Are thyme and thyme the same plant or not? What is the difference and what is their use in cooking?


Today we have an article about thyme and thyme. We will tell you whether they are the same plant or not and teach you how to use them in preparing your favorite dishes and sauces.

Types of thyme

To begin with, we note that the word “thyme” comes from Ancient Greece, where thymiama means strength and courage. “Thyme” is a common Slavic word (as is its synonym “savory”).

The name thyme includes many plants belonging to the same category of low shrubs (no higher than 40 cm). According to encyclopedias, about 170 varieties grow in our country alone – including both wild and cultivated ones.

Looking at photos of different types of thyme, you can see that they are all visually very similar. Therefore, it is often stated that this is the second name for thyme.

Thyme and thyme are the same plant

So the result is confusion. Thyme and thyme are indeed very similar, but not identical. Many websites and even literature mistakenly write that thyme is the same as thyme. In fact, thyme, also known as creeping thyme, is only the most popular of many species, but far from the only one.

Roughly speaking, thyme is a family of plants that are very similar to each other. And thyme (another name is creeping savory) is only a variety of this family.

What is the difference between thyme and thyme

Thyme and thyme

Let’s look at the specific differences between thyme and other varieties of thyme. So, savory has:

  • thick fleshy stems (most other varieties have thin and tender stems);
  • wide, large roots;
  • smaller and paler flowers than other species;
  • strictly limited growing environment (savory grows only on rocky and steppe soils, while other varieties of thyme are found on almost any type of soil).

It is worth saying that thyme differs from thyme only in appearance. The composition and beneficial properties of savory cannot differ – the plants are completely identical. Therefore, in culinary recipes one can be safely replaced with another.

What is another name for thyme?

Thyme or thyme is far from the only subject of controversy surrounding this plant. People use many other names:

  • fimiamnik;
  • Bogorodskaya grass;
  • verest;
  • covetous;
  • boron pepper;
  • lemon scent;
  • Chebarka;
  • fly swatter

In grocery stores, besides thyme, the only plant names found are savory and thyme. And in pharmacies you can find it under the name “Timol” – these are dry stems and leaves crushed into powder.

The benefits and harms of thyme

Thyme and thyme are widely used not only as culinary herbs, but also in folk medicine. In many countries of the world they are traditionally considered medicinal. The unusual composition of these plants includes:

  • thymol;
  • carvaclol;
  • folic acid;
  • vitamins of most groups (A, B, C, E, K);
  • beta-carotene.

Thanks to this rich composition, thyme (as well as thyme) has the following properties:

  • increases blood pressure;
  • calms the nervous system (and even helps treat its diseases);
  • increases stress resistance and sleep quality;
  • promotes the treatment of diseases of the genitourinary system (especially in men) and gynecological ailments;
  • reduces symptoms of alcohol and nicotine addiction;
  • removes swelling;
  • speeds up metabolism;
  • increases the overall antiviral immunity of the body;
  • heals respiratory tract ailments;
  • improves uterine tone during pregnancy.

Of course, the plant also has contraindications. Moderate consumption does not threaten the body, but if you eat too much, the following side effects are possible:

  • a sharp increase in pressure;
  • headache;
  • dizziness and nausea.

People suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) are not recommended to eat savory. At least without a doctor’s permission. It is not recommended for people with diseases:

  • gastrointestinal tract;
  • heart and blood vessels;
  • kidneys and liver.

It is also worth remembering that savory can cause an allergic reaction. It is not as severe as, for example, a nut allergy, but it can cause discomfort.

Use in cooking

The use of savory in cooking is widespread throughout the planet. It is usually used as a spice, dried (less often fresh). This is facilitated by the pleasant smell of the plant, which only intensifies after drying.

Where to add thyme? The choice is very wide:

  • meat dishes (especially goes well with game, but also suitable for pork, beef, poultry);
  • fried and stewed fish;
  • meat, fish and vegetable soups;
  • marinades when preparing various vegetables for the winter;
  • pickles (the plant is not only added to the marinade, but also a few stems or leaves are simply placed in a jar);
  • salads (fresh)

The moderate spiciness of savory has found its application not only in home cooking. The plant is widely used in the canning and alcoholic beverage industries.

Where else is it used?

Thyme remedy

In addition to cooking, savory is used in medicine. The wide range of beneficial properties of the plant makes it possible to treat many diseases. Of course, you can’t rely on grass alone, but it works just fine as an auxiliary element.

In official medicine, the plant is used as:

  • anthelmintic drug (Thymol, mentioned above);
  • expectorant (liquid thyme extract);
  • pain reliever;
  • an important component of cough syrup (the most popular syrup with savory is “Pertussin”).

In folk medicine, the scope of use is much wider. Often the dried plant (sold in any pharmacy) is filled with water and an infusion is made. It is used not only to treat coughs, but also as a stomach antibiotic or an appetite enhancer.

Herbal tea with thyme stands out. It is customary to drink it as a prophylactic to maintain immunity. But not only that – even doctors readily prescribe this tea for diseases of the intestines, genitourinary tract, asthma, sleep disorders and many other ailments.

Finally, savory is also popular in cosmetology. Its essential oil is added to:

  • creams and lotions (especially for problem skin);
  • strengthening shampoos;
  • toothpastes with a bactericidal effect.

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