Thyme herb is a perennial plant that is commonly found in North America. However, it's native to the European countries that are close to the southern Mediterranean. The word thyme has been derived from the Greek word "thumus" which means courage. The scientific name of the common thyme is thymus vulgaris. This plant is famous for its medicinal properties. The Greeks and Romans used to put thyme herb leaves in bath water to avail themselves of its benefits. The Egyptians found it useful in the embalming preparations, that were used to preserve the dead bodies of their kings and emperors.
Health Benefits of Thyme
The thyme herb is a small perennial plant with tiny leaves and pink to purple colored flowers. It is used as a flavoring ingredient in many Italian, Macedonian, Greek, French and Spanish recipes. It's flavor, which is not too strong, blends well with the other ingredients such as herbs and spices. This characteristics flavor is due to thymol, a chemical, present in it. The following are some nutrition facts and health benefits, which you may find useful:
- All its benefits are due to its antimicrobial action against various pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Escherichia coli.
- It is a known preservative. Before the modern medicines, it was used as antifungals, to treat the fungus that attacks toe-nails.
- One of the advantages is its anti-septic quality. For this reason, you can use it against sty, pink eye or conjunctivitis.
- It can also be used to clean cuts and scrapes. As an effective antiseptic it prevents microbes taking roots in the opened skin.
- This wonderful herb can effectively tackle lice infestation.
- When eaten raw, it can be of tremendous help in taking care of gastroenteritis.
- It has anti-spasmodic properties. Women suffering because of muscle cramps, during their menstruation cycle, can make use of this health benefit of thyme to get some relief.
- The tea made using thyme herb, works as hangover remedies.
- Its extracts can be used as a tonic or digestive aid. These extracts can also dissolve and expel mucus from the intestinal tract.
- In case of respiratory conditions, such as asthma, laryngitis, whooping cough and bronchitis, you can obtain relief by using thyme which soothes lungs and air passages.
- The herb is effective against the fungal or bacterial infections such as vaginal disease, scleroderma and skin diseases.
- Its tea is useful in combating fatigue, depression and stress.
- Because of its antiseptic properties, it can be used in the herbal remedies such as its tea can be used for cleaning purposes and for eliminating fungus and bacteria.
- Certain insects and pests cannot live near thyme plants. For this reason, you can plant thyme in your herb garden and keep these pests out.
- It is a good source of dietary antioxidants. The flavonoids such as thymonin, luteolin, apigenin and naringenin, are present in the herb. These chemicals neutralize free radicals of nitric oxide in the body.
- Thyme is a good source of minerals like iron, manganese and calcium.
- It is also useful in few other health conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, athlete's foot, halitosis.
- Chemicals present in the herb act as anti-aggregant compounds. These chemicals prevent platelet aggregation stimulated by collagen, arachidonic acid and thrombin.