A highly popular, fragrant herb used in the culinary world, thyme is renowned for its numerous health benefits. The herb is filled with phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins that are required for our well-being.
Thyme is one of the most popular culinary herbs that originated from Southern Europe and the Mediterranean regions. The thyme plant grows into a shrub and has a thin, woody base with square stems. Its length can be about 15 to 30 cm. The plant is light green in color and is slightly curved, with aromatic leaves. The leaves of thyme and its flower tips can be consumed fresh or dried for culinary purposes.
Thyme is filled with essential minerals and vitamins that are required for our health. It is the richest source of potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese and selenium. This herb is also a rich source of vital vitamins like B-complex vitamins, beta carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin E and folic acid.
Benefits Of Thyme:
Thyme is effective on Propionibacterium, the bacterium that causes acne. Thyme has a good antibacterial effect compared to benzoyl peroxide present in acne creams and face washes.
2. The Tiger Mosquito:
The Tiger mosquito, also known as Aedes albopictus, is found in the tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia. This has spread to various parts of the world and can cause St. Louis encephalitis, dengue fever, Yellow fever virus and Chikungunya fever. Thymol, alpha-terpinene and carvacrol can be effective for killing the Tiger mosquito larvae.
3. High Blood Pressure or Hypertension:
Thyme contains an aqueous extract that can reduce blood pressure in hypertensive situations.
4. Protection from Food-Borne Bacterial:
Essential oils of aromatic plants like thyme can act as a natural preservative for food products. This can protect food from many common food-borne bacteria that lead to human illnesses. Thyme oil is effective for fighting bacterial strains of Enterococcus, Escherichia, Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas genera.
5. Colon Cancer:
Thyme can also protect from colon cancer.
6. Breast Cancer:
Wild thyme shows positive effects on breast cancer activity. This can stop the development of breast cancer cells.
7. Yeast Infection:
Candida albicans is a common fungus that can cause mouth and vaginal yeast infections. This is also known as “thrush” and can be cured with the help of thyme essential oil. This fights off the C. albicans to treat yeast infection in the human body.
8. Prolonging the Stability of Cooking Oils:
Food processing and storage can cause lipid oxidation that causes food to lose its stability, safety, quality and nutritional value. Thyme extracts can prolong the stability of cooking oils including sunflower oil. It contains a potent antioxidant for stabilization.
9. Common Skin Problems:
Skin problems are the most common in rural and urban areas. Traditional preparations made using the thyme plant are used as an alternative to synthetic medications. The extract of chamomile and thyme essential oil acts as an antifungal agent to heal eczema-like lesions.
Thyme can be used to get relief from the symptoms of bronchitis like cold, cough, fever and increased production of sputum.
11. Hair Loss:
Alopecia areata can be cured with thyme when combined with other herbs. You can apply lavender oil with thyme, rosemary and cedar wood essential oil onto the scalp to improve hair growth by 44% in just 7 months.
12. Improving Movement Disorders:
Dyspraxia in children can be treated by combining thyme oil with evening primrose oil, fish oils and Vitamin E. This can improve movement disorders in children who suffer from dyspraxia.
13. Rich In Nutrients:
Thyme is filled with flavonoids that contain antioxidant properties. This is a rich source of manganese and Vitamin K that provides antioxidant protection. Antioxidants can prevent free radical damage and oxidative stress that is shown to increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and the aging process.
14. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits:
Thyme has anti-inflammatory properties that are useful to cure chronic inflammation of the body.
15. A Healthy Heart:
Thyme has antioxidant properties. Combined with its anti-inflammatory effects, it can be used for cardiovascular disease prevention such as chronic inflammation that can lead to heart disease.
16. Fights Off Bacteria:
Thyme contains antibacterial properties that can fight many bacteria and fungi varieties like coli. Thyme oil extract is shown to fight against antibiotic-resistant strains of different bacteria.
