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Thyme

Thyme, an aromatic plant with renowned virtues that Pagès has chosen to use in several of its creations.

Thyme is an aromatic sub-shrub common in our countryside. With its almost miraculous virtues and incomparable organoleptic flavours, Thyme is a highly appreciated plant.

 

ORIGINS OF THYME

The word "Thyme" comes from the Greek word "thymos" which means to perfume. It can also be found in various writings that the word "thymon", which means spirit or smoke, is also used to designate the Thyme. This etymology is mainly explained because it was common to burn Thyme and inhale its smoke during religious rites.

According to Greek mythology, the Thyme was born from the tears of Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman in the world and daughter through the love of Zeus and Leda. Concerned about the Trojan War, this beautiful young woman would have seen her tears transformed into a small shrub, the Thyme. This divine transformation gave the plant a symbol of courage and divinity. It is for this reason that Dioscorides claimed that the Thyme was magical. The latter used, with his acolyte Theophrast, the white Thyme for its medicinal virtues and the black Thyme for its ability to corrupt the body and cause bile.

The Roman people were also very fond of the plant. It is said that the women of this community used the Thyme to perfume themselves and burned it to purify the air or drive unwelcome animals out of their homes. A representation of Thyme, which still bore the symbol of courage attributed by Greek mythology, was embroidered on the knights' scarves until the Crusades. Some writings even state that men bathed in Thyme-flavoured water on the eve of great battles to maximize their chances of victory. This belief lasted for many years, until the Middle Ages. Indeed, the ladies embroidered a representation of Thyme on their lovers' or husbands' clothes but also used it to make their own eau de toilette or maintain their beauty. They thought this would maximize their chances of finding love, for single women, or continuing to please their husbands, for married women.

The Roman people are known to have multiplied the uses of this plant, with divine virtues unsuspected for them. The practice, still in use today, also gives soothing properties to the Thyme. The Romans cut out some branches of Thyme that they placed under their pillows to better fall asleep and be sure to have a restful sleep. This tradition is still found in some homes today. If we are not sure, we can think that it was the Romans who made the Thyme most known to other civilizations during their various invasions.

It is said that in Egypt, Thyme was one of the plants used to embalm the dead. It was also known for its disinfecting properties on the respiratory tract in this community.

It is still in the Middle Ages that more is learned about the history of the Thyme. At that time, it was known that the Thyme was beginning to be used by peoples other than the Roman people. In the 16th century, herbalists published a long list of ailments that the Thyme could help to cure. Culpeper, an English herbalist, even goes so far as to attribute to the plant the ability to chase away nightmares. It is known that Thyme was cultivated in England in the middle of the 16th century. It is suspected that the use of this miraculous plant began to proliferate in other countries. History tells us that the settlers, in addition to the Romans, had something to do with it. It was Pehr Kalm, a Swedish botanist, who claimed in June 1749 to have seen Thyme but also Marjoram and cucumbers in large quantities in a garden.

The Thyme will be used for culinary purposes a little later. It was not until the 18th century that the uses of Thyme multiplied further and became those we know today.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THYME

Name: Thymus vulgaris
Family: Lamiaceae
Species: Under aromatic shrub

The Thyme is a sub-shrub 10 to 30 cm high, common in the dry and rocky soils of the South, in France. It is found in the western Mediterranean basin, from Spain to Italy. Thyme is commonly grown in gardens: it is one of the companions of the bouquet garni cherished in simmered cuisine. Everyone knows its small, narrow, greyish-green leaves and pale pink-tinged flowers.

As with Serpolet, its cousin, Thyme plants can give off different aromas from each other. Some have a remarkable freshness and scent of Lemon, others have a more musky, even camphorated smell, some have flavours so powerful that it is difficult to appreciate them. This astonishing phenomenon is due to variations in the genetic heritage of the individual which, as a result, produces essences of very diverse compositions.

Thyme contains an aromatic essence of variable composition, depending on its genetic heritage. Depending on the case, thymol, linalool or geraniol dominate.

 

USES OF THYME

Thyme is obviously consumed as an infusion. Just infuse 20 to 30 grams of the plant in boiling water for a few minutes to enjoy its benefits and its unique taste.

Thyme can also be used to create a syrup, with honey and hot water. The mixture was used to fight whooping cough.

In external use, Thyme also finds its place as a remedy, hygiene product or flavour carrier. You can use a Thyme decoction for your toilet but also to fight against skin disorders or external pain. Still in the field of hygiene and health, Thyme can be used in cosmetics or as a hair lotion. You can even replace the usual toothpaste with a Thyme decoction once a week.

Thyme is of course also a key component of the culinary arts. Its incomparable and unique organoleptic flavours ideally enhance many dishes by giving them very pleasant Provençal notes for tasting.

 

BENEFITS OF THYME

The Thyme is a plant that was considered miraculous in the Middle Ages. It is attributed with many medicinal properties and is therefore found in many treatments, natural or pharmaceutical.

It is said that Thyme is an excellent remedy for various respiratory disorders: cough, bronchitis, colds, etc. Many studies have shown that its use, in combination with other natural products, is very effective. Thyme is mainly known for its soothing properties on the bronchi.

This plant also has the ability to soothe and heal the digestive tract: Thyme is said to be calming and to promote digestion, to prevent stomach contractions and gas and to stimulate appetite.

Thyme is also known for its ability to fight dental plaque. It is often part of antiseptic mouthwashes that fight against dental plaque.

Thyme is also able to relieve skin inflammation. It has always been used against wounds and minor skin disorders. Thyme has interesting antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

The Thyme allows, what we hear or can read, to fight against anxiety. One of the plant's components, carvacrol, may have relaxing effects on people with anxiety.

This under-shrub would also help to fight against hair loss. Some studies have shown that the addition of Thyme essential oils directly in shampoo or massage oil (a mixture of Thyme essential oils with vegetable oils) would have allowed some people to lose less hair or to stimulate its growth.

You will find the Thyme in our Pagès products. The organic "Sweet Thyme from Drôme French region" herbal tea is 100% Thyme "Thymus vulgaris L. linaloliferum". This type of Thyme has a high Linalol content and is characterized by the richness of its essential oil. Harvested on Yannick's land in the Drôme, in the heart of the Vercors regional nature park. This farmer, who took over the farm after his father, has been carefully cultivating this Thyme with incomparable organoleptic properties for more than three years. Visit here to learn more about our sweet Thyme of the Drôme: https://www.pages.fr/thym-doux-de-drome/

The Pagès organic "Thyme Lavender Rosemary" herbal tea is composed of Thyme, Lavender and Rosemary. This cocktail is not only ideal to relieve winter ailments but also presents pronounced Provençal flavours that are very pleasant to taste.