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10 Proven Thyme Benefits That You Should Seek

My grandparents used to praise thyme (Thymus vulgaris) as a symbol of courage and bravery, so the soldier carried it before going to battle.

I vividly remember when I had tickle throat, my grandma always served decoction of thyme.

Generally, thyme contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, reduces blood pressure, repels bugs, and enhances skin health. Besides, it improves digestion, boosts immunity, and soothes productive coughs.

Thyme Plant in Pot
Thyme Plant in Pot (Source: Instagram)

Ancient Egyptians rubbed on dead bodies with other herbs before being wrapped as part of the mummification process.

If you want to know more about the graces and benefits of thyme, go through this entire article!

Overview Of The Thyme Plant

According to the Journal of medicine and life,  thyme has over  400 subspecies, which are flowering plants in the Lamiaceae family.

These plants are native to the Mediterranean and its bordering countries, as well as Northern Africa and parts of Asia. They’re easy to grow indoors as well as outdoor.

Look at the table to learn more about the thyme plant.

Common nameThyme, Common thyme, English thyme
Scientific nameThymus vulgaris
FamilyLamiaceae
Plant typeEvergreen, small herb
Plant growth 6 to 12 inches in height
FoliageTiny rounded leaves
Dark green to golden yellow
FlowerLight blue to purple flower
Blooming seasonMay to July
AromaPleasant
ToxicityNon Toxic to Humans & Animals

Benefits Of Thyme Plant

Thyme leaves and flowers are edible either in dried or fresh form, which helps the plant own numerous medical importance except for the decor value.

More interesting is that you can consume all aerial portions of the plant to get its full benefits.

1. Offers Rich Source of Nutrients

Getting all the vitamins and essential nutrients needed for your body in one plant can be challenging.
Luckily, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that thyme is loaded with all those nutrients, including vitamins and iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.
Fresh Thyme in Bowl
Fresh Thyme in Bowl (Source: Flickr)

According to the USDA, the nutritional value of 100g of dried thyme is listed below.

NutrientAmountUnit
Protein9.11g
Fiber, total dietary37g
Calcium, Ca1890mg
Iron, Fe124mg
Magnesium, Mg220mg
Phosphorus, P 210mg
Potassium, K814mg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid50mg
Thiamin 0.513mg
Vitamin A, RAE 190mcg
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated1.19g

2. Contains Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidant Properties

Thyme is also the most significant source of anti-oxidant as thyme essential oil contains 46% phenols, of which 44% thymol and 3.6% carvacrol. Because of these compounds are profound for reducing inflammation.

According to the Journal of Asian Research, thyme has Carvacrol, eugenol, and apigenin compounds which help reduce inflammation.

In a report published in the National Library of Medicine, thyme shows a positive response to maintaining the stability of sunflower oil. 

A Mortar and Pestle over a Wooden Board
A Mortar and Pestle over a Wooden Board (Source: Pexels)

Thanks to those two chemical compounds, thymol, and linalool, make thyme an excellent source of antioxidants.

According to the research report, thyme contains A biphenyl (ABP) compound and a flavonoid, which inhibit superoxide anion protection and protect your red blood cells against oxidative damage.

Health Tip: Add thyme to your diet by brewing it into tea or taking thyme supplements in capsule form to enhance your healing power.

3. Boosts Immunity

This medicinal herb could have been a great fight against Covid pandemics by boosting immunity. 

I have already mentioned that thyme possesses antioxidant properties that help fight off infections and colds.

Similarly, a report in the Journal of Applied Microbiology shows that thyme contains anti-bacteria properties as they are highly effective to gram-negative bacteria such as Clostridium sporogenes, Citrobacter freundii, etc.

This helps prevent pneumonia, bacteremia, and several urinary tract diseases. Besides, Thyme is also enriched with the goodness to calm the nervous system and cure an upset stomach.

A sign of having strong immunity power
Immunity power (Source: Pixabay)

A study published in the Journal of Yeast and Fungal Research has also revealed that essential oil from the Thymus
vulgaris L. helps to inhibit the fungus Aspergillus niger,  which is responsible for ear infections, and black mold on fruits.

Thyme also contains various chemical compounds and their important features, which are as listed below.

