Thyme is an herb from the mint family that you probably recognize from your spice set. But it’s so much more than an after-thought ingredient. Its range of use is impressive, and it has over 400 subspecies. Ancient Egyptians used it in their embalming practices, while ancient Greeks used it as incense.
Thanks to its distinctive taste, thyme has remained a culinary staple to this day. But thyme is also fast gaining a reputation for its medicinal qualities, such as its ability to help treat acne and high blood pressure.
Zataria multiflora Boiss is a thyme-like plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family that grows wild only in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This plant with the vernacular name of Avishan-e-Shirazi (Shirazi thyme) in Iran is a valuable medicinal and condimental plant. It has several traditional uses as an antiseptic, carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, diuretic, anesthetic, anti-spasmodic and analgesic.
Both fresh and dried forms of thyme herb can be available in the herb store. Buy fresh thyme whenever possible since it is superior in nutrients and rich in flavor. The leaves of fresh thyme should feature light green, and free from any dark spots or yellowing. Fresh thyme should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly dampened paper towel. Dried thyme can be kept in a tightly sealed glass container and stored in a cold, dark, and dry place, where it will stay fresh for.
Zataria is native to southwestern Asia (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir)