Thyme is one of those very popular, widely-used culinary herbs that almost everyone has on hand in their kitchens at any given time.
Many even have their herb gardens that will almost certainly include this easy-to-grow, versatile herb.
Used for centuries, Thyme has traditionally been used to flavour soups, stews, bread, vegetables, meat dishes, desserts and more.
It’s easy to find year-round in almost all regions, and it’s relatively inexpensive to purchase – fresh or dried.
This wonderfully fragrant herb has many uses in the kitchen, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll discuss some of the health benefits of thyme.
Derived from the Greek word meaning courage, it is said that Roman soldiers took thyme baths to energize and prepare for battle.
Conversely, women would sew sprigs of thyme into the vests of their knights as good luck tokens. More notably, the Egyptians used it as embalming fluid.
Understandably, thyme is known to be both a preservative and an antifungal agent and it also has antiseptic and antiviral qualities.
Externally applied, thyme has been used to help treat tumors, dental decay, plaque, thrush, tonsillitis, halitosis, deep wounds, and bruises. It is said to be effective for destroying skin parasites such as scabies, crabs and lice as well.
Used internally, thyme properties work to rid parasites in the gastrointestinal tract. It can also be crushed and used to clean cuts and scrapes, offering an immediate antiseptic remedy.
Studies have shown that the innate qualities in thyme destroy many forms of fungus and bacteria. As a tea, thyme has beneficial results in gastrointestinal problems. In addition, it can relieve both hangovers and act as a digestive aid or tonic.
Especially helpful to women because of its antispasmodic qualities, it offers relief from cramps associated with monthly periods.
This herb is said to be effective in the treatment of chest infections for which phlegm can be expelled from the lungs. It has been used effectively for sore throats, coughs, croup, whooping cough, acute bronchitis, laryngitis and asthma.
Thyme oil has been used to treat topical fungal infections and is also used in toothpaste to prevent gingivitis. It is also considered to be an excellent expectorant and is said to relax the muscle of the stomach, relieving a variety of stomach upsets.
Thyme is also used to alleviate chronic gastritis, lack of appetite, indigestion, irritable bowel and colic. In addition, it is also used to ease convulsions, epilepsy, menstrual cramps and spasm-induced coughing and diarrhea.
As a tonic, thyme is believed to stimulate the nervous system, alleviating such nervous disorders as depression, nightmares, nervous exhaustion, insomnia and melancholy.