The lazy days of summer are behind us, that is, IF you had any lazy days! Summer work hours have ended, and bus and train schedules are posted on the fridge. Life for many of us is now ruled by time tables. Speaking of time

If I had to choose only 10 culinary herbs for my kitchen, thyme would make the list. It's used in cuisine around the world: Cajun, Jamaican, Italian, French, Greek, Middle Eastern, Australian

Thyme is a versatile herb that is easy to grow, easy to cook with, and dries well for later use. But there's more to thyme than adding flavor to a meal.

Although indigenous to the Mediterranean, species are also found in Asia, North Africa and Australia. Thyme was introduced to North America by early European settlers.

Thyme was often used in bridal bouquets, as it represents courage and strength. Both qualities are essential for the wedding planning process alone, and of course, for a long and happy marriage.

It has many therapeutic uses, but is primarily known for its antiseptic properties. In fact, the word "thyme" comes from the Greek "thymon" which means "fumigate." Thyme oil, diluted in water, has been used to kill and prevent mold growth as well as chase away stinging insects. It has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and herbalists recommend its use in cases of nail fungus or infections of torn nail beds. It is also a common ingredient in mouthwash. Thyme has been used traditionally in many countries for coughs and other respiratory ailments, because of its antitussive (relieving coughs) and expectorant properties. Thyme can be a useful seasonal therapy to assist the immune system in fighting the inevitable cold viruses you will be exposed to both at school and work this fall and winter.

Did you know?

  1. thyme tea is a folk remedy to ward off nightmares
  2. a soup of beer and thyme was said to cure shyness  
  3. legend has it that thyme sprigs were used in the hay that the baby Jesus lay on in the manger
  4. fairies are believed to use thyme for their beds  

So, use a little thyme in your food and at the first sign of a cough or cold. I actually add thyme essential oil to my all-natural cleaning supplies to help kill germs, bacteria, and mold spores, and to give my house a fresh, clean scent. I've also planted some in my garden, but have not yet been able to catch any flower fairies!

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™