Here are 17 facts about thyme:
There are more than 100 varieties of thyme.
The ancient Egyptians used thyme in the mummification process.
Thyme has been associated with courage since ancient times. The Greeks, the Romans, the Scottish highlanders, and the knights of the Middle Ages all thought thyme brought one strength and courage.
The ancient Greeks sprinkled thyme in their baths.
When the Greeks said that someone “smelled of thyme” it meant that the person was elegant, refined, and stylish.
The Greeks burnt it as incense in sacred temples.
The Romans used thyme in the treatment of depression.
Thyme was placed in coffins to ensure passage to the next world.
Thyme was sacred to the Druids, who used it to treat depression and ward off negativity.
In the Middle Ages, people placed it under their pillows to prevent nightmares and aid sleep.
Fairies are said to love thyme. In France and England, people often created a bed of thyme to attract fairies and make them feel at home in the garden.
Oberon, the king of the fairies in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, says, “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,” referring to the bed of thyme in which Titania, the fairy queen, sleeps.
A 17th century recipe with thyme as one of the main ingredients claims to enable people to see fairies.
Hymettus honey from Greece is made from bees who gather pollen from wild thyme on Mount Hymettus.
Thyme was once used on bandages to prevent infection.
The essential oil of thyme is called thymol. It was isolated in 1725 by the German apothecary Neuiuiann.
The active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash is thymol.