Oregano (zaatar) and Thyme: what's the difference?

Oregano and thyme are two plants that belong to the lamiaceae family. The species in this family are characterized by lip-shaped flowers and give off a scent that can be confusing. It is for this reason that many people cannot always differentiate them. However, oregano, Also called zaatar, and thyme are two completely different species.


Oregano is a perennial herb species known for many years for its many virtues. It is characterized by red stems, pointed oval leaves at the tip, purple flowers with two lips.

Oregano is used in herbal medicine in the form of herbal tea, infusion and poultice for its many virtues. Indeed, the zaatar has a analgesic power remarkable and also has proven antiseptic and antispasmodic properties.

Antitussive and expectorant, it relieves colds and chronic bronchitis as well as asthma. Oil of oregano is also used in aromatherapy for its antibacterial and antiparasitic properties.

Finally, it is also used in cooking where it excels on grilling and is used to flavor meats and stuffings.



Like oregano, thyme has always been recognized for its medicinal, cosmetic and culinary benefits. But, unlike the first, it is a crawling sub-shrub tinny stems and very branched. It is also differentiated by small pink flowers on the cob and leaves wrapped around the edge.


Medicinally, it has antiparasitic, antiseptic and tonic properties. For this purpose, Thyme is used against cough and inflammation of the respiratory tract.

This herb also relieves mild gastrointestinal and digestive upset. In addition, it serves as an expectorant and cough suppressant for bronchopulmonary ailments. With B vitamins and ascorbic acid,thyme essential oil is prized in cosmetology. Beyond its medicinal use, Thyme is no less appreciated in gastronomy.

In short, l'oreganoand the thyme are two plants that look alike because they belong to the same family. However, they differ from each other both in appearance and in taste.

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