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10 Proven Thyme Benefits [and Side Effects]

Ancient Egyptians used Thyme during mummification rituals due to its bactericidal and fungicidal effects.

Generally, Thyme benefits include offering anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, reducing blood pressure, repelling bugs, and enhancing skin health. Besides, it boosts digestion, revamps immunity, and soothes coughs.

Thyme also has its fair share of dark sides. To learn about the good and bad aspects of Thyme, read on!

Thyme Plant [Description]

Beneficial Thyme plants have over 400 subspecies (native to parts of Europe), which are flowering plants in the Lamiaceae family.

However, Romans were the first to spread the health benefits of Thyme throughout Europe, but only as room purifiers and to flavor foods. 

Image represents potted Thyme plant
Thymes are perennial herbs with small elliptical leaves and thin stems jam-packed with beneficial phytochemicals.

Additionally, in Middle Ages, Thyme was used to ward off nightmares during sleep.

But, the practice of using Thyme for health benefits has slowly expanded worldwide in traditional and modern medicines.

Learn more about this godsend herb from the table below.

NomenclatureCommon Name: Common Thyme, Garden Thyme, English Thyme

Scientific Name: Thymus vulgaris

Family: Lamiaceae
EcologyLife Cycle: Perennial

Habit: Creeping Herb

Habitat: Dry, Sandy, and Rocky

USDA Zones: 4 to 10
MorphologyGrowth Size: 2-15 inches tall and 8-12 inches wide

Growth Rate: Fast
Planting Space12-24 inches
Growth RequirementsTemperature: 68-86 °F

Light: 5-10 hours daily (direct sunlight)

Water: Every 1-4 weeks (spring and summer)

Soil & pH: Well-draining sandy or loamy (pH: 6-8)

10 Health Benefits of Thyme

The leaves and flowers of Thyme are edible either in dried or fresh form, which helps the plant own numerous medical importance.

You can consume all aerial portions to get the health benefits of Thyme.

1. Rich Nutrient Source

Thyme contains phytonutrients like vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.

The nutritional value of 100 grams of dried Thyme includes carbohydrates, proteins, choline, and folate.

Additionally, thymol, an essential oil extracted from Thyme, has curative properties due to its nutrient contents.

2. Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties

Thyme is loaded with phenolic essential oils, giving it anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Thyme Essential Oil (TEO) allows the body to fight against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections of the upper respiratory tract.

Additionally, TEOs, along with thymol, boost cells’ antioxidant activity.

To get this benefit, steep a fresh cup of Thyme tea.

3. Boosts Immunity

Thyme contains vitamins A and C, which are good for eyesight and mucus membranes.

Chemical studies of Thyme reveal the presence of vitamins like B6, K, and E that strengthen immunity.

As Thyme possesses antioxidant properties, it helps fight off viral infections and colds, boosting immunity. 

4. Improves Gastrointestinal Health

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

One article mentions using Thyme’s essential oil to reduce the infestation of hookworms and ascarid worms in the stomach.

Additionally, phenols present in Thyme help to relieve the signs of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and reduces the signs of chronic stomach lesions.

The chemical compounds present in Thyme may also inhibit the growth of cells that causes colon and rectum cancer.

Moreover, the oil in Thyme can induce the cancer cells to die independently, saving your stomach from potential threats.

5. Promotes Skin Rejuvenation

Thyme carries vitamin C, which is beneficial for acne-ridden skin, delays aging symptoms like wrinkles, and reduces fine lines.

Likewise, Thyme’s antibacterial and antifungal properties help heal sores, wounds, scars, and cuts.

They even relieve burns and act as a natural remedy for rashes, making your skin healthier and giving it a new glow.

Also, it delays aging symptoms like wrinkles and fine lines due to vitamins C and A.

Further, Thyme tea can be employed topically on the skin to combat athlete’s foot, ringworm, and yeast infestations.

Pro tip: Mix Witch Hazel twigs or stems and Thyme into a water-filled jar and let it steep for 1-2 days. The liquid turns amber, which can be applied to the skin as a toner. 

Image illustrates the benefits of Thyme plant
Planting Thyme will offer you a bonanza of healthful benefits.

Similarly, Thyme benefits for hair and scalp include reducing the incidence of dandruff and fortifying hair follicles.

6. Controlling Blood Pressure and Sugar Levels

Thyme belongs to the Lamiaceae family, and members of this family contain Rosmarinic Acid.

Studies have shown that Rosmarinic Acid controls glucose levels and prevents hyperglycemia in rats. 

Additionally, in hypertensive rats, Rosmarinic Acid has been proven to lower systolic pressure.

This has great potential in modern medicines to create drugs that can maintain sound heart health.

7. Soothes Cough and Sore

Traditionally, the Thyme plant is used as medicine to cure respiratory tract infections such as cough and bronchitis.

Also, Thyme’s essential oil (thymol) contains antibacterial flavonoids bestowing the plant mucus-expelling properties.

Studies show that thymol and primrose, when used together, can safely alleviate cough and throat-related infections.

The effectiveness of this concoction is comparable to the synthetic cough-reducing drug Ambroxol.

Additionally, this tonic bestows antibacterial and anti-fungal powers to the patient and is safe for human use. 

Besides a healthy throat, Thyme benefits lungs by clearing all the mucus out and helps you to breathe better.

8. Natural Bug Repellent

If pests are chomping your garden produce, you can rely on Thyme as a safeguard mechanism to deter them.

Thyme can repel bugs like cabbage loopers, tomato hornworms, and corn earworms because of thymol.

It also works as effective oil against adult mosquitoes and their larvae.

The best way to keep these pesky bugs away is by companion planting Thyme with other vegetables and herbs as border plants.

However, keep at least 12-24 inches of space between herbs like Oregano and Lavender to increase the efficacy of this insect-repellant barrier. 

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

9. Culinary Uses

Thyme is famous for its culinary versatility, flavoring fish meals, roasted meats, baked goods, soups, cocktails, and tea.

As a versatile herb, Thyme enhances the taste of any dish due to its sweet, herby aroma.

However, the proper way to gain the health benefits of Thyme is by enjoying a hot cup of Thyme tea.

How to Make Thyme Tea?

You only need fresh sprigs and water to prepare and reward yourself with Thyme tea benefits.

  • First, boil water in a kettle.
  • Add 8-10 fresh Thyme sprigs to a cup.
  • Then, pour water on it.
  • Allow steeping for 5 minutes.
  • Finally, enjoy your Thyme tea!

Watch the video below for visual help!

10. Mold Control

Fungus, like molds, lurk in humid places, destroying foodstuff and furniture.

Thyme oil can potentially halt the growth of many disease-causing fungi, which cause the rot of fruits. 

You can also prepare anti-fungal sprays with Thyme sprigs to coat wooden furniture and make them fungi-proof.

Side Effects of Thyme

Thyme is safe to touch and consume for humans and pets.

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

Excess consumption of Thyme plants or their associated oil can irritate nasal cavities and cause abdominal pains, headaches, and dizziness.

So, you should not forget to dilute the Thyme oil before using it. 

Where to Buy Thyme?

You can buy a live Thyme plant from these links for its wonderful benefits.

SitesExpected Delivery Periods
WalmartWithin 2 days after placing an order
The Growers ExchangeWithin 14 days after placing an order
AmazonWithin 4-5 days after placing an order

From Editorial Team


Thyme is a pet-friendly herb with culinary and medicinal.

From preparing healthful concoctions to brewing a relaxing hot beverage, Thyme never disappoints!

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