Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is an aromatic plant which grows in sunny and hot areas. It possesses medicinal properties and it is actually the most potent one among medicinal herbs that have been recognized for millennia.
Its nutritional profile is characterized with the high amount of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The thyme leaves are full of vitamins (A, C, E, and K) and minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus).
The vitamin C contained in the thyme boosts the immunity, and all the other nutrients offer various health benefits.
Thyme oil is an essential oil with strong antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It contains component thymol, which is powerful antioxidant.
By using this oil people can protect themselves from fungal and bacterial invasions. It is used for destroying strains of bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae.
Dr. Joseph Mercola explains that thyme comes in more than 300 varieties and chemotypes. Depending on the chemotype, there are different types of the oil, and different chemical structure of every type can impact its uses.
According to Prevent Disease there are following chemotypes:
Thymus vulgaris thymol – characterized by its strong antiseptic activities and it contains 60 to 70 percent thymol. It is harvested during the fall and goes by the name of “thyme” and “red thyme.”
Thymus vulgaris linalool – This type referees to “garden thyme.” And grows in high altitudes. It has potent ant parasitic and antifungal properties.
Thymus vulgaris carvacrol – As its name suggests, it is packed with carvacrol, which has antiseptic properties.
Thymus vulgaris thujanol – the wild plant that contains 50 percent thujanol. This type has the ability to boost the immune system and hormones. It is called “sweet thyme.”
Thymus vulgaris alpha-terpineol – is harvested during the early spring and has a pepper-like smell.
Thymus vulgaris geraniol – it has a lemon-like fragrance and is grown in high altitudes. It is harvested during autumn.
Thymus vulgaris 1,8 cineole – It is packed with 80 to 90 percent of cineole and has diuretic, expectorant, anticatarrhal, and analgesic properties.
Thymus vulgaris p-cymene – It should be obtained within spring or it can drastically change its properties.
Thymus vulgaris phenol – These are thyme plants contain up to 90 percent of phenol compounds and are grown in the high altitudes.
Another form of the thyme is thyme tea, which is a healthy drink that can be used as a natural remedy for various health problems.
It soothes respiratory infections and coughs, improves sleeping, fights inflammation, treats the symptoms of food poisoning, and relieves a sore throat.
Here are the most important health benefits of this herb:
Due to the strong antibacterial, antispasmodic, and healing properties, thyme can fight bronchial infections. It actually breaks down mucus and soothes the coughs.
A few cups of warm thyme tea daily can completely treat bronchitis, relieve a cough, and ease your breathing.
2. Yeast and Fungal Infections
The high amount of thymol and carvacrol in thyme enhance the fungicidal properties of the thyme.
3. Reduces Blood Pressure
Due to the high antioxidant content, the thyme tea can help you lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as LDL cholesterol.
4. Common Cold and Flu
Thyme tea incredibly treats respiratory infections (colds, flu) in a natural way and is effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Breaking up mucus it helps its elimination and suppresses coughs.
Relaxing the respiratory system the thyme inhibits allergic reactions. Having antispasmodic properties thyme helps in soothing symptoms of asthma and fighting inflammation in the airways. It also helps breathing and address wheezing issues.
6. Strep Throat
Gargling with the thyme tea you can soothe the sore throat due to a strep infection.
Put a few drops of the essential oil in a diffuser, and inhale the vapors to relieve the symptoms of a sore throat.
As a natural remedy against diarrhea people have used thyme tea for centuries. It helps in relaxing the muscles of the colon and keeps the body hydrated.
Reducing stress by using thyme tea and thyme essential oil you can relieve anxiety, too.
You just need to put a few drops of thyme essential oil on a tissue and inhale deeply to lower stress and relieve anxiety.
Numerous conducted studies have shown that thyme effectively fights acne.
Apply thyme tea by a cotton ball on the affected area with acne. This tea can be also used with tea tree oil for cleaning the face and preventing acne breakouts.
A homemade anti-mold spray can be prepared by mixing 25 drops of thyme oil with white vinegar or 3% hydrogen peroxide in a 16-oz. spray bottle. After spraying all over the surfaces affected by mold, leave it to act for 20 minutes, and wipe with a damp cloth.
11. Food Poisoning
As a result of the ingestion of bacteria or germs, the food can be poisoned and lead to diarrhea, inflammation, vomiting, and stomach cramps.
By consuming thyme tea you can fight these symptoms and destroy the bacteria causing the infection.
Precautions When Using Thyme
– Avoid this tasty herb if you take blood clotting medications
– Stop taking it 2 weeks before surgery
– It can cause allergies in some people
– Avoid it if you are at risk of hormone-sensitive conditions like ovarian cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, or endometriosis.