Chemical ConstituentsBiological Activities
ThymolAntiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral characteristics
CarvacrolAntimicrobial and anti-inflammatory
LinaloolAntiviral effect, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and has analgesic activity.
Rosmarinic acidAstringent, anti-allergic, anti-mutagen, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory.
EugenolNeuro-protective, anticancer, anti-bacterial and anti-anaphylactic effect
ApigeninAnti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-progression, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-oxidant properties

These valuable compounds help fight off several common, viral, or bacterial diseases by boosting our immune system.

4. Improves Gastrointestinal Health

Consuming thyme can save you if you’re a patient with gastrointestinal problems such as bloating and lower intestinal cramps.

Thyme’s volatile oils have a carminative effect on the digestive tract, which helps to eliminate gas, bloating, and lower intestinal cramps.

The report publised on Wiley states that aerial parts of thyme are good for intestinal diseases and treat ulcers in the stomach. Similarly, it provides relief to intestinal disorders and enhance gastrointernal health.

Besides, its antimicrobial properties help to reduce germs in food and install healthy microbes in your gut.

Child Digestive System
Child Digestive System (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Also, by cleansing intestinal worms such as roundworms and hookworms, thyme can drive digestive problems.

Life Hack: Mix a spoon of crushed thyme leaf powder along with warm water and eat early in the morning to improve your gut health.

6. Promotes Skin Rejuvenation

Once my sister suffered from acne, and I suggested using thyme oil, which created magic on her skin.

The antibacterial and antifungal properties in thyme help heal sores, wounds, scars, and cuts; they even relieve burns and act as a natural remedy for skin rashes.

A lady with clear and glowing face
A lady with a clear face (Source: Flickr)

If you are tired of using cosmetic products that make your pocket empty just for your annoying pimple, then it will be worth trying thyme oil.

According to the report Molecules conducted in 2010 investigated that thyme essential oil exhibited the strongest anti-bacterial activities toward Propionibacterium acnes.

This helps look your skin healthy and younger. Also, it delays aging symptoms like wrinkles and fine lines and promotes healthy, radiant, revitalized skin as it has vitamin C and vitamin A.

DIY Thyme Toner: Put witch hazel stems and thyme into jar and let it steep for a day or two in a dry place. When the liquid turns amber in color, strain the mixture through the coffee filter. 

7. Reduces Blood Pressure and Prevent Heart Disease

For the past few years, thyme tea has been my grandma’s favorite day starter. I’m sure your parent also love it when they know that thyme is rich in potassium to control blood pressure.

Due to a sedentary lifestyle, cardiovascular problems have become a major risk and are gradually increasing throughout the world. But, thyme comes to the rescue.

An article by Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica – Drug Research explains that an aqueous methanolic extract from thyme significantly lower heart rate and helps in reducing high blood pressure. 

Also, thyme promotes a healthy cardiovascular system with thymol that contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Heart attack anatomy
Heart attack anatomy (Source; Wikimedia Commons)

According to the National Library of Medicine, ingesting rosmarinic acid from thyme reduces systolic blood pressure considerably by blocking the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). 

Thyme oil is also known for its antispasmodic properties, which help strengthen cardiac health.

8. Soothes Cough and Sore

Unfortunately, even the air we breathe is contaminated with toxins and pollutants, which are the major causes of respiratory disorders. Here thyme comes as a lifesaver.

Traditionally, the thyme plant is used as medicine to cure respiratory tract infections such as whooping cough and asthma.

Thyme essential oil, extracted from its leaves, is frequently used as a natural cough treatment. 

A woman in a white and yellow T-shirt is coughing
A woman suffering from cough (Source: Unsplash)

According to European Medicines Agency,  dry extract of the thyme plant treats respiratory tract diseases like acute bronchitis, which is commonly known as productive cough.

So, you can brew thyme tea to relieve a cough and sore throat.

9. Offers Natural Pesticide or Bugs Repellent

If pests and bugs damage your houseplants, I highly recommend using thyme oil as it repels bugs because of a compound called thymol.

The Environmental Protection Agency exposes that thymol is an active ingredient in pesticide products applied using as animal repellents, fungicides or fungistats, medical disinfectants, tuberculocides, and virucides.

