Throughout history, thyme has been used as a culinary herb. It has a distinct fragrance and intense tangy flavor that can enhance every dish including stews, soups, vegetable dishes, custards and casseroles. It is commonly added at the last minute of cooking because their prolonged exposure to heat can evaporate its essential oils which contain most of its nutritional value.
Thyme is rich in thymol with its powerful antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It also contains different types of flavonoid Phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, pigenin and luteolin. Additionally, it is also packed with vitamins such as Vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, K and folic acid and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese and selenium. All these components make thyme very useful in treating many types of health conditions.
Health Benefits of Thyme
- Anemia – The iron content in thyme helps in the formation of red blood cells that are needed by people suffering from anemia.
- Bacterial infection – Researchers studying on the antimicrobial properties of eight essential oils found that thyme oil is most effective in eradicating bacteria within 60 minutes.
- Cancer – The terpenoids like ursolic acids found in thyme are recognized for their contribution in preventing certain types of cancer. Daily consumption of thyme can help reduce risk of cancer.
- Dental problems – Topically applied, thyme can also be used to treat dental problems such as tooth decay and plaque.
- Nervous disorders – Thyme also stimulates the nervous system thereby alleviating the symptoms of nervous disorders such as stress, depression, insomnia and nightmares. It also boosts your memory and helps you concentrate.
- Gastrointestinal problems – Thyme is also found to be effective in relaxing the muscles of the stomach. It can help alleviate gastrointestinal problems including indigestion, chronic gastritis, colic, LBM and even lack of appetite. It can also help get rid of parasites found in the gastrointestinal tract.
- High blood pressure – The rich potassium content of thyme makes it effective in helping regulate high blood pressure and controlling your heart rate.
- Inflammation – According to the Journal of Lipid Research, compared to essential oils in clove, eucalyptus and other herbs known for their anti-inflammatory properties, thyme proves to be the most effective in suppressing inflammation.
- Respiratory problems – The essential oil in thyme is rich in expectorant as well as bronchial antispasmodic properties which are useful in treating acute and chronic bronchitis, cough and inflammation in the upper part of the respiratory tract.
- Skin problems – The rich vitamin A content in thyme also helps in treating skin diseases such as acne, rashes, scabies and many others. It can also help in quickly healing wounds and bruises; just apply it topically on the affected area to see the result.
- Stress – Thyme contains pyridoxine which is a good stress buster.
- Throat infection – The oil that can be extracted from thyme can be mixed in water and used as a mouthwash to treat throat infections as well as inflammation of the mouth. It also helps prevent gingivitis.
Thyme can be easily grown in a pot or in your vacant lot. Planting this herb can help you enjoy the optimum culinary and health benefits of this very important herb and spice.