Thymus vulgaris (common thyme, thyme, garden thyme) is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy. The plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean and neighboring countries, Northern Africa, and parts of Asia. Growing to 15–30 cm (6–12 in) tall by 40 cm (16 in) wide, it is a bushy, woody-based evergreen subshrub with small, highly aromatic, grey-green leaves and clusters of purple or pink flowers in early summer. Thymus vulgaris herb is also the main source of thyme as an ingredient in cooking and as an herbal medicine. It is slightly spicier than oregano and sweeter than sage. People have used thyme for many centuries as a flavoring agent, culinary herb, and herbal medicine. The Thyme plant is said to be useful as infusion to treat cough, diabetes, and cold and chest infections; and in a syrup form for digestive upset. Thyme helps as soothing agent for sore throat, and has antiseptic, antibiotic, and antifungal properties. Thymus vulgaris has been thought of to be astringent, anthelmintic, carminative, disinfectant, and tonic. The plant has been reported incredibly useful in cases of assorted intestinal infections and infestations, such as hookworms, ascarids, helps in combating Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and fungi and yeasts, as well as Candida albicans. Scientific study has confirmed presence of its active ingredient, as thymol, which was reported active against enterobacteria and cocci bacteria. Other useful properties assigned to thyme, include liver function improvement, appetite stimulant effect, helpful in treatment of bronchial and urinary infections; and treatment of laryngitis and inflammation. Externally applied to the skin, thyme is reported to relieve bites and stings, neuralgy, rheumatic aches, and pains. The essential oil extracted from thyme can be used as a rub for aching joints or rheumatic pain, and can also be used in the treatment of athlete’s foot.