According to the Journal of Entomology, thymol is effective oil against adult mosquitoes and their larvae.

Bunch of Dried Thyme with Oil Bottle
Bunch of Dried Thyme with Oil Bottle (Source: Flickr)

This is the simplest way to prevent different diseases like dengue and malaria and also save your favorite plant from being eaten.

DIY Repellent: Mix 4 drops of thyme oil for every teaspoon of olive oil, or combine 5 drops for every 2 ounces of water. 

10. Culinary Uses

Thyme is famous for its culinary versatility, contributing flavor to fish meals, soups, and as a component in stuffing mixes.

Thyme is my all-time favorite as its flavor is similar to dry or fresh rosemary, sage, oregano, or dried basil.

Fresh thyme use in Balsamic Mushroom Avocado toast
Fresh thyme in Balsamic Mushroom (Source: Instagram)

It matches with roasted meat, vegetables, or fish, as well as in savory baking, and adds flavor and depth to soups, stocks, cocktail elements, and teas.

As a versatile herb, thyme enhances the taste of any dish, and the following are simple yet finger-licking recipes that you can prepare using thyme.

  • Preparing dough mixtures and adding thyme to go with the bread.
  • You can cut and marinate thyme leaves and stems in the meat. Or adding thyme to soft cheese and cottage cheese also can be the best!
  • Add thyme extracts to soups and stocks for additional flavor. Thyme can be great for bean stews, casseroles, and other dishes using beans.
  • You can also add a little thyme to any sauce to go with pasta.
  • Sprinkle thyme into scrambled egg or omelet mixtures if you are an egg lover.

How To Prepare Thyme Tea?

This is the most acceptable summer tip when fresh herbs fill your garden or pots on your doorstep.

When I first offered thyme tea to a friend, she was amazed by the flavor. Thyme tea has a sweetly fragrant and pleasant flavor. It’s a great method to make DIY tea which is more interesting and healthy. 

A cup of thyme tea
A cup of thyme tea (Source: Flickr)

Thyme tea is as simple as boiling water. It’s not only delicious, but also it’s refreshing and soothing and just takes 5 minutes to steep into a flavorful tea. 

Thyme tea prepare with only two ingredients: fresh thyme and water!

  • At first, boil water in a tea kettle.
  • Add 8 to 10 fresh thyme sprigs to a cup.
  • Then, pour water on it. (The exact quantity doesn’t matter; you can fill it as per your requirement.
  • Allow steeping for 5 minutes.
  • Finally, you can enjoy your thyme tea!

Watch the video below if you need visual help!

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind

Thyme is undoubtedly an all-rounder medicinal herb that provides natural fragrance and health benefits. Also, it is safe to touch and consume for humans and pets.

According to ASPCA, the herbal thyme is non-toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

The thyme classifies as “generally regarded as safe” by the FDA.

Dried Thyme with Oil and Tomatoes
Dried Thyme with Oil and Tomatoes (Source: Flickr)

This plant is commonly grown as a flavoring for its supposed medicinal advantages, but long-term exposure to thyme may hamper to some extent.

A study done in Poland shows that farmers suffer from a skin disease called “dermatitis” during processing thyme. Erythema, burning sensation and itching of conjunctivae and nose are some other symptoms.

So, you should not forget to dilute the thyme oil before you use it.

Where to Buy Thyme?

After knowing the entire benefits of thyme, you must be wondering about the place where you can get thyme plant for yourself. So, you can take help from the table below!

Shops/ SitesDelivery Period
Michigan BulbWithin 5 business days
Walmart5-7 days
AmazonWithin 4 to 5 days after placing an order.
Ebaywithin 1-15 business days from when you placed the order

Conclusion

Thyme can make a great houseplant for its wide access to medical benefits, which can range from reducing blood pressure to improving skin health.

So, many gardeners grow thyme for health benefits, excluding the home decor for a while. The greatness also expends on its nontoxicity for pets.

You can get one from the above table if you want to leverage the mentioned benefits. Happy planting!

If you own other houseplants, you may also need to learn Dragon Tree Benefits, Gardenia Benefits, and Sweet Basil Benefits.

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