Part of the mint family, and a relative of oregano, thyme earned a reputation in ancient times as a powerful plant, able to accomplish everything from providing courage to warriors, a substance for ancient Egyptians with which to embalm, a purification tool for Romans, and when stashed under one’s pillow, it was used as a sleep aid. Burned as incense, thyme was even utilized as an aid to carry one’s spirit into the next life. Another interesting fact: before antibiotics were developed, thyme was added when dressing wounds.
Today of course, thyme is best known as a culinary ingredient. A perennial, heat- and sun-loving plant, this delightfully grounded herb prefers its soil well drained, and couldn’t care less if it doesn’t rain for long stretches.