The name Thyme is derived from from the Latin thymus, which goes back to Greek thymůs "spirit", originally meaning "smoke".
The name thyme, has also been attributed to Theophrastus, the Third Century B.C. philosopher and naturalist, though it was well known and well used prior to his naming it. Thyme has been given several beneficial properties by the Greeks which include its use to restore strength and clarity to the mind, and its ability to clear the air of illnesses and diseases.
Thyme was burned as a religious incense, and also to give courage in difficult circumstances. It was one of the chief ingredients in ritual altar fires, purifying the animal sacrifices to make them acceptable to the gods, and also to season them.
Thyme was also used to mark the key human events - at funerals, placed in the coffins of the dead. It was thought that the souls of the dead took up residence in the flowers of the thyme plant.