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  Nr. 33 - Dec. '00-Jan. '01
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Wild Flowers of Paros

by Anna from Holland, Dec 2000/Jan 2001
Thyme (English)
Tym (Dutch)
Thymus capitatus (Latin)
Tymari (Greek)

Hello again, readers ! For those of you who enjoy learning something about our wild flowers on Paros, I start writing again for the last month of 2000 now that I am back from a trip to Europe I had to make this summer.

This month we choose thyme - and because I also love cooking, this is a particularly interesting plant for me. Thyme is a well-known culinary herb. It has a very small purplish-pink flower about 1cm in size and flowers for about three months between November and January.

It prefers to grow in soil rich with lime and, since this is common in Paros, thyme is abundant on the island. It can grow up to 25cm in height and has a delicious smell.

There are many stories in existence that are dedicated to the magical properties and beneficial effects of this plant, dating as far back as pre-Christian days when the Druids in Western Europe worshiped the oak tree as holy. In the days of our Greek philosopher Theophrastos (around 300 B.C.), thyme was already recognised as an important herb and was exported in large quantities from Athens.

In traditional healing, it was used to treat bronchitis, as well as for improving digestion and for complaints like rheumatism. The oil has antiseptic properties. It can sometimes also be used today in toothpaste.

French cuisine has traditionally used its distinctive taste in the preparation of wild game and certain types of fish.

At this time of year, I would encourage you to take a walk in the hills of Paros on the next fine day - the scent of thyme is everywhere!

I’d like to wish everyone a fine Christmas and a very happy new year.
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