Thyme for Inspiring Courage and Saving Lives (Plus Recipe)

Updated on December 12, 2019
Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama (Karen) loves to lose herself in the culinary arts by mixing her storytelling with sharing recipes.

Bed of thyme in front of a co-housing neighbor's home.
Bed of thyme in front of a co-housing neighbor's home. | Source

Thyme as a Symbol of Courage

The earthy fragrance of thyme has inspired courage in the hearts of humans since ancient history. Roman soldiers often wore a sprig on their uniforms. Some soldiers exchanged sprigs among themselves and others received them as gifts from their beloved. Knights preparing for battle often bathed in thyme and marjoram because it was believed to inspire bravery.

Thyme was burned in temples to dispel negative energies, and it can be burned as smudge in the home for the same purpose. It is often burned in homes after a significant loss.

Sprigs of thyme harvested from my herb garden, ready to inspire courage or serve as garnish for an entree.
Sprigs of thyme harvested from my herb garden, ready to inspire courage or serve as garnish for an entree. | Source

Where Did Thyme Originate?

Thyme is believed to originate in the woodlands of countries along the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and France. The herb was considered magical and protective because it was believed that bunches of thyme marked fairy rings, where the mysterious creatures danced at night. Women wore thyme because they believed that it increased their attractiveness. Thyme was often grown in herb gardens to attract good health and prosperity.

Thyme as a Garnish for Food

Thyme was a popular herb for garnishing food and drinks. It was often paired with meat and simmered in wine. It was used to boost the immune system and protect people from the effects of poison. If someone accidentally ate poisoned food, an herbal bath in thyme often mitigated the effects of the poison. Because of this, thyme was often grown on the grounds of palaces because monarchs and other prominent political figures were vulnerable to being poisoned.

When the Black Plague spread across Europe, poultices of thyme were placed on affected areas of the body. Some people who knew of the plague's spread ate food and drank wine seasoned with thyme to avoid contracting it. Now we know that the active sanitizing ingredient in thyme is thymol. Thyme was an herb was used for embalming in addition to preventing or treating serious illness. It was a spice that preserved the body and helped the soul pass on to the next world after death.

Recipe: Mushrooms Sauteed with Butter, Thyme, and Lemon

Mushrooms sauteed in pan with butter, thyme, and lemon juice
Mushrooms sauteed in pan with butter, thyme, and lemon juice | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: 2-3 small bowls


  • 8-10 ounces portabello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, separated from the stem
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, or butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Slide mushrooms on a cutting board and set aside.
  2. Warm olive oil and/or butter in a skillet.
  3. Add mushrooms, lemon zest, salt, pepper and thyme. Stir ingredients for 2 or 3 minutes and lower the heat.
  4. Remove pan from heat and let cool for a minute, then divide into 2 or 3 bowls and serve.

Nutritional Information

Mushrooms sauteed in olive oil or butter, fresh thyme leaves, lemon zest, and lemon juice hold a rich supply of vitamins C and A, calcium, and iron. Though the carbohydrate count seems high, most of them are the beneficial type and are contained in the mushrooms.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 3
Calories 200
Calories from Fat135
% Daily Value *
Fat 15 g23%
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 1 g
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 1 g2%
Cholesterol 100 mg33%
Sodium 1 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Did you make and enjoy this side dish?

Cast your vote for Mushrooms Sauteed in Lemon Juice, Wine and Thyme

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Karen A Szklany


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

        Karen A Szklany 

        2 weeks ago from New England

        Thanks, Peggy! Glad you enjoyed the history around thyme and my recipe. ✨ I hope you do have a chance to cultivate some in your garden again.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        We had a thick bunch of thyme that lasted for years. It finally started dying out, and now I have sage growing in its place. I will have to get another start of thyme and add it to my herbs grown outside. I love adding it to many dishes, including soups. Thanks for this interesting account of how it was used through the years, and your good-sounding recipe with the mushrooms.

      • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

        Karen A Szklany 

        16 months ago from New England

        Hi Bill ~ yes, lots of herbs are very forgiving and provide the ultimate flavorful finishing touch on a favorite meal.

        Thyme is so versatile, too. Hope you have a chance to grow, cook and garnish with it again.

        Thank you for stopping by ~ great to see you here!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        16 months ago from Olympia, WA

        You know what I like most about herbs like Thyme? They are so easy to grow. Back in the day, when I knew very little about gardening, one thing I could always count on were the herbs. They adjust to climates, to soils, and to a gardener's abilities. I really should grow more this year.

      • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

        Karen A Szklany 

        18 months ago from New England

        Thank you for reading and trying my recipe, Dianna! Blessings!

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        18 months ago

        I look for recipe ideas using herbs like thyme. They add so much to the flavor of a dish. My family loves mushrooms and this will certainly be a recipe we will enjoy.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)