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Origins and the use of zaatar ( Arabic)/ thyme

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Friday, February 18, 2011


Reference: Steady healthy.com

When talking about certain seeds that have beneficial effect on human health, the use of zaatar seeds is highly recommend. They are made from the sumac berries and sesame seed and consumed mostly for breakfast with yogurt, cheese, olive oil or flat bread. The other name for this seeds is thyme, which is more popular to us, while the name zaatar is used in the Middle Eastern areas, in countries like Jordan, Turkey, Syria, and Palestine. The use of these seeds includes breakfast with pita bread or making a salad with olive oil, vegetables, meat and vinegar. It can also be used if mixed with labaneh, which is a yogurt similar to cream cheese, but it is mostly used with olive oil and bread. In Italy, thyme is used with pasta and pizza. In the Eastern areas it is used as a dip with vegetables. The origins of this name come from Greece and in ancient Greek language thymus stands for courage. Romans prepared baths with thyme and used them for good luck. Even ancient Egyptians used these seeds and they incorporated them in the balsamic fluids. Egyptians also believed that if you put thyme under the pillow, it will help with the memory and dreams.

Benefits of zaatar
Now we will move on the most important part which refers to the beneficial effects on the humans. What are the benefits of consuming thyme? If you pose this question to herbalists, they will give you a long list f benefits. There are certain problems with the digestive system that can be eliminated if you use thyme. It should be used with bread, in order to numb the heaviness of the bread and even eliminated some bread allergies that can occur. Cough and stomach problems can be eliminated if you mix fresh thyme and boiling water with a bit of honey. You can also make tea from thyme. If you drink this tea, it will eliminate phlegm and problems with menstrual cramps. It can also be used for eliminating the drowsiness and depression, but it will bring improvement of the memory, refreshment of the mood and will stimulate the brain as well. It can be used for treating eczema and psoriasis in order to reduce itching. Also, insomnia and problems with the bites of insects can be reduced. Thyme has antiseptic properties, so it can help with the stye, conjunctivitis or pink eye, if used in the form of a tea bag. There are some side effects, such as allergic reaction, but they are very rare and mild.


This information has been reviewed by

Dr. Peter Wang
Dr. Peter Wang is MD with STIR (Special Training in Research) in Medicine from University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He completed his Honors in Bachelor of Science with High Distinction (Majors in Human Biology and Biology) from the University of Toronto, Toronto. He has carried out two researches from the University of Alberta, and one research from the University of Toronto. He has made two Abstracts and Publications in 2009, and has been the Oral Presenter in two conferences. Mr. Wang has also made three Poster Presentations. He has obtained five awards. Dr. Wang has taken part in several volunteer activities from 2000 till present. He has also worked as Data Entry Clerk, Bar Supervisor, Computer Sales Associate, and Tutor for students. Dr. Wang possesses excellent skills in English and the Cantonese language. He is interested in video games, drawing, and photography. 

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