Commonly found in the kitchen of many chefs, thyme is an herb and member of the mint family, although it doesn’t share the flavor of mint. It is also a common garden herb or can be found fresh or dried at your local market. And thanks to its many therapeutic effects, it is also distilled into an essential oil that many use for anything from infections to skin problems.
Timely Thyme Benefits
Immune Boost – Thyme is packed with vitamin C, which is well known to support immune function. It is also is a rich source of vitamin A as well as copper, manganese and iron, providing more nutrients for all body systems, including the immune.
Antimicrobial and Antioxidant – Thyme has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties thanks to the thymol and carvacrol, which are the health promoting oils that give thyme is scent. This herb is also a rich source of antioxidants that help the body defend against oxidative stress due to free radicals.
Intestinal Health – Thyme has been used in traditional remedies for centuries to support intestinal health. Some believe this may be due to the effect of thymol, which may help neutralize certain bacteria.
Respiratory Health – The essential oil of thyme and thyme tea are used by many health enthusiasts as a natural remedy. One 2013 study from the European Respiratory Journal found that thymol had a positive impact on receptors of the mouth and throat.
Skin Health – When applied topically, it seems that thymol inhibited the effect of bacteria that may aggravate skin issues. A study showed that thymol was potent enough to be a candidate for management of severe skin issues. This may have implications on the ability of thyme to support skin health in many areas.
Anxiety Reduction – Many holistic and alternative practitioners advocate thyme essential oil to help reduce anxiety. This practice has withstood the test of time as it has been used for thousands of years and is still recommended today.
More Health Benefits
Hippocrates, also known as the father of medicine, promoted thyme for respiratory related issues in his time, around 300 BC. In the 1340’s, thyme was worn around the neck as protection from the Black Death. Today, thanks to the nutrients, phytochemicals and oils this plant contains, thyme is still used by many for home remedies for things like:
- Ear discomfort
- Stimulate appetite
- Healthy inflammation response
Advocates and health practitioners each recommend different ways to incorporate this healing herb into a health routine. Internal use is considered very powerful as it may promote digestive health and as we have seen, research backs up topical use, as well. Thyme oils and supplements are recognized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as GRAS or generally recommended as safe, so enjoy getting enough thyme for your health.