Zaatar is the basic ingredient of any Arab kitchen. You will not find even a single kitchen here in KSA which may lack this herb. It has a number of uses in and outside the kitchen of a house. It is basically derived from a Greek terminology “Thumus” which refers to the courage of strength. Thym is a shrub belonging to Mint family Lamiaceae. The best spice mix you can take from Zaatar, it can give a new taste to your dishes. During ancient times, Egyptian used to mummify their dead ones by using Zataar. Greek people used it as an air freshener in their temples. Not only this, this young woman had also used it for beauty and fragrance purposes. Oil of Thymol was used as mouth freshener during the past and currently, it is an important ingredient of Listerine Mouthwash. Perfumes, hand sanitizers, and many more things are available in the market which is made up of Thymol.[irp]
In medical industry, it is commonly used as fungal and bacterial infection treatment and is a part of medicines used as first aid. During World War II wounds were commonly dressed after applying Thymol. The life span of this herb is maximum 2 years in forests but it can be used for longer duration in case preserved in suitable temperature and environment. Worldwide 350 species of Thymol exist which are used in different products including medicine, cosmetic, household etc. some of the unknown facts about Zaatar are as follows;[irp]
1-During past years it was commonly considered that Zaatar has the ability to alert mind and keep a person active. Owing to this fact Zaatar sandwiches were available in the market.
2-The scientists have proved that Zaatar has no such characteristic and this perception is totally a myth. This myth was fabricated during the civil war in Lebanon in order to encourage warriors regarding their strength and courage.
3-It is a famous shrub for use in Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia.
4-Thyme is a rich source of Vitamin C.
6-Knights and warriors during medieval times used to cover their scarves with Thyme in order to show their courage and valor.
7-The common perception related to fairies is that they are in love with Thyme. People belonging to France, England, and other regions made a bed of thyme as they considered it the best way to attract Fairies.
8-Thyme gained fame after being included in Shakespeare’s literature. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” the novel of Shakespeare referred that the queen of fairies sleeps on a bed of thyme at the bank of a river.
9-Thyme helped people in the 17th century to see fairies.
10-Thyme since ancient times has been in use for infection prevention and wound healing.
11-Thyme is the best ingredient which relieves acidity of the stomach and keeps the stomach calm and set.