Thyme

Thyme, scientifically known as Thymus vulgaris, is a savoury herb that is widely used in some countries to add flavour to meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes.

In Nigeria, thyme is a common spice used to enhance the natural flavour of meat and is often added to dishes like jollof or fried rice. It is also used as a cough suppressant and a cold cure. However, thyme has many more health benefits beyond its culinary uses.

This evergreen herb is rich in essential properties such as fibre, carbohydrates, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and many others.

Thyme is linked with a wide range of nutritional and medicinal benefits that we will discuss in this article.

Health Benefits Of Thyme

Thyme has been shown to have nutritional and medicinal benefits that extend beyond its use in cooking. Here are some of the health benefits of thyme:

1. Improves heart health

Thyme is a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, potassium, and manganese, all of which can have beneficial effects on the heart and overall health.

Recent studies have shown that consuming thyme may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular-related problems due to its important properties. Potassium in thyme, for example, acts as a vasodilator, which can help to relax blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels.

In addition to these benefits, moderate consumption of thyme has also been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, atherosclerosis, heart attack, and coronary heart disease.

2. Prevents cancer

Thyme has been found to contain several properties that may help reduce the risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer. Oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, lutein, and beta-sitosterol are some of the beneficial compounds found in thyme that can aid in cancer prevention.

Additionally, carvacrol, a major component of thyme essential oil, has been shown to inhibit the growth and migration of cancer cells in the body, and may have therapeutic effects in the treatment and prevention of colon cancer.

In some regions, thyme is traditionally used to treat breast cancer, highlighting its potential effectiveness against this deadly disease. Regular consumption of thyme may be helpful in preventing cancer and improving overall health.

3. Treats inflammation

There are a lot of reasons you might experience inflammation in any part of your body, but regardless of that, the great news is that thyme has been proven to be a handy solution for this.

Thyme contains powerful compounds, such as carvacrol and thymol, which goes a long way in treating inflammation. Part of the roles of these compounds in the body includes the suppression of Cox-2, an inflammatory enzyme associated with several inflammatory ailments.

It is equally important to let you know that thyme oil is also effective in relieving painful symptoms of arthritis, gout, and some other related conditions.

4. Strengthens the immune system

Nothing can be compared with a sound immune system, especially when because it shields you against myriads of health conditions. Thankfully, thyme is a go-to option when it comes to herbs that can help boost your immunity.

First off, thyme is an excellent source of Vitamin A & C, both of which play a major role in enhancing the defense level of your immune system.

Vitamin C in thyme helps to stimulate the production of white blood cells to give your immune system a huge boost. It also contributes largely to the production of collagen, one of the essentials your body needs to create and repair cells, muscles, tissues, and blood vessels.

5. Improves digestive health

Increasing your thyme intake isn’t just limited to the aforementioned benefits alone, as the herb also plays a significant role in improving the digestive system. How?

Thyme, when ingested, helps in inhibiting the multiplication of harmful gases in the stomach, which in turn gives the digestive health a huge boost. In addition to that, thyme also exhibits antispasmodic effects and might help relieve intestinal cramps.

Health Benefits of Thyme

6. Reduces the risk and effect of respiratory ailments

Respiratory ailments are quite widespread across different countries of the world, and they might result in serious health problems or even death if not well handled. These are diseases like bronchitis, chronic asthma, congestion, colds, flu, blocked sinuses, etc.

That being said, would you like to prevent or treat any of the aforementioned respiratory ailments? Thyme might help you with that!

Thyme exhibits expectorant and anti-inflammatory effects, which helps in getting rid of phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tracts in order to keep them healthy. It also relieves inflammation and shields against microbial development that may result in illness, among other things.

There are a lot of ways you can use thyme for respiratory ailments. For instance, you can prepare it as a tea and drink; you can extract its oil, and blend it with ivy leaves, to mention but a few.

7. Improves blood circulation

Thyme contains a high amount of iron ( about 20% of the recommended daily value) and other essential minerals, which helps in stimulating the production of red blood cells. This further helps in improving blood circulation and oxygenation to the essential organs of your body and thus boosting your overall health.

8. Fights acne

Thyme has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that make it an effective natural remedy for acne.

study by Leeds Metropolitan University found that tinctures of thyme, marigold, and myrrh were effective in killing acne bacteria. The study also found that thyme extract is more effective in fighting acne than benzoyl peroxide, which is an ingredient in most acne treatments.

study conducted in 2010 discovered that thyme essential oil has antibacterial properties against P. acnes, the bacteria believed to be responsible for causing acne.

Thyme can be used topically by mixing thyme essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and applying it to the skin. It can also be used as a toner by steeping dried thyme in witch hazel, which has astringent properties that can help control acne.

9. Effective pesticide

Another impressive health benefit of thyme is that it can be used as a natural pesticide due to its antimicrobial and insecticidal properties.

Thyme essential oil contains thymol, which can kill insects such as ants, worms, fleas, grasshoppers, ground beetles, leafhoppers, and mosquitoes. Thyme oil can also control plant pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses by attacking and breaching their cellular membranes, causing their death. 

To use thyme oil as a pesticide, mix a few drops of thyme essential oil with water and spray it on the affected plants or areas. This natural pesticide is a safe and effective alternative to chemical pesticides.

10. May fight against yeast infection

Thyme essential oil has antifungal properties that can help fight against yeast infections caused by Candida albicans.

In fact, a 2021 study discovered that even low doses of thyme essential oil were effective in killing Candida albicans, even when the fungus was resistant to the prescription medication fluconazole.

Thyme oil works by penetrating the cell membrane of the fungus and disrupting its cellular functions, leading to its death.

Nevertheless, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of ingesting thyme oil as a treatment for Candida infections.

Final Thoughts

As you have seen in this article, thyme is a herb that is packed with numerous health benefits. It can easily be incorporated into your diet through culinary uses, such as adding it to soups, stews, and roasted vegetables or used in other ways. With its versatility and health benefits, thyme is definitely a herb worth considering.

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FAQs

What are the health benefits of thyme?

This evergreen herb is rich in essential properties such as fibre, carbohydrates, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and many others.

What are the benefits of drinking thyme water?

Studies have shown that it can help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, boost immunity, aid in weight loss, lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, and even reduce cancer risk.

Is thyme good for kidneys?

Thyme acts as a natural diuretic, without upsetting the delicate electrolyte balance whilst ensuring that too much fluid isn’t retained.

Is thyme good for infection?

Thyme essential oil has antifungal properties that can help fight against yeast infections caused by Candida albicans.

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