Spice Rack Remedies
Healing Qualities of Thyme
Thyme is popular for its culinary uses, but also has a long history as a medicinal healer and protector. Ancient Egyptians used thyme in embalming because of its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. In the Roman era, thyme was consumed daily to prevent food poisoning, as well was put in baths to reduce the effects of poisoning and as a cleansing agent. Prior to antibiotics, thyme oil was also used to medicate bandages.
Thyme is an antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antispasmodic, a hypertensive and has calming properties. Thyme supports a strong immune system, as well as a healthy respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system and balances hormones. Recent studies also suggest that thyme can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well may help to fight some forms of cancer.
The Romans were correct about thyme’s ability to prevent food poisoning. In fact, studies published in Food Microbiology, researchers found that a solution of 1% thyme oil was able to decontaminate foods laced with infectious organisms.
Have a sore throat? Thyme oil is one of the most powerful natural antimicrobials there is. A study conducted by the Medical and Sanitary Microbiology Department at Medical University of Lodz in Poland tested thymes oil’s response to 120 different strains of bacteria from oral, respiratory and urinary infections and found that it demonstrated very strong fighting abilities against all these strains; even antibiotic-resistant strains.
Thyme oil works as an expectorant, an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial making it an excellent treatment for respiratory issues like bronchitis, chronic asthma, congestion, colds, flus, sinus-issues and seasonal allergies.
Thyme oil’s antiseptic abilities can kill infections on the skin and within the body; as well its antibacterial abilities can inhibit all kinds of bacterial growth. Thyme oil is so potent it can also be used to kill intestinal worms and parasites.
One of the most potent antioxidant herbs there is, thyme protects the body against oxidative free radical damage that contributes to aging and disease. The phenolic antioxidants found in thyme work to neutralize and eliminate free radicals throughout the body.
Thyme oil stimulates blood circulation by relaxing the arteries and veins, reducing stress on the heart, reducing the heart rate and the over-all blood pressure. Regular consumption has also shown to reduce cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL levels (bad cholesterol), while increasing HDL levels (good cholesterol).
Carvacrol, present in the essential oil of thyme, has been found to offer mood-boosting effects. A study conducted in 2013 by the University of Foggie, the University of Geneva and the University of Bari, found that by ingesting low concentrations of carvacrol regularly improved feelings of well-being. Thyme oil can help to reduce stress and anxiety by relaxing the body, allowing it to function more at ease.
Thyme oil can be used to balance hormones by improving progesterone production. By stimulating and bringing balance to the hormones in the body, thyme oil can delay menopause, as well bring relief to menopausal symptoms like mood swings, hot flashes and insomnia.
The essential oil component, carvacrol in thyme, has also shown to have strong anti-tumour and cancer-fighting abilities. A recent study published in Anti-Cancer Drugs found that carvacrol inhibited two colon cancer cell lines making it a potential treatment for both prevention and treatment of colon cancer.
Thyme is considered safe to consume fresh or as a dried herb, but when taken in concentrations like in thyme oil on a regular basis and in large amounts can lead to digestive issues as well could lead to increased blood thinning. Precautions are advised in excessive use for these reasons. Thyme also acts like estrogen in the body, so for those who have hormone-sensitive conditions, thyme may need to be avoided.
This fragrant herb offers a wonderful flavour and aroma to many different types of foods like: soups, egg dishes, fish, potatoes and pasta dishes. Fresh and dried thyme are widely available and can easily be substituted for each other. Try thyme in your next recipe and appreciate the healing qualities of this wonderful herb.
Written by: J. Marshall
• Dr. Axe: Food is Medicine / Top 6 Thyme Benefits: https://draxe.com/thyme/
• Dr. Axe: Food is Medicine / Thyme Oil Kills Infections, Increases Circulation & balances Hormones: https://draxe.com/thyme-oil/
• The World’s Healthiest Foods / Thyme: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=77
• Organic Facts / 7 Amazing Benefits of Thyme: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/thyme.html
• Medical News Today / What are the Health Benefits of Thyme?: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266016.php
• Food Facts / What is Thyme Good For?: http://foodfacts.mercola.com/thyme.html
• Health Line / 9 health Benefits of Thyme: http://www.healthline.com/health/health-benefits-of-thyme#1
• MDPI: molecules / Carvacrol: from ancient Flavoring to Neuromodulatory Agent: http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/18/6/6161/htm