Thyme is a herb with numerous benefits that include dietary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. Its flowers, leaves, and oil are used to treat a range of symptoms and complaints. Thyme is used in fresh and dried form and also as a dietary supplement in liquid and capsule form. It is also used as a tea, mouthwash, face mask, and nasal spray.
Benefits of Thyme
The distinctive taste of thyme makes it a culinary staple. Along with this, it is also known for its helpful medicinal qualities.
Thyme is known for its antibacterial activity against P. acnes, a bacteria that causes acne.(1) It is used by steeping thyme in alcohol for days and weeks and turning it into a tincture. If tired of buying anti-acne products, giving thyme a try can be a good option.
Helps in Lowering Blood Pressure
Thyme can be effective in lowering blood pressure. A study done on rats found that the extract of thyme significantly reduced blood pressure and also lowered cholesterol.(2) More human studies are needed to be done to confirm these effects.
Thyme essential oil is prepared using its leaves. It is often used as a remedy to cure cough. A study found a combination of thyme and ivy leaves was useful in curing cough and symptoms of bronchitis.(3) Another study found that a combination of thyme and primula extract was useful in reducing inflammation and mucus in animal models.(4) For those suffering from cough and sore throat, having thyme tea can be beneficial.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, thyme is packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, iron, fiber, and manganese.(5) But to make up for the daily count, one needs to consume it in large quantities as 1 teaspoon of thyme contains only 1.28 milligrams of vitamin C that according to the Food and Drug Administration is only 1 percent of the daily intake.(6)
Used as a Disinfectant
Thyme is effective in controlling gray mold rot in guava fruit.(7) Molds are very common and dangerous air pollutants that move around in home and thyme can be helpful in getting rid of them. A study done in 2007 showed that thyme can be effective in being used as a disinfectant in dwellings where there is low mold concentration.(8)
Used as Pest Repellent
Thymol is a type of thyme oil that is used as an ingredient in many pesticides.(9) It targets bacteria, mice, rats, viruses, and other animal pests.
It can also be effective against adult mosquitos and their larvae.(10) Homemade repellent can be made by mixing 4 drops of thyme oil for every teaspoon of olive oil or mixing 5 drops to 2 ounces of water.
Used in Aroma Therapy
Most organic and natural skincare products contain thyme. It is also a popular ingredient in natural deodorants and is also included in potpourri. Thyme essential oil can be used in an aromatherapy diffuser and is helpful due to its mind-boosting properties. Carvacrol is a substance present in thyme that increases the concentration of serotonin and dopamine, both of which regulate mood.(11) Using thyme oil regularly can have a positive effect on feelings and mood.
Effective for Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Thyme can be beneficial against food poisoning. A study done in 2013 found that thyme oil had the potential as a natural preservative against various foodborne bacteria that could lead to illness.(12) Another study found thyme oil effective against resistant strains of Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Pseudomonas bacteria.(13) Not only bacterial infection, but thyme is also effective against fungal infections. Thyme oil is fungicidal against Candida albicans, a common cause of yeast infection.(14)
Studies found that thyme essential oil is effective against breast cancer cells.(15, 16) However, the studies provide very weak evidence, and more human studies are needed to confirm the potential benefit of thyme against cancer.
Thyme is a versatile herb with numerous benefits. It can enhance cooking, improve health and skin and even scent up the space one lives in. This multipurpose kit is surely a must add to the house tool kit.