Thyme of the Thymus genus is an herb used for thousands of years. Emperors in Ancient Rome would eat thyme before or after meals, because it was thought that thyme protected against poison. In the middle ages, soldiers carried the fragrant evergreen herb in a bundle in their lockets as a badge of honor.
Aside from its potential poison fighting uses, thyme has been a popular ingredient in foods for thousands of years. Hundreds of years ago, monasteries, or those knowledgeable of medicines, understood the medicinal properties of thyme and incorporated thyme in their breads and soup. Thyme was thought to prevent food poisoning when refrigerators were not yet invented.
Benefits of Thyme
All parts of thyme—the flowers, leaves, and oil—are used to make medicine. Thyme is used as a treatment for bronchitis and symptoms like sore throat, fever and coughing that are associated with it. There is also evidence that supports thyme helps treat upper respiratory tract infections and reduces the symptoms of the cold.
Thyme is also used in the treatment of intestinal issues relating to stomachaches, diarrhea, and intestinal gas. It is also used as a diuretic to increase urine flow and to cleanse the urine.
Applied to the skin, thyme is used as a treatment for numerous skin disorders. It can be applied to the scalp to encourage hair growth. It also treats ear infections, bacterial and fungal infections, as well as parasitic worm infections. Some use thyme to fight tooth decay.
The components in Thyme oil have also been shown to have antimicrobial effects against many different bacteria and fungi. Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella sonnei and Escherichia coli are a few of the species of which thyme oil has antibacterial activity.
Other benefits of Thyme:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Boost immunity
- Boost your mood
- Relieves stress
- Fights depression
- Helps with snoring
- Fights headache
- Helps with insomnia
Additionally, get rid of pests by making a homemade repellent mixing 5 drops of thyme oil to every 2 ounces of water, or 4 drops for every teaspoon of olive oil.
How to Use Thyme
Thyme is bought fresh or dried. Thyme can be added to a number of culinary dishes, including breads, rice, meat dishes and so many more.
The easiest way to reap in the benefits of thyme is to consume it in tea form. Boil some dried thyme in water. Cover and let it brew for a few minutes. Strain out the thyme, and it’s ready to drink!