Piquant thyme (thymus vulgaris), A cousin of oregano, originated in the Mediterranean and parts of Africa. It is a small, bushy, woody shrub that displays small, aromatic gray-green leaves and pink or purple flowers in clusters. In the kitchen, thyme is found in both a bouquet garni and herbes de provence. The Egyptians used it in the embalming process; the Greeks burned it as incense. Thyme’s main active ingredient, Thymol, acts as an antifungal and antiviral, bolstering the immune system. An impressive number of antioxidant stimulate production of red blood cells, support cardiovascular function, and lower blood pressure. Its expectorant an anti-inflammatory qualities make it ideal for treating colds and flu.