What Is Thyme?

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Thyme is a leaf from the Thymus vulgaris shrub, a member of the mint family. While used primarily as a seasoning for cooking, thyme is also used as a condiment and in pickling. Thyme can be found in cosmetics and fragrances, and also supposedly has medicinal value. The flavor of thyme is somewhat minty. The small, greenish-gray leaves are typically dried and can be chopped, ground or crumbled. The ancient Greeks believed thyme to be representative of sacrifice and courage.


Thyme is typically used with other seasonings for meat and poultry, stuffing, soups, sauces, stews, eggs, spaghetti, pizza sauce, chili, tomatoes and custards.

Medicinal Uses

Thyme has been used to treat respiratory ailments, sore throat, digestive problems, rheumatism and headaches.


The extract of thyme is used in some face powders and other cosmetics.

Ancient Uses

Thyme was used by the Egyptians for embalming. For the Greeks, it was a bath additive and an incense.


Because of thyme's sweet fragrance, the dried flowers may be used in potpourri.