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Thyme

The thyme plant is a perennial shrub with thin woody base, and square stems. It reaches about 15 to 30 cm in length, featuring very small, light green colored, paler underneath, slightly curved aromatic leaves. Tiny, fragrant rich, lilac or white color flowers appear in summer. The flowers, leaves, and oil are used as medicine.
Thyme is sometimes used in combination with other herbs.
Thyme helps reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, stimulates menstrual flow, increases circulation and elevates low blood pressure, triggers the removal of waste that may lead to cellulite, eases nervousness and anxiety, helps fight insomnia, eliminates bad breath and body odor.
Thyme oil is used to relieve and treat problems like gout, arthritis, wounds, bites, and sores, water retention, menstrual and menopausal problems, nausea and fatigue, respiratory problems (like colds), skin conditions (oily skin and scars), athleteas foot, hangovers, and even depression.
Thyme is well known as a culinary herb, but has also been used for centuries in respiratory complaints, as an expectorant for coughs, particularly in the treatment of whooping cough and has been used historically as a tonic. Thyme also has antiseptic, antispasmodic anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties. It can be used to treat scabies, lice, intestinal worms and candida, gastic fermentation, wind and colic.
Like many other herbs with a high content of volatile oil, thyme has strong anti-bacterial properties. The volatile oil components of thyme have been shown to have anti-microbial activity against a host of different bacteria and fungi. Staphalococcus aureus, bacillus subtilis, escherichchia coli, and shigella sonnei are a few of the species against which thyme has been shown to have anti-bacterial activity. Thymol, a major constituent of thymes volatile oil, is powerful, and should not be used internally without a qualified herbal physicians advice.
It is a noble strengthener of the lungs. An infusion of the fresh tops is good in asthmas, and stuffing of the lungs. It is excellent in nervous affections, and a special remedy for hooping cough. It expectorates phlegm, and relieves shortness of breath. It kills worms, and provokes the terms. It is so harmless you need not fear the use of it an ointment made of it removes hot swellings and warts, relieves sciatica, dulness of sight, and pains and hardness of the spleen, it is good against the gout, and swelled testicles, pains in the back and loins. The herb taken any way inwardly, comforts the stomach and expels wind.
Thyme is a member of the mint family and contains thymol- a potent antioxidant (and also the potent ingredient in listerine mouthwash). Water boiled with thyme can be used in homemade spray cleaners and or can be added to bathwater for treatment of wounds. Thyme water can be swished around the mouth for gum infections or for the healing of wounds from teeth removal. Teas made with thyme have been used to treat athletes foot and vaginal yeast infections. Thyme tea can also be taken internally during illness to speed recovery. In foods, it is often used in french cooking (an ingredient in herbs de provence) and italian. Add to any baked dishes at the beginning of cooking, as it slowly releases its benefits.
The wild thyme, (see mother of thyme) is preferable. For obstructed menstruation, a bath for the feet and legs in a strong infusion, or decoction, gives relief after the failure of all other remedies. An oil is made from the wild thyme, a drop or two of which cures the tooth-ache; apply with a little lint.a writer in the " lancet" says, " an infusion of wild thyme will, in many cases of hooping cough, and affections of the air passages, remove the complaint, when all other remedies fail.".
Thyme herb is packed with numerous health benefiting phyto-nutrients (plant derived compounds), minerals and vitamins that are essential for wellness. One of the popular among culinary herb plants, thyme originally is native to the southern europe and mediterranean regions.
Botanically, it belongs to the family of limiaceae, in the genus of thymus,awhich includes many subspecies among which the most popular variety is thymus vulgaris or french thyme.a.
The thyme plant is a perennial shrub with thin woody base, and square stems. It reaches about 15 to 30 cm in length, featuring very small, light green colored, paler underneath, slightly curved aromatic leaves. Tiny, fragrant rich, lilac or white color flowers appear in summer. The other commonly grown varieties of thyme are lemon thyme (t.x citriodora), caraway thyme (t. Herba barona) and wild thyme (t. Septyllum). Either leaves as well as flowering tips; fresh or dried used for culinary purposes.
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Health benefits
Thyme contains many active principles that are found to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
Thyme herb contains thymol, one of the important essential oils. Thymol has been found scientifically to have antiseptic, and anti-fungal characteristics. The other volatile oils in thyme include carvacolo, borneol, and geraniol.
Thyme contains many flavonoid phenolic antioxidants like zea-xanthin, lutein, pigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin. Fresh thyme herb has one of the highest antioxidant levels among herbs, a total orac (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value of 27,426-amol te/100 g.
Thyme is packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Its leaves are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
The herb is also a rich source of many important vitamins such as b-complex vitamins, beta carotene, vitamin-a, vitamin-k, vitamin-e, vitamin-c, and folic acid.
Thyme provides 0.35 mg of vitamin b-6 or pyridoxine; furnishing about 27% of daily recommended intake. Pyridoxine keeps up gaba (beneficial neurotransmitter in the brain) levels in the brain, which has a role as stress buster.
Vitamin-c helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
Vitamin-a is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that is required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids like vitamin a and beta-carotene helps protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Thyme leaves offer significant levels of quality phyto-nutrients profile. Just 100 g of fresh leaves provides (% of recommended daily allowance)

