Thyme (Thymus), or as it is called - thyme is a shrub, a plant that has spicy and aromatic qualities. Translated from Latin, thyme means "fragrant plant."
The most favorable for the growth and development of thyme is a temperate and subtropical climate. More than 120 species of this plant can be found on the territory of Russia.
- The origin of thyme
- Lemon thyme in cooking
- Useful properties and contraindications
The origin of thyme
Thyme is actively growing in many European countries, in North America, some species can even be found in Greenland.
In ancient Egypt, this shrub was used for embalming, and in ancient Greece, thyme was used as an antiseptic for the treatment of various kinds of diseases. Also, in Greece, the process of fumigation of the temple of Aphrodite was carried out with thyme.
The ancient Greeks treated this herb with special respect and considered it a herb for real men. Therefore, before military battles, almost all military personnel took a bath with the addition of thyme.
In Scotland, before the battle and during the rest, men drank tea with the addition of thyme to gain strength and continue the hostilities. For the first time, the useful qualities of this plant were described by Avicenna.
Thyme seeds have been found in many medicines based on honey, vinegar and oil. Modern medicine has confirmed the fact that thyme helps to establish mental balance, as well as to restore strength.
But you should not use this substance in large quantities, since the components that make up it can irritate the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines. Therefore, people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys should be especially careful when using thyme in their diet.
Lemon thyme in cooking
The top of the stem of the plant, on which the leaves are located, is used in cooking as a spice. Many culinary aces use fresh foliage to prepare their dishes, however, if this is not possible, you can limit yourself to dry thyme.
A tablespoon of fresh thyme, which is finely chopped, equals 1 teaspoon of dry spice. Depending on the maturity of the plant, its aroma can range from a subtle lemon scent to a pungent and bright citric acid scent.
In cooking, thyme is used to add a little bitterness, aroma and piquant taste to dishes. Thyme is also used as an additive in the preparation of meat dishes, vegetables, eggs, cheese, etc. When you add a small amount of thyme to your legumes, they immediately take on a new, fresh and unexpected flavor.
Thyme is a good preservative of natural origin, therefore it is actively used in the food industry for the preparation of marinades and food additives to extend the shelf life of products.
When pickling tomatoes and cucumbers, you can add a small amount of fresh thyme leaves for a special flavor. The spice can be used as a finishing touch in soups and vegetable stews.
Thyme is a condiment that is also used in the alcoholic beverage industry. It is added in small quantities to give alcoholic beverages a more tart and bitter taste.
Useful properties and contraindications
Thyme is also used as a medicinal tincture for the treatment of acute and chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and diseases of the upper respiratory tract.
Thyme can be used to treat diseases of the oral cavity, gynecological pathologies, gastrointestinal disorders and heartburn.
The use of compresses and baths with the addition of thyme, will relieve acute pain in the joints with rheumatism, will have a medicinal effect in the treatment of gout, bruises.
Thyme infusions are also used in cosmetology, since the components included in thyme have a beneficial effect on the scalp and face, eliminating seborrhea and acne.
Thyme essential oil contains a large amount of such a component as thymol, so this plant has a number of contraindications:
- any diseases of the kidneys and liver
- gastritis and stomach ulcer
- high blood pressure
- disturbances in the work of the cardiovascular system
- individual intolerance to this seasoning
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is also not recommended to consume thyme. In case of high blood pressure and body temperature, thyme should not be taken even at the lowest dosage, as it warms up the body.
When thyme is consumed in high dosages, symptoms such as vomiting and nausea may appear. Dried thyme leaves must be stored in a well-closed container, otherwise all the beneficial qualities of the plant will quickly fade away, and there will be no point in adding thyme to cooking.
It is best to use glass containers or aluminum foil packaging for storage. Lemon thyme is a special type of spice that does not lose its taste and aroma during the heat treatment of the dish.
Not every seasoning can boast of such properties. In cooking, thyme can also be used in combination with other spices.
How to plant lemon thyme: