemical carvone. Binomial name Loisel. ... Categories: | | | | ... R-phrases 22 S-phrases 36 RTECS number OS8650000 (R) OS8670000 (S) Supplementary data page Structure and properties n, εr, etc. ...


Thymus × citriodorus (Citrus Thyme; hybrid T. pulegioides × T. vulgaris) is also a popular culinary herb, with cultivars selected with flavours of various Citrus fruit (lemon thyme, etc.) This Osteospermum Pink Whirls is a successful cultivar. ... Species & major hybrids Species Citrus aurantifolia - Key lime Citrus maxima - Pomelo Citrus medica - Citron Citrus reticulata - Mandarin & Tangerine Major hybrids Citrus ×sinensis - Sweet Orange Citrus ×aurantium - Bitter Orange Citrus ×paradisi - Grapefruit Citrus ×limon - Lemon Citrus ×limonia - Rangpur lime Citrus ×latifolia - Persian lime See also main text for other hybrids Citrus...


Thymus pseudolanuginosus (Woolly Thyme) is not a culinary herb, but is grown as a ground cover.


Thymus serpyllum (Wild Thyme) is an important nectar source plant for honeybees. All thyme species are nectar sources, but wild thyme covers large areas of droughty, rocky soils in southern Europe (Greece is especially famous for wild thyme honey) and North Africa, as well as in similar landscapes in the Berkshire Mountains and Catskill Mountains of the northeastern US. Binomial name L. Wild Thyme or Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is a species of thyme native to most of Europe and North Africa. ... -- see Discussion -- // Northern nectar sources for honeybees The nectar source in a given area depends on the type of vegetation present and the length of their bloom period. ... Species Apis andreniformis Apis cerana, or eastern honey bee Apis dorsata, or giant honey bee Apis florea Apis koschevnikovi Apis laboriosa Apis mellifera, or western honey bee Apis nigrocincta Apis nuluensis Honey bees are a subset of bees which represent a far smaller fraction of bee diversity than most people... The Berkshires are a branch of the Appalachian Mountains in Western Massachusetts. ... The Catskill Mountains (also known as simply the Catskills), a natural area in New York State northwest of New York City and southwest of Albany are a mature dissected plateau, an uplifted region that was subsequently eroded into sharp relief. ...


Various cultivars

There are a number of different cultivars of thyme with established or growing popularity, including:

  • Lemon thyme -- actually smells lemony
  • Variegated lemon thyme -- with bi-color leaves
  • Orange thyme -- an unusually low-growing, ground cover thyme that smells like orange
  • Creeping thyme -- the lowest-growing of the widely used thymes, good for walkways
  • Silver thyme -- white/cream variegated
  • English thyme -- the most common
  • Summer thyme -- unusually strong flavor

Notes

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
  3. ^ http://www.global-garden.com.au/gardenherbs5.htm#Garden%20Thyme Herb File. Global Garden.
  4. ^ http://www.apinchof.com/freshordriedqanda.htm
  5. ^ Thymus Vulgaris. PDR for Herbal Medicine. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company. p. 1184.
  6. ^ Pierce, Andrea. 1999. American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines. New York: Stonesong Press. P. 338-340.
  7. ^ Grieve, Maud (Mrs.). Thyme. A Modern Herbal. Hypertext version of the 1931 edition. Accessed: December 14, 2006. http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/thygar16.html
  8. ^ Ramsewak RS, et al. In vitro antagonistic activity of monoterpenes and their mixtures against 'toe nail fungus' pathogens. Phytother Res. 2003 Apr;17(4):376-9.
  9. ^ Thymus Vulgaris. PDR for Herbal Medicine. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company. p. 1184.

References

  • Flora of China: Thymus
  • Flora Europaea: Thymus
  • Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
  • Rohde, E. S. (1920). A Garden of Herbs.

See also

  • Cat thyme

Binomial name L. Cat thyme (Teucrium marum) is a close relative of germander; despite what its name suggests, it is not a thyme. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
botanical.com - A Modern Herbal | Thyme, Garden - Herb Profile and Information (3869 words)
The name Thyme, in its Greek form, was first given to the plant by the Greeks as a derivative of a word which meant 'to fumigate,' either because they used it as incense, for its balsamic odour, or because it was taken as a type of all sweet-smelling herbs.
In the south of France, Wild Thyme is a symbol of extreme Republicanism, tufts of it being sent with the summons to a Republican meeting.
Thyme roots soon extract the goodness from the soil, hence whatever is sown or planted afterwards will seldom thrive unless the ground is first trenched deeper than the Thyme was rooted, and is well manured.
Thyme (1180 words)
Thyme is also a medicinal herb derived from the leaves and flowering tops of a low-lying, perennial evergreen plant of the mint family.
Thyme is not only a "noble strengtheners of the lungs" but also "helps to revive and strengthen both body and mind." The Scots and others drank wild thyme tea for courage.
Thyme is perhaps the best general antiseptic herb for gum disease, infections of the digestive tract, and intestinal worms.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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