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Thyme, Oregano, Za'atar

Updated on May 9, 2016

Fresh and Dried Thyme, Oregona, za'atar (Zahtar)

Thyme is collected from mountains in Turkey. Fresh thyme is sold in local bazaars, herbal shops. I love the smell of fresh thyme very much. The taste is minty and pungent but can be used in mixed salads.

Dried thyme on the other hand suits most of the dishes,goes well especially with meaty dishes..

Also Thyme is a natural medicine. Cures many illnesses.

Oregano, commonly called "the pizza herb," is one of the most widely-used herbs worldwide, so it is hard to imagine anyone not having tried it.

Zahtar is a mixture of Thyme and other herbs, popular in Turkey and Middle East.

Want to hear more about these herbs? So please, read my hub.

Uses of Thyme

Native to the Mediterranean, thyme is a worldly known aromatic herb used in medicine, ornamental purposes, cooking and aromatherapy. The herb belongs to a genus consisting of about 350 species in the family Lamiaceae. The stems of this herbaceous perennialare usually narrow and wiry; the oval leaves are evergreen and are arranged in opposite pairs. The thyme flowers are white, pink or purple, have dense terminal heads and usually grow up to 4-10 mm long.

Medicinal Uses of Thyme :

Thyme is a powerful antiseptic. It is used in cases of anemia, bronchial ailments, and intestinal problems. It is used as an antiseptic against tooth decay, and destroys fungal infections as in athlete's foot and skin parasites such as crabs and lice. It is good for colic, flatulence, sore throats, and colds, as well as a digestive aid and a hangover remedy. Infusions of thyme are said to be good for headaches, and has been shown to be beneficial for coughs related to colds and flu as well as whooping cough, as the active constituents are known to loosen and expel mucous. Thyme infusion is also soothing and healing for skin irritations, muscle spasms, and fungal infections. This plant contains a constituent that is helpful for preventing blood clots.

The essential oil is used in aromatherapy to boost the mind, spirit, and body. The vapor from the essential oil is used to treat respiratory infection. Taken internally oil of thyme is known to be poisonous in amounts of a teaspoon, as it is very strong. It may be too strong for many people externally as well, so caution is advised. Thyme oil or infusion can be added to the bath to aid rheumatism and bronchial difficulties. Thyme is a good plant for bees, providing them with nutritious pollen, and imparting a delicious flavor to their honey. Its clusters of purple flowers attract bees readily. The dried flowers and leaves of thyme are said to protect cloth from insects. Burning thyme also repels insects. Oil of thyme diluted and used externally as a deodorant and antiseptic can prevent mildew. An ointment made with thyme is said to be good for warts. Culpepper writes that it is useful to help the new mother expel the afterbirth, and that an ointment made of the leaves is useful for treating warts, as well as easing the discomfort of gout, and killing worms internally. The plant's actions are considered to be disinfectant, antiseptic, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient, antitussive, apertif, carminative, demulcent, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, fungicide, nervine, pectoral, sedative, stimulant, and vermifuge.

There are no known contraindications at this time, although some people are very sensitive to the essential oil, so patch tests are appropriate.

Spiritual Uses of Thyme

Thyme is burnt to cleanse spiritual rooms and spaces, as well as to bring good health and courage to the home. Thyme placed in a sleeping pillow repels nightmares. In medieval times, thyme was believed to bring courage to the bearer, so women often made gifts for their knights and warriors that included thyme leaves, or embroidered thyme leaves onto scarves to be worn in battle. Shakespeare refers to the herb being used in the beds of fairies. It was one of the chief ingredients in ritual altar fires, particularly by the Greeks, to purify sacrifices to the gods. Thyme was also used in funeral rites, being used as incense as well as to place on the coffin, where it was believed that the departed lived in the flowers. It was believed to assure the passage into the next life.

