10 Ways Thyme is Worth Your Time
Thymus Vulgaris might not sound too appealing to the ear but it is most definitely an important herb to keep close to your cooking area, the medical benefits of thyme trumping all arguments. After all, the least pleasant looking or tasting foods in this world seem to be the healthiest. Thyme in itself is actually quite pretty to look at. The Greek translation, however, means common sacrifice.
For the ancients, thyme was indeed an important spice, known to tackle many maladies, embalm the dead for Egyptians and create the incense aroma for the Greeks. Furthermore, in France it was fed to cows before they were butchered, believed to add a pleasant taste to the meat. The Romans used the spice to rev up the flavour of liqueur and cheese, while the Greeks found it to be a prominent taste in honey coming from their mountains. For them, the plant represented strength and bravery, borrowed by the English ladies later on to adorn their knights with.
What did the olden populations use thyme to treat?
• Sore throat
• Whooping cough
• Intestinal worms
Topically, thyme has been used to treat minor wounds through its antiseptic characteristics and as a mouthwash to treat mucosal inflammation. The “Father of Modern Medicine” known as Hippocrates mentioned that thyme was an amazing source to cure respiratory ailments.
Today, old wives tales point to the use of thyme to counter diarrhea, bedwetting, arthritis, colic, and used as a diuretic.
We know why the olden peoples loved thyme so much, but what makes it so special in modern science?
1. Antibacterial: According to certain studies, certain bacteria that normally grow immune to most antibacterial substances fall prey to the might of thymol, the active ingredient in thyme. It is thus known as a “biocide”, effectively ridding the area it inhabits of harmful organisms.
2. Acne fighter: Thyme has shown its power to kill the acne causing bacterium in within 5 minutes, working much better than the creams. Just steep the plant in alcohol for about a week to draw out the active ingredients.
3. Insecticide: The tiger mosquito, for all its dangerous demeanour, cannot withstand thyme. This effectively removes the chances of contracting any of the viruses known to be carried by the insect, including West Nile and Yellow Fever.
4. Hypertension hacker: The Mediterranean world knows what is good for it and thyme is definitely on the menu. This means that there are fewer cases of high blood pressure and a healthier overall population. Studies on the subject have been made on lab animals for the moment, with human experiments pending. Until then, listen to the Greeks, Lebanese, etc.
5. Combat Colon Cancer: Studies have shown that thymus could have protective agents against colon cancer, adding to the herb’s amazing abilities.
6. Beat Breast Cancer: Studies looking at thyme’s effects on women with breast cancer show that new treatments using the extracts as part of the treatment show great promise in combatting the cancer that causes women so much pain.
7. Heal Yeast Infection: When it comes to yeast infection affecting the mouth and vagina, the fungus is destroyed by the strength of thyme extracts in essential oil.
8. Soothe Skin:Dermatological problems increase the poorer an area gets, with natural ointments becoming the only choice the people have to treat it. A 3% thyme antifungal cream was found to heal eczema-like lesions in 66.5% of those who used it, versus the 28.5% who used the chamomile version. Thyme most definitely beat this round hands down.
9. Antioxident: Comparing oregano, thyme and basil, studies have found thyme to carry the great antioxident abilities, ensuring a healthy balance in the body.
10. Beat Bronchitis: Combining thyme and ivy syrup has been shown in studies to beat bronchitis, effectively soothing symptoms in the children researched.
Thyme has been deemed safe for use, having the rare dermatological effect on those who use it. WHO does not recommend pregnant women to use it until studies prove its safety for unborn children. Thyme is definitely worth your time.