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Thyme’s Culinary and Medicinal Uses

Karen Alexander, Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

February 5, 2020

Native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean regions, thyme is an herb known for its medicinal, culinary, and ornamental plant uses. Thyme flowers may be white, pink, red, or purple. Thyme is a good source of Vitamins A, K, C, B6, B9, E, as well as potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and selenium.

As a culinary herb, thyme can be used either fresh or dry. It is widely used in:

  • soups
  • stews
  • casseroles
  • marinades
  • stuffing
  • sautΓ©ed vegetables
  • poultry dishes
  • as a substitute for salt when blended with other herbs

As a pharmaceutical, the oils thymol and carvacrol are used in:

  • mouthwashes
  • toothpastes
  • soaps
  • creams
  • ointments
  • lotions,
  • throat lozenges
  • cold remedies

In addition, thyme has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticarcinogenesis, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties.

The recipe of the week comes viaΒ Creamy Lemon Thyme Chicken


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 Chicken breasts boneless skinless
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon All-Purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves


Rub the chicken breasts with garlic, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and set aside for 15-20 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add chicken breasts. Cook the breasts for 5-6 minutes on each side till cooked through and not pink from inside. Once cooked, take the chicken breasts out of the pan and set them aside on a plate. Cover the plate with foil to keep the breasts warm.

In the same pan, heat butter and add the flour. Stir the flour for a minute and slowly start whisking in the milk until all the milk is incorporated and there are no lumps.

Simmer the sauce while stirring occasionally till the sauce thickens slightly. Add the remaining salt, lemon zest, and thyme and mix. Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer for two more minutes. Serve immediately.

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