Thyme is an evergreen shrub that has been used in medicinal and culinary applications for thousands of years. It is known to have over 400 sub-species. This herb is native to the Mediterranean region and certain parts of Africa, and its use dates back to the Egyptian empire where it was used in embalming practices. The Greeks, on the other hand, used thyme as incense. The different forms of thyme include fresh and dried herbs and essential oil.
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Health Benefits of Thyme
While they are various claims about the health benefits of thyme, most of them aren’t confirmed by scientific
research or are only based on preliminary lab tests on animals.
That said, thyme does contain the compound thymol, which can help control or neutralize some bacterial, parasitic, fungal, or viral infections and have anti-inflammatory properties. Salt substitute. You can use fresh or dried thyme as a substitute for salt when cooking. This can help you cut down on how much salt you use, which is important if you’re trying to bring down high blood pressure. Respiratory Support: Natural Cough Suppressant. Thyme has been used as a home remedy for coughs, respiratory conditions, and bronchitis for years. Complementary and alternative medicine has used it as a tea and in aromatherapy. There's some research on that, but more studies are needed to know how well it works. Antimicrobial properties. Thyme essential oil and pure thymol (extracted from thyme) may help disinfect mold, one study shows. Thymol is an active ingredient in some pesticides. In the mold study, it was about 3 times more effective than thyme essential oil. Help with skin conditions. Thyme’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties may also help with skin conditions. It may help get rid of bacterial infections while also helping to reduce inflammation. As a result, it can help with the irritation and inflammation in conditions like eczema and acne. Natural insect repellent. Thyme oil may help repel insects like mosquitoes. The oil in thyme, thymol, is often used as an active ingredient in bug repellents. Gastrointestinal health. In experimental studies in rats, compounds extracted from thyme oil helped protect the stomach’s lining from ulcers and increase the protective gastric mucus layers in your stomach, which help protect the stomach lining from acid. But thyme’s effects on the digestive system haven’t been studied in people, so a lot more research is needed on this. Thyme’s antimicrobial properties have shown promise for the development of extracts to help with food safety.