Because of its name and its reputation, Thyme is an herbal medicine all-star. The health food store in my home town is named after it (Thyme and Season), Simon and Garfunkel wrote an iconic song with its name in the title (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme), it’s a featured herb in many world cuisines, and makes a great wordplay pun for herbal medicine nerds like me. The cultural significance of thyme is well deserved. It is an herbal medication of the highest order, and this article by my team at UpWellness will explain why…right on thyme.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a fragrant and popular Mediterranean herb and member of the mint family that contains many valuable medicinal and nutritional properties including antibacterial, insecticidal, and even antifungal components. Chances are, you have some dried thyme in your spice rack, and you may use it frequently. Thyme is definitely a culinary staple but also has a fast-growing reputation as a medicinal plant with much value.
The essential oil of Thymus vulgaris is made up of 20-54% thymol. The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and flowers of the herb. The plant also contains powerful antioxidant flavonoids naringenin, apigenin, thymonin, and luteolin.
Thyme has over 400 subspecies and an impressive array of uses dating back to ancient Egypt and Greece. People have used time throughout history for embalming and protection from the Black Death. More recently, thyme oil was used in pre and post-surgical dressing to prevent and kill the yellow fever virus during WW l.
Thyme used to remedy respiratory ailments
The German Commission E, an organization similar to the American FDA, has approved thyme for the treatment of respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and coughs. This herb behaves as an expectorant by clearing lungs, relieving congestion and easing coughing spasms.
Researchers at the German Central Institute for Pharmaceutical Research, note that thymol essential oil is an effective treatment for chronic and acute bronchitis. In one study, German researchers tried a syrup consisting of thyme extracts and ivy on both children and adults with acute bronchitis. At the end of the study, they concluded that a 10-day treatment of the syrup improved symptoms and in some cases, even cured the disease.
Thyme oil promotes a healthy scalp and hair growth
If you are a little thin on top and desire luxurious locks, thyme oil is for you. Thyme oil encourages hair growth by stimulating the scalp and preventing hair loss. To nourish the scalp, combine 2 drops of thyme oil with 2 tablespoons of oil and apply to your scalp. Let it sit for ten minutes and wash hair as usual. Repeat this at least once a week for a healthy scalp and hair growth. Thyme oil has also been found to be helpful in the remedy of alopecia areata.
Thyme kills tiger mosquito and other pests
The tiger mosquito, native to tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia is a dangerous insect. It carries the West Nile virus, Yellow fever, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue fever, and Chikungunya fever.
A group of researchers at Chungbuk National University in South Korea found that a combination of thymol, alpha-terpinene, and carvacrol was able to kill tiger mosquito larvae.
Thymol is also a key ingredient in a number of pesticides used indoors and outdoors and can eliminate not only bacteria and viruses but also rats, mice, and other animal pests.
In one study, researchers found that thyme extract can repel mosquitoes. Rub thyme leaves in your hands to release the essential oil for pest protection when working outdoors or make your own repellant – recipe below.
Thyme Insect Repellent
This homemade brew is just what you need to enjoy the great outdoors without being “bugged!”
What’s in it:
- 16 drops of thyme oil
- 4 tsp jojoba oil
How to make it
- Combine the thyme and the jojoba oil and rub on skin. This effective insect repellent will moisturize your skin while protecting you from pests.
Thyme can help to lower blood pressure
A particular species of thyme, Thymus linearis Benth is found in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Research uncovered that an extract from this species was able to reduce heart rate, lower cholesterol and lower high blood pressure in rats.
Thyme can boost immunity
Thyme is loaded with vitamin C and is a rich source of vitamin A. Both of these vitamins help bolster the immune system and protect you from colds and flu. Additional nutrients found in thyme including copper, iron, fiber, and manganese also help keep your immune system healthy and strong.
Delicious Thyme Tea
This tea is the perfect pick-me-up when you feel under the weather. This delicious drink contains anti-viral properties and can bring relief from coughs, fever, muscle pain, headache, and infections.
What’s in it
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 10-16 oz hot water
- Fresh lemon
- Raw honey
How to make it
- Place the fresh thyme in a mug and pour the hot water over. Steep for 15 minutes or more.
- Add raw honey and lemon to taste.
- Sip slowly and as frequently as desired.
Thyme can boost your mood
Thyme contains a substance known as carvacrol that has been found to impact neuron activity which in turn improves well-being. One of the best ways to use thyme to induce a good mood is to diffuse the essential oil throughout your home.
Thyme is a powerful home disinfectant
As mentioned earlier, thymol has potent fungicidal properties. Research shows that it can be used as a household disinfectant and can even tackle stubborn mold.
Lemon and Thyme Disinfectant Spray
Make this all-purpose home disinfectant spray and use it with confidence in your bathroom and kitchen.
What’s in it
- 2 cups of water
- 1 lemon, sliced
- bunch of garden-fresh thyme
- 2 cups lemon verbena hydrosol
- 1 tablespoon thyme extract
- 2 teaspoons borax
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons castile soap
- 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme essential oil
- 5 drops tea tree oil
How to make it
- Bring water, lemon, and thyme to a boil over medium to low heat. Do not allow it to boil.
- Let the mixture steep for at least 1 hour.
- Strain and reserve the herb-infused liquid.
- Add baking soda and borax to the liquid and stir until dissolved.
- Mix in the other ingredients.
- Pour into a spray bottle.
- This will work great anywhere you would use conventional cleaner.
It’s time for you to start using more thyme!
-The UpWellness Team