Thyme for Inspiring Courage and Saving Lives (Plus Recipe)

Updated on October 29, 2018
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

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

The Geography of Thyme

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

Ingredients

  • 8-10 oz. 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

Instructions

  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.

Nutrition Notes

Mushrooms sauteed in olive oil or butter, fresh thyme leaves, lemon zest, and lemon juice holds 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.

Nutritional Facts about Mushrooms sauteed in butter, thyme and lemon

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.

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Karen A Szklany

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      • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

        Karen A Szklany 

        7 weeks 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 

        7 weeks 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 

        4 months ago from New England

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

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        4 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.

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