The thyme plant isn’t just another spice that flavors your dishes. It’s also a medicinal herb with amazing health benefits. Interested? Then keep reading to find out more.
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13 Powerful Health Benefits of the Thyme Plant
1. Boosts the Immune System
Thyme is brimming with vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that fights free radical damage in the body. Getting enough vitamin C boosts your immune system and reduces your susceptibility to both acute and chronic diseases.
For best results, try consuming at least one thyme-infused meal or dish every day.
Feel like you’re coming down with a cold?
Rather than drinking regular tea, sip on some delicious, immune system-strengthening thyme tea! Steep two to three sprigs in hot water and you’ll have a minty cup ready.
2. Promotes Healthy Blood Pressure Levels
Patients may reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure by adding thyme to their diet. In fact, thyme extract has helped reduce heart rate, lower cholesterol levels, and maintain healthy blood pressure levels in laboratory rats suffering from hypertension.
You can either add thyme leaf powder to your meals, or drink thyme tea on a daily basis.
3. Helps Stop Dry Coughing
Apart from taking over-the-counter cough meds, you can supplement them with thyme. Researchers from the Practice for Internal Medicine and Pneumology in Germany found that thyme extract can be used to alleviate coughing among patients with acute bronchitis.
For best results, you can try rubbing thyme essential oil on your throat and nose, or try drinking warm, soothing thyme tea.
4. Disinfects Wounds
Thyme extract has potent antibacterial properties that disinfect wounds and abrasions. They help prevent infections from spreading or starting.
There are different ways to extract the essential oil from thyme leaves, such as through steam distillation, supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), and solvent extraction. The simplest method among all these is SFE:
- Pre-heat the oven at 120-250°F.
- Place a 300-ml jar inside the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
- Pour boiling water onto the jar lid for 5 minutes.
- Carefully get rid of the water, then dry and allow the jar to cool. Make sure to use gloves.
- Place as many thyme leaves as you need inside the jar.
- Add a cup of vodka and 2 tablespoons of raw sugar.
- Seal the jar tightly. Leave in a cool, dry, and dark place.
- Shake the jar daily for 2-3 months.
- Once ready, filter off the solids from the liquid extract. Move the thyme extract to a clean container; this is ready for use.
If you don’t have the time for all that, opt to buy thyme essential oil instead. There are plenty of options at your local drugstore or pharmacy.
Once you’ve acquired the thyme extract, dilute it into a few tablespoons of warm water. Wash your wound with soap and running water, wait for the mixture to cool down a bit, and then rub the thyme extract on the affected area.
Tip: Bring a small bottle of thyme extract when you go hiking or on a camping trip. You can use it as an immediate disinfectant for wounds.
5. Eases Upset Stomachs
You can use thyme tea’s antibacterial properties to help combat intestinal parasites and promote a healthy digestive tract. Either drink a cup or two every day for prevention or sip on a warm cup if you feel your abdominal muscles cramping up.
6. Combats Eye Infections
The thyme plant has antifungal and antibacterial properties that fight eye infections such as pink eye and conjunctivitis.
Brew a cup of thyme tea, wait for the drink to cool down, soak a clean face towel in it, and then press the wet towel on your eyelids. You can do this any time you feel you’re at risk of an eye infection.
7. Improves Blood Circulation
One way you can improve blood circulation is by eating and drinking more thyme. It has iron, which stimulates red blood cell production and promotes healthy circulation.
100 grams of thyme contains 17.45 mg of iron—even just a small amount can already account for 20% of our daily iron requirement.
Tip: To get the most out of the blood circulation benefits of thyme, make sure you exercise daily. Engaging in physical activities such as swimming, cycling, boxing, jogging, and circuit training is a good way to keep the blood flowing properly throughout the body.
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8. Gets Rid of Bad Breath
Thyme oil is a powerful herb that can eradicate more than 60 various bacterial strains, including Escherichia, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus.
What you can do is extract oils from the thyme plant, keep them in a clean glass vial, and then sprinkle some on your toothpaste before brushing your teeth.
9. Brightens Your Mood
Thyme contains carvacrol, a powerful compound that combats stress.
You can maximize the anti-stress health benefits of thyme by drinking fresh thyme tea every now and then. Similarly, you can also pump a diffuser with thyme essential oil to surround yourself with a soothing aroma.
10. Relaxes Tight Muscles
Thyme has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and relax tight, aching muscles. Extract the oils from thyme plant and use it on spasms, sprains, and menstrual cramps.
11. Clears the Airway
Thyme acts as an expectorant that reduces the risk of acute and chronic respiratory diseases. Along with proper medication, it can help get rid of inflammation, mucus, and blockages along the airway.
You can opt to drink warm thyme tea or inhale thyme essential oil through a diffuser machine.
12. Prevents Food from Spoiling
Adding thyme leaves to your meals doesn’t just make it look appetizing, its antibacterial properties also keep food fresh for extended periods of time. Thyme can avert bacterial growth and kill parasites that might cause stomach issues.
Tip: Going on a cross-country trip? Sprinkle a few thyme leaves to your meals to prevent them from going bad quickly.
13. Helps Give You Pimple-Free Skin
Thyme is an all-natural solution to oily skin and acne breakouts.
Its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce pimple size. Meanwhile, its antibacterial properties can cleanse your face of dirt and impurities clogging your pores.
Here’s what you need to do if you want to use thyme as an all-natural cleanser/toner:
- Boil a small glass jar in water to sterilize it.
- After 10 minutes, let it cool down and then pat dry with a clean paper towel.
- Then, scoop 1 tablespoon of dried thyme into the sterilized jar.
- Pour in 3-4 tablespoons of witch hazel.
- Shake well and then let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes.
- Once the witch hazel turns light brown, you can begin using it as a toner.
- Drop a small amount on a clean piece of cotton and dab on your face.
- After two to three days, you can strain the dried thyme out of the toner mixture.
Tips for Growing a Thyme Plant
Here are some tips you can follow if you want to grow a thyme plant:
- Must be positioned under direct sunlight
- Grows well in containers
- Prefers an even water supply
- Must not be overwatered
- Prefers soil with pH levels of 6.5-7.0
The thyme plant is a versatile herb. It has medicinal, culinary, and ornamental uses.
Having a few growing around your garden is beneficial to you and your family.
Do you have a thyme plant in your garden? Share with us in the comments section the ways you use it!
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