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Thyme Through Time (HUBNUGGETS WINNER)

Updated on November 8, 2010

Thyme Through Time

 

Some things are so common , it seems as though they have always been with us. Tracing their origin becomes so monumental, we begin to think they predate us. Herbs and spices are among these things. How to use them has been shared from mother to daughter, wife to wife, cook to cook and neighbor to neighbor for so long that we just don't think to question them and we stifle our own curiosity. The reawakening of that curiosity has taken me on an interesting journey.

There are over 40 varieties of Thyme, whose botanical name is Thymus Vulgaris.....ick, that sounds like a disease. The Greek name of Thymon is a bit easier to accept. It is a Perennial plant, meaning it lives for more than two years. It can be grown domestically or in the wild. It does well in hot and sunny areas of your garden and in containers, but requires drainage. The plant is hardy, surviving drought and deep freezing conditions. It can grow to about an 8 inch height. Many gardeners trim the plants to keep the general garden more attractive, but it does well if allowed to sprawl. The small white flowers are attractive against the back drop of dark green foliage and lend a pleasant fragrance to the air. The leaves are used fresh, or dried, and the process of drying the harvest is an easy one.

Botanical history accepts that thyme is a plant native to the Mediterranean area, brought to Britain by the Romans. It is not clear, if the Romans were using it for trade or medicinal purposes. The plant had value either way. The Ancient Eygptians used thyme for embalming the dead, the Greeks for perfuming the bath.

Through time and cultures, thyme has been thought to induce sleep, and to increase the courage of the carrier. Jamaicans brewed a tea from thyme, to give to women after child-birth to assist in uterine contractions. Modern thought is that the herb brew produces an oxytocin- like effect.

Herbalists and Grandmothers have known for a long time, what modern medicine is now beginning to explore, Thyme has medicinal value. It shows to benefit and strengthen our immune systems, and aid those who suffer from respiratory problems.

Thyme was noticed by William Shakespeare. He mentioned it by name, in " A Mid Summer's Night Dream", saying: " I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows"

Some of the ancients believed that a patch of thyme was home to fairies. I must wonder, if this was a result of drinking a tea which produced oxytocin like effects!

 

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    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      KoffeeKlatch Gals,

      How nice to have you here!

      I like to use several fresh herbs too.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I had no idea there were over 40 varieties of thyme. I like to use fresh thyme when cooking, it add so much to the dish.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Well, thank you Seafarer Mama,

      It is good to know that I brought up some memories for you.

      There will be a brief hub, on the growing conditions of some of our favorite hubs.......hope you stay tuned!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      7 years ago from New England

      Beautiful hub, onegoodwoman. I have always enjoyed singing the Irish ballad "Wild Mountain Thyme" and my husband and I eat what we call "honeymoon homefries" every Sunday as part of our brunch. That is because we ate a delicious side of homefries seasoned with thyme when we were on our honeymoon in N. Conway, NH (at Stonehurst Manor). So, thyme holds lots of delicious memories for me, and it is so good to know it benefits the immune system, too. My neighbors grow a bed of it, and we grow it in our community garden. I hope to cultivate my own patch next summer. Thanks again for a very lovely hub.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Thank you Justom.......

      Its 40 miles to the Post Office!

    • justom profile image

      justom 

      7 years ago from 41042

      Congrats on the win! Did they tell you the check's in the mail :-)? Nice work! Peace!! Tom

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Thanks DavePrice,

      You give ME too much credit. I am but a small vessel, of a gift that has been given ( and by the way, still under develoment).......

      I read your hubs, and you are no slouch yourself!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Thank you saddlerider1,

      Since this hub, my own interest has grown, and "Herbs" is wide , wide, field.

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 

      7 years ago

      I never knew there were that many varieties of Thyme. I love herbs and only drink herbal teas and we grow our own herbs in our large kitchen sunny window, so we have them available all year round. Great hub and congratulations on the win.

    • DavePrice profile image

      DavePrice 

      7 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

      Congrats, kudos, thumbs up... ok, I'm jealous. You're a great writer and I'm still in the goo on the way to the zoo. It really was a great hub, and you deserve the recognition - congratulations (yes, honestly this time).

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Thank you for your encouragement Elayne001........ I do appreciate it.

      The idea of square foot gardening is one of many new interests to come my way over the last year.......I am toying and experimenting with it now.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my hub.

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 

      7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      I have thyme growing in my square foot garden. I really love it. Congrats on your nomination and good luck.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      FloBe.......

      with butter and garlic? :)

      I also like a sprinkling of dill on my mashed potatoes. It makes the bowl looks attractive.

    • FloBe profile image

      Flo Belanger 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I cook with Thyme all the time and especially love it on roasted potatoes

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Thank you very much ( on all points), IvoryMelodies.

      I intend to do more hubs on herbs and spices, bfore the end of the month.

    • IvoryMelodies profile image

      IvoryMelodies 

      7 years ago

      Enjoyed the hub - very interesting as well as informative. Congrats on the Hubnuggets nomination!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Thank you Bayoulady......

      It was exciting. There are some really good articles up for nomination. This forum has a lot of talented writers.

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 

      7 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Whoo-hoo! Congrats on this well desrved hub!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      WOW!

      What good news Ripplemaker, and I'm only 2 weeks old :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      You made me laugh when you said thymus vulgaris sounded like a disease..it does sound like it! The greek version is definitely better. LOL

      Onegoodwoman, it's a wonderful day to announce to you that your hub has been nominated on the Hubnuggets! Yay! Isn't that exciting? Bring a basket of thyme as the Hubnuggets Team bring you back into Wonderland. This way to read and vote for the Hubnuggets!

      Love from ripple-whitequeen and the Hubnuggets Team :)

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      De Greek,

      Thanks :)

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      How could I resist a title like that? :-)

    • panguerita profile image

      Rita Sue Hanks 

      7 years ago from Oak Point, Texas

      Hi, onegood woman,

      I like your choice of a name! Very interesting! I enjoyed your hub; you have a good gift for writing. I have an interest in natural medicines, and medicinal herbs, but don't know much about them. In scripture, God told Isaiah to place figs on King Hezekiah's tumor, and it was healed. Have you ever studied on the healing quality of figs?

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      TY Justom.....there is peace.

    • justom profile image

      justom 

      7 years ago from 41042

      Now I know there are 40 varieties that I don't use. Don't really know why, I use basil and sage and many, many spices but never Thyme. Enjoyed reading the hub though. Peace!! Tom

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      TY......I like to use herbs as arrangements also.

    • France Travel Inf profile image

      France Travel Inf 

      7 years ago

      What an informative article! I love growing thyme in a hanging basket as it is lovely cascading over the side. So many wonderful French recipes use thyme also.

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