Culinary uses
Thyme herb imparts intense flavor to the recipes, and therefore, should be added sparingly. In order to keep its fragrance and flavor intact, thyme herb is generally added at the last moment in the cooking recipes. This is because, prolonged cooking results in evaporation of its essential oils.
The oil can be used to stimulate the mind, strengthen memory and concentration, and calm the nerves.
Thymol in thyme has been found scientifically to have antiseptic, and anti-fungal characteristics.
The other volatile oils in thyme include carvacolo, borneol, and geraniol.
Thyme contains many flavonoid phenolic antioxidants like zea-xanthin, lutein, pigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin.
Fresh thyme herb has one of the highest antioxidant levels among herbs, a total orac (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value of 27,426-amol te/100 g.
Thyme is packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
Its leaves are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium.
Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
The herb is also a rich source of many important vitamins such as b-complex vitamins, beta carotene, vitamin-a, vitamin-k, vitamin-e, vitamin-c, and folic acid.
Thyme also provides 0.35 mg of vitamin b-6 or pyridoxine; furnishing about 27% of daily recommended intake.
Pyridoxine keeps up gaba (beneficial neurotransmitter in the brain) levels in the brain, which has a role as stress buster.
Vitamin-a is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that is required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision.
Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids like vitamin a and beta-carotene helps protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Hair loss
When combined with other herbs and used as an essential oil, thyme can strengthen the roots of your hair and improve its growth.
It is said that thyme oil can prevent hair loss.
It is used as a treatment for the scalp and is added to shampoos and other hair products.

Improves bone health
Since this is a good source of vitamin k, iron, calcium and manganese, thyme can improve your bone's health.
These essential nutrients aid in the growth of bones and reduce the risk of bone-related diseases.
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Aids digestion
Experts often recommend thyme tea to those suffering from indigestion and bloating.
The volatile oils in thyme can provide relief from intestinal cramping.

Acne
Due to its antibacterial properties, thyme is often used in acne creams and face washes.
After testing the effects of myrrh, marigold and thyme tinctures on propionibacterium acnes, the bacterium that causes acne, scientists at leeds metropolitan university in england found that thyme preparations may be more effective than acne prescription creams.
The researchers reported that while all three tinctures killed the bacterium within five minutes of exposure, thyme was by far the most effective.
They also discovered that thyme tincture had a significantly greater antibacterial effect than standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient found in the majority of creams and washes aimed at people with acne.

High blood pressure (hypertension)
This herb contains an aqueous extract that can reduce blood pressure in hypertensive situations.
Researchers at the university of belgrade, serbia, reported in the journal plant foods for human nutrition5 that an aqueous extract obtained from thymus serpyllum l.(wild thyme) reduced blood pressure in an animal experiment on laboratory rats.
As rats tend to have similar responses to humans in hypertensive situations, the team is hopeful that further human trials will confirm their findings.