Culinary Uses of Thyme

Thyme is often used in bouquet-garni, which is small sprigs of fresh herbs tied together and simmered in various dishes. Since it is an herb that helps the body to digest fatty foods, it is often used as an ingredient in those kinds of dishes. It is especially tasty with meat, poultry, and game. It has a strong taste, so you may want to use it sparingly in most dishes.

Other Uses of Thyme

The fragrant dried leaves are often used in potpourris and in closet sachets to repel insects.


Thyme symbolizes both courage and innocence

Thyme in the Kitchen

Cooking ideas

Cooking Ideas for Thyme

Thyme makes all meats, vegetables, casseroles, soups, stuffings, meatloaf, marinades and patatoes more tasty. Excellent for herb bread and flavored butters. Good with mushrooms, fried potatoes, carrots (and other vegetables) and in omelettes

Try adding dried thyme to the tomato bases for pizzas, or add one teaspoon to meaty soups, casseroles and spaghetti bolognaise. Thyme may even be added to the dough when making bread, or very sparingly in biscuit recipes. ed meat

Grilled meat and thyme suits well.

For a delicious vegetable stock, mix a medley of roasted vegetables in boiling water with salt, pepper and garlic and 1-3 tsp thyme (depending on your taste - remember fresh thyme is less pungent than dried thyme). Simmer for half an hour, then strain and discard the vegetables and use the liquid as a base for soups, marinades or casseroles. You can also use the stock to make flavor some gravy to serve with roast meat. Thyme is also a great flavoring for vegetarian and tofu dishes, and will lend much of its flavor to a marinade for tofu or seitan.

The Most Important Thing about Thyme oil

Therapeutic properties

The therapeutic properties of thyme oil are antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, bechic, cardiac, carminative, cicatrisant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypertensive, insecticide, stimulant, tonic and vermifuge

Hundreds of years ago, thyme worn in the hair of a maiden meant she was available for marriage

Za'atar (zahtar)

The word zahtar (also spelled zatar) is the Arabic word for thyme. As our group of culinary sleuths had determined, the other major ingredient in the mixture is thyme. The most basic zahtar consists of sumac, thyme, sesame seeds and salt, but there are many other variations that can also include oregano, savory or hyssop.

In the Middle East it is common to find this spice mixture sprinkled on lamb meat, fish or salads. It is particularly good as a seasoning for tomatoes . It can also simply be mixed with yoghurt to make a dip for pita or vegetables. You can watch Yogurt and zahtar video to get more information.

Also in Turkey Zahtar is added to bread dough and baked. You can add green olives to the dough also. This bread is yummy:))

Thyme oil from Amazon

For thousands of years, thyme oil has been part of healing traditions throughout the Mediterranean region and beyond. Not only does thyme oil smell pleasant, the thyme oil it contains endows it with powerful medicinal and health-protective properties. A versatile oil, it works well in vaporizers, blended with a carrier oil or added to personal care products. Use it with care, though, because even small amounts can irritate the skin and mucus membranes.

For thousands of years, thyme oil has been part of healing traditions throughout the Mediterranean region and beyond. Not only does thyme oil smell pleasant, the thyme oil it contains endows it with powerful medicinal and health-protective properties. A versatile oil, it works well in vaporizers, blended with a carrier oil or added to personal care products. Use it with care, though, because even small amounts can irritate the skin and mucus membranes.

Oregano in Turkish Kitchen

İzmir Tyhme

This aromatic and balsamic herb is called Izmir thyme in Turkey.

Italians use oregano and garlic in pizza dough. We Turks usually use oregano while cooking meat.

Tyme,origano

5 stars for thyme

Do You Use Oregano & Thyme

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    • bibliopola profile image
      Author

      Işın Tuzcular 4 years ago from Istanbul

      Thanks:))

    • bibliopola profile image
      Author

      Işın Tuzcular 5 years ago from Istanbul

      @vegetablegardenh: Thanks:))

    • vegetablegardenh profile image

      vegetablegardenh 5 years ago

      I do use both of those herbs and love them. Really enjoyed this lens, and learned a lot about Thyme that I didn't know yet. Thanks!