17. Breathe Easy:
Thyme can improve your respiratory health. It is an orthodox medicine used for treating conditions of the chest and respiratory problems, including coughs and bronchitis. You can drink thyme tea by adding a few leaves to hot water. Allow this to brew and drink it to treat respiratory problems and a cold.
18. Get Some Iron:
Thyme is a rich source of iron that can give you 20% of the daily recommended allowance of iron for an adult in just 2.8 grams. Iron is required for the production of energy while iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, fatigue and low immunity.
19. Feel It In Your Bones:
Thyme can improve your bone’s health, since this is a good source of Vitamin K, iron, calcium and manganese. These essential nutrients help in proper bone growth, strong, healthy bones and reduce the risk of many bone diseases.
20. Skin Health:
Thyme can fight off the bacteria causing skin acne. Herbs such as thyme are very gentle on the skin compared to other skin products, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
21. Promotes Good Health:
Thyme has many active principles that can prevent diseases and health problems.
The thyme herb has thymol, an essential oil that has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. The other essential oils found in thyme are carvacolo, borneol and geraniol.
Thyme has many flavonoid phenolic antioxidants such as zea-xanthin, naringenin, luteolin, lutein, pigenin and thymonin. Fresh thyme herbs contain the highest level of antioxidants among all other herbs.
Potassium found in thyme is a vital component of our cells and body fluids. It can control the heart rate and blood pressure.
Thyme has manganese that is used by our body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Iron present in thyme is needed for the formation of red blood cells.
Thyme can give you 0.35 mg of Vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine that meets 27% of your daily recommended intake. Pyridoxine helps to keep up GABA levels in our brain and hence is known as a stress buster.
28. Vitamin C:
Vitamin C present in thyme is useful for the human body to develop resistance towards infectious agents.
29. Essential for Good Vision:
Thyme has Vitamin A that is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant. This is essential for healthy mucus membranes and skin. This also keeps a check on your vision.
30. Lung and Oral Cavity Cancers:
Thyme is naturally rich in flavonoids such as Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Consumption of thyme can be useful for protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
31. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Drink a cup of thyme tea as it has thymol, which is a potent antioxidant. This increases the level of omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats in your brain cells. Thyme oil can also provide protection against age-related changes in your brain cells.
32. Alzheimer’s Disease:
Thyme can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Thyme tea also contains naringenin, luteolin, apigenin, and thymonin.
33. Soothes Coughs:
Try a cup of thyme tea, if you have a cold or cough. This is useful to treat bronchitis and relieves cough. This is also used in many herbal preparations for its relaxant and bronchodilatory effects.
34. Relieves Indigestion:
Thyme tea is often advised by herbal healers to aid digestion, relieve gas and bloating. The volatile oils in thyme can reduce gas and act as an antispasmodic to provide relief from intestinal cramping.
35. Provides Essential Minerals:
2 tsp. of dried thyme can give 19.8% of the daily recommended value of iron. Thyme tea is also the best source of Vitamin K that is essential for blood clotting.
36. Increases Circulation:
You can add thyme essential oils to soups and stews. This can be useful to increase the blood circulation in your body.
37. Provides Energy:
Brewed in tea, thyme can energize your whole system and produce a fortifying effect on your nervous system. This can treat physical and mental exhaustion, tension, anxiety, pressure and depression.
38. Relaxant Action:
Thyme is useful to get relief from winding and cramping in your stomach and bowels. This is also useful to treat an irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and bowel infections. Thyme can re-establish normal bacterial population in your gut.
39. Healthy Mind:
Thyme is being used since ancient times to maintain a healthy mind.
Thyme is very effective against Shigella sonnei. This is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea. Wash lettuce in 1% thyme oil or thymol to reduce the number of Shigella bacteria. Thyme essential oils are also used as natural food preservatives.
41. Energy Tonic:
Modern science uses thyme to act as an energy tonic and an aid for longevity. Thyme’s volatile oils have antioxidant phenols and flavonoids along with vitamins and minerals. These protect your DNA against oxidative damage.
42. Slows the Ageing Process:
Thyme has volatile oils that protect your brain by increasing essential omega-3 fatty acids in your brain, maintaining healthy cells and slowing down the ageing process.
