10 Benefits of Thyme -The Elixir of Health
Thyme vulgaris is one of thirty mutually similar bushy plants from the genus of the same name in the Lamiaceae family with an intense and captivating smell.
The low-growing, bushy plant with tiny clustered flowers and small grey-green leaves is often used in cooking but is no less important as a part of home medicine.
The value and importance of this modest, sun-loving plant originating from the Mediterranean has been recognized since ancient times, so it is a frequent ingredient in various preparations of folk and modern medicine.
The name of the genus comes from the Latin word thymos, which means courage and strength. Roman soldiers, for example, put it in their bath water to enjoy its fragrance and strengthen their bodies.
In the Middle Ages, thyme was an indispensable ingredient in preparations for the treatment of various diseases and injuries.
In addition, due to its pleasant and intense smell, it was also used against unpleasant body odors – members of the nobility who cared about their appearance often carried thyme sprigs in their pockets!
Thyme in Cooking
Fresh or dried thyme leaves are a recognizable ingredient in many dishes of Mediterranean origin, such as fish or seafood.
However, thyme can also be used as a spice when cooking lamb, beef, game, and mushrooms.
Its piquant taste perfectly combines with garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and olive oil, so it is used in marinades, sauces, and as an addition to grilled dishes. Moreover, finely chopped thyme leaves are a great addition to fresh salads, pizzas, or boiled eggs.
Yet, do not overdo it with this spice. Although it has a delightful smell, its taste is sharp and intense, so it is enough to use just a little to spice up the dish.
Besides being a spice, thyme leaves are also used in home food preservation because it stops microbes such as salmonella, enterococcus, escherichia, and pseudomonas.
In addition to the above, thyme has another excellent feature: its leaves do not lose their aromatics when dried! In other words, you can use them all year round!
Thyme is most often taken as a tea. You can make this tasty, fragrant, and pleasant drink from fresh or dried plant parts.
It is enough to pour one fresh twig (3-4 inches long) or a tablespoon of dry leaves with a cup of boiling water (200 ml), cover, and leave for ten minutes.
When the plant releases its essential oils into the water, strain it and enjoy its unique aroma.
Homemade Thyme Essential Oil
Another way to use the abundance of beneficial ingredients of thyme is the application of essential oil. Of course, industrially obtained thyme distillates are available in various concentration levels on the market, but if you have this plant in your garden, you can easily make it yourself! Here’s how:
- 1. Wash the thyme sprigs
- 2. Pat them dry gently and pluck the leaves
- 3. On the board, gently crush the leaves with a fork
- 4. Put them in a bottle, cover and let it stand for 2 weeks
- 5. Drain using a strainer and pour into a bottle.
The oil obtained in this way is suitable for external use, but you can also take a few drops orally with a glass of water no more than once a day.
10 Benefits of Thyme
Thyme is on the list of so-called miracle plants for a reason – its leaves and flowers contain a whole spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and various chemical compounds that benefit human health and help prevent or treat various disorders and diseases.
Here we will mention only some of its beneficial effects:
1. Anti-inflammatory Action
Thyme tea, essential oils, or tincture help with inflammatory processes, improve circulation, and relieve muscle pain.
As a massage agent, for example, thyme oil causes a pleasant feeling of warmth and reduces the symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism, gout, tissue swelling, sports injuries, and painful joints.
2. Antifungal Activity
Research has shown that thyme has a wide spectrum of fungicidal activity. It helps with problems with dandruff, athlete’s foot, and fungal nail infections.
For this purpose, you can use lukewarm tea to rinse your hair or prepare an effective bath or compress to treat the fungi-affected area.
3. Antyparasites Properties
Long before modern medicine proved it, thyme tea was used as a remedy against internal parasites, especially worms, in children.
In addition to effectively destroying internal invaders, the health elixir boosts immunity and increases the body’s ability to fight visible and invisible intruders.
4. Relieves Respiratory Tract Complaints
The strong antiseptic effect of thyme helps with cough, bronchitis, and other respiratory tract problems.
If you have a sore throat, gargle the tea several times daily, and you will immediately feel relief!
In winter, this tea is an excellent prevention for colds.
It is especially recommended for smokers because it strengthens the lungs and removes mucus.
5. Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Hypertension or elevated blood pressure is a common disease in the modern world caused by a fast-paced lifestyle, stress, smoking, high cholesterol, improper diet, and reduced physical activity.
Recent studies show that thyme positively affects the circulatory system and that regular use can significantly help regulate blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol levels.
6. Helps With Indigestion
Unsweetened thyme tea helps with slow digestion, vomiting, stomach ulcers, intestinal, stomach cramps, and flatulence.
Drinking tea three times a day and applying warm and moist compresses made of steamed leaves can significantly reduce these complaints in acute conditions.
7. Strengthens and Calms the Mind
On a psychological level, thyme essential oil relieves excessive fatigue, depression, anger, and frustration, which improves memory, strengthens the nerves, gives courage, and relieves mental blockages and trauma.
Its influence on the lymphatic system is associated with raising self-confidence, awareness of values, and general support and protection throughout life.
It is especially important that, unlike many preparations or some other herbs, it calms the nervous system, but without the effect of drowsiness!
8. Purifies the Air
In addition to the pleasant and relaxing aroma that calms and lifts the mood, steaming thyme has an antimicrobial effect.
It is often used to remove impurities and harmful elements from the air, creating a healthier environment.
The air filled with the scent of thyme makes breathing easier for people with asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis.
9. Removes Unpleasant Breath
Bad breath, among other things, can result from insufficient oral hygiene, a bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract, or inflammation of the gums. Rinsing your mouth with thyme tea can help with this unpleasant problem.
In dentistry, thyme is used to fight against oral cavity diseases, such as stomatitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane) and gingivitis.
10. Treats Acne
The antibacterial properties of thyme are also applicable in treating acne-affected skin.
Daily washing with lukewarm tea or applying thyme oil to the parts of the skin where acne occurs is a natural and effective way to combat this unpleasant phenomenon.