Greece’s Natural Beauty: Thyme and its Medicinal Benefits

For the past couple of weeks, I have been on the island of Karpathos, Greece, visiting family. In the cool mornings on the countryside of Afiartis, I like to go jogging. While jogging, I see bushes of purple plants lining the dirt roads and far up on the hills. These bushes contain the thyme herb that grows so commonly in Greece, as well as in the rest of the Mediterranean. This plant can grow as either bushes that do not exceed 50 cm, or as creeping plants with rooting twigs. While bending down to pick up a couple of its flowers, I can smell its strong aromatic fragrance. This aroma is a result of the many glandular hairs found throughout the plant. Whenever these hairs are broken, as when they are plucked by a passersby, the aromatic smell is released. Additionally, this production of essential oils proves to be an adaptive advantage, because the plant can lack water in its dry environment. When these essential oils evaporate, they surround the plant, creating a saturated environment, which decreases water loss.  Continue reading