43. Damage from Free Radicals:
Fatty acids are required for building cell walls and for the maintenance of the brain structure, the nervous system and your blood vessels. Since this is a powerful antioxidant, it protects these fats from damage caused due to free radicals. This also helps in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
44. Congested Chest:
Thyme has antiseptic and antibiotic properties that are useful to treat cold, cough or a sore throat. This is used in many herbal preparations for bronchitis and cough treatment. For a sore throat or congested chest, you can drink a cup of thyme tea.
Hot thyme tea can be sweetened with a bit of honey to lower down fever caused due to perspiration.
46. Irritable Bladder:
You can drink cool or lukewarm thyme tea for cystitis and an irritable bladder. You can also combine thyme with other soothing herbs like marshmallow and couch grass to clear excess uric acids from your system.
47. Arthritis and Gout:
Sometimes, thyme is also recommended to get relief from arthritis and gout.
48. Aching Joints and Muscles:
Thyme can also be used externally. The oil is mixed with warming liniments and lotions to be rubbed on aching joints and muscles.
49. Mouth Ulcers:
Thyme tincture can be added to some water. This acts as a good antiseptic lotion to cure cuts, grazes and mouth ulcers.
50. Athlete’s Foot:
Thyme has anti-fungal properties which is why it is a good remedy to treat thrush and athlete’s foot.
51. Peaceful Sleep:
If you are feeling down in the dumps, thyme acts as a remedy to give you instant relief and ensures peaceful sleep.
52. Thyme Bath:
Tie 200g thyme sprigs and steep these in hot water. Add a few drops of essential oil and milk to the water, and enjoy your bath.
53. Proper digestion:
Thyme aids in proper digestion of fats. This is very useful to digest mutton or pork. Thyme also acts as a digestive tonic to increase one’s appetite.
54. Mouth Health:
Thyme oil is beneficial for your body and widely used in many toothpaste, mouthwashes and ointments. This herb is also best for gargle and mouthwash, for preventing dental decay. This is also effective on plaque formation, sore throat, mouth sores, laryngitis, tonsillitis and bad breath.
55. Skin Problems:
Thyme has thymol that has antiseptic properties. This can be used as a poultice to treat insect bites, stings, mastitis, wounds, hookworm, threadworm and roundworm. This is also beneficial to destroy skin parasites such as scabies and lice.
56. Sore Eyes:
This herb is used as an eye wash to treat sore eyes.
You can use thyme as a hair rinse. This helps to prevent dandruff.
Thyme has antispasmodic properties that give relief to women during menstruation.
USDA Nutrition Chart of Thyme:
|Serving Size 1 tsp of ground|
|Amount Per Serving|
|Calories from Fat 1 Calories 4|
|% Daily Values*|
|Total Fat 0.1g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0.038g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.017g||Monounsaturated Fat 0.007g|
|Total Carbohydrate 0.9g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.5g||2%|
|Vitamin A 1%||Vitamin C 1%|
|Calcium 3%||Iron 10%|
|*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database SR18|
|< 1%||of RDI* (4 calories)|
|Calorie Breakdown: Carbohydrate (70%) Fat (23%) Protein (7%)|
|* Based on a RDI of 2000 calories|
Tips to Use Thyme:
- Thyme is safe when added to foods.
- It can be taken as a medicine for short periods of time.
- This can sometimes upset your digestive system so steer clear if you are already experiencing any issues.
- Thyme oil is safe to apply on the skin.
- Avoid this if the oil causes you skin irritation.
- Thyme is also safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women in normal amounts, but make sure to check with your doctor first.
- Thyme should not be taken in larger amounts.
- Oregano allergic people can also be allergic to thyme.
- Avoid using thyme 2 weeks before a surgery.
Thyme must always be added to a dish at the end of the cooking process. It can lose its flavor when heated.
The above mentioned points are the numerous benefits of consuming thyme. Enjoy thyme and avail its benefits for your body. Stay fit, stay healthy!
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