Thyme is native to most Mediterranean countries. Its name refers to many varieties of the Thymus species and is derived from the Ancient Greek verb ‘thyo’, which meant ‘to "burn as a sacrifice” or “having a strong scent". In ancient times it was used as incense at the altar during sacrifice rituals. The Romans used it as medicine for depression while for the Ancient Greeks it was a major antiseptic. Thyme signified courage and the phrase ‘you smell like thyme’ was considered to be compliment. Thyme can be found in most areas of Greece, from the barren and arid Aegean islands to the mountain range of Pindos up to an altitude of 600 meters.
The two main components, thymol and carvacrol, which are found in the essential oil of thyme are the reason why the herb has strong antiseptic, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Thyme, abundant in Greece, can be also used as an infusion tea, which helps alleviate coughing, gastrointestinal disorders and diarrhea. It is often used to clean and heal wounded skin.