The Gift ofThyme

 Herbs and spices are beautiful gifts from nature to support our bodies optimal functioning.. Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal properties, fragrance and in rituals. 

This month I would like to highlight thyme. Thyme had a reputation for thousands of years for being a healer and protector. In the Roman era it was believed , eating thyme during a meal would protect you from poison. For this reason it was a favorite among emperors. 

( no evidence supports this claim, it is just a fun bit of history of the herb.) 

   It was also believed to encourage bravery, strength and courage. Greeks and Romans would burn thyme in their homes and temples to help purify them and envoke a spirit of courage . Roman soliders would exchange spigs of thyme as a show of respect. 

Thyme in the middle ages was a tradional gift given to men going into battle. Soliders would wear the thyme on clothing or tuck it into purses or pockets. It was also believed to encourage bravery, strength and courage.

    In modern times research as begun to show the medicinal benefits of thyme. Thyme contains thymol, which is an antiseptic and anti fungal. It could help with tooth decay, as an essential oil used topically ( on the skin ) it could help heal eczema skin leshions, it helps with coughs from bronchitis. Thyme tea is thought to eliminate mucus, congestion , cough or cold associated with a cold or flu. 

    Thyme is also provides our body with Vitamin C, A , copper, fiber, iron and magnesium. 

     Thyme can be used fresh or dried, but fresh has superior nutrients. As we head into Thanksgiving thyme makes a nice addition to stuffings and flavoring on turkey. I know when I was making the stuffing receipe that will accompany this article my whole townhouse was filled with a wonderful aroma of thyme. Some spices that complement well with thyme are rosemary and sage. Think of the many benefits your body would reap from this trio. As we smell the thyme cooking in our ovens lets remember the rituals of the Greeks and Romans and may it provide us with courage moving forward. 

References: History channel website, http://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov,Thymol, thyme and other plant sources: Heath and Potential uses,  Spices as Natural Medicine Merrily Kuhn RN, CRN, PHD, ND, PhD  course by Institute for Brain Potential