An aromatic herb in the mint family, thyme grows to a height of fifteen inches (about 40 cm), with small rounded leaves and pink flowers on woody stems. Today the plant is common throughout North America, but it originated in the southern Mediterranean. Experts in language tell us that thyme's name was derived from the Greek word thumus, or courage. In Medieval times, knights wore sprigs of thyme on their armor as a sign of courage. The scent of thyme was thought to give them strength in the midst of battle.
The interesting health benefits of thyme include its ability to relieve stress. With one of the highest antioxidant concentrations in any herb, thyme has been praised for thousands of years as an overall health booster. The phenolic antioxidants found in thyme, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and thymonin contribute to neutralizing and eliminating free radicals throughout the body.