Colon cancer
A study found that extracts of mastic thyne (thymus mastichina l.) may protect from colon cancers. The scientific team, from the universidade nova de lisboa in portugal concluded in the journal natural product communications8 that "the presence of these constituents identified by colon cancer cytotoxicity-guided activity indicates that extracts of thymus mastichina l.may have a protective effect against colon cancers"
Oncologist researchers at celal bayar university in turkey carried out a study to determine what effect wild thyme (thymus serpyllum) might have on breast cancer activity.
They were specifically looking at the effects of wild thyme on apoptosis (cell death) and epigenetic events in breast cancer cells.
Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms that do not involve alterations in dna sequence.
They reported in the journal nutrition and cancer that wild thyme induced cell death in the breast cancer cells.
The study authors concluded that wild thyme "may be a promising candidate in the development of novel therapeutic drugs for breast cancer treatment"
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Yeast infection
The fungus candida albicans is a common cause of mouth and vaginal yeast infections.
Often referred to as "thrush", vaginal yeast infections are generally recurring.
Researchers at the university of turin in italy set out to determine what effect thyme essential oil might have on candida albicans in the human body.

Antispasmodic
Millions of people around the world suffer from coughs, cramps and aches due to spasms.
Spasms are unwanted and excessive involuntary contractions which may take place in the respiratory tracts, nerves, muscles, intestines or other organs and may result in coughs, convulsions, epileptic or hysterical attacks, cramps and muscular aches, abdominal and intestinal aches, and even spasmodic cholera.

Antirheumatic
There are two main reasons behind rheumatism, arthritis and gout.
The first is improper or obstructed circulation and the second one is an increasing concentration of toxins like uric acid in the blood stream.
Thyme essential oil can sort out both of these problems.
Since it is a diuretic, it increases urination and helps in the removal of toxins from the body.
Being a stimulant, it stimulates or activates circulation and thereby sorts out this problem in a separate way.
Both ways helps cure rheumatism, and related conditions like arthritis.

Antiseptic
Thyme essential oil is a good antiseptic and safeguards wounds and sores against infections.
This is mainly due to the presence of components like caryophyllene and camphene in thyme.
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Bactericidal
The same caryophyllene and camphene, along with a few other components, give thyme essential oil antibacterial properties.
This inhibits bacterial growth within and outside of the body.
It kills bacteria as well as keeps them away from the organs in the body.
This is particularly beneficial in curing bacterial infections like b-colitis, renal colic, bacterial infections in the genitals and urethra, intestines, and respiratory system as well as the external exposure of wounds.

Tonic
Thyme essential oil also tones up the circulatory system, heart, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, and skin while fortifying them and boosting immunity.
This is a very important and useful property of thyme essential oil in todayas context, when heart troubles are growing at an alarming rate.
This oil is very beneficial for the heart.
It keeps the valves functioning properly, while being an anti spasmodic, it relaxes the arteries and veins and thereby reduces blood pressure and stress on the heart.
Furthermore, it strengthens cardiac muscles and tones up the heart, since it is a tonic.
Basically, thyme essential oil is good for every part of heart health.

Emenagogue
Women should be very interested in this property of thyme essential oil.
Women are always searching for something that can give them relief from obstructed and painful menstruation, irregular periods and premature menopause.
They have found their answer in this oil.
It opens obstructed menses, gives relief from the symptoms like abdominal pain, fatigue, nausea, depression and low blood pressure that is associated with menstruation.
It can also delay menopause, thereby keeping women healthy, happy and fertile.
The essential oil does all of this by stimulating the production of certain hormones like estrogen.

Cicatrisant
This is a tremendous property of thyme essential oil.
This property makes scars and other ugly spots on your body vanish.
These include the surgical marks, marks left by accioral injuries, acne, pox, measles, and sores.
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Expectorant
When you are suffering from colds and coughs, you need to find an expectorant.
Thyme essential oil is a great one! it helps cure infections that cause cough and cold and drains congestion, thereby giving relief from coughs and colds.

Hypertensive
You might raise your eyebrows about this medicinal property and may not see it as a benefit.
However, this property is very beneficial for those who are suffering from low blood pressure.
Those type of people run the risk of falling unconscious at any time, and feeling sluggish.
This oil can normalize their blood pressure by raising it, which is just as important sometimes as lowering it.

Insecticide
It can keep away insects and pests and also eliminate them if it becomes necessary.
It can be effectively used to keep away parasites that feed on the human body like mosquitoes, fleas, lice, bed-bugs, and flies, as well as insects that attack food grains and clothes like beetles and moths.

How to make thyme oil
Thyme essential oil is produced through the steam distillation of the fresh or partially dried leaves and flowers of the thyme plant.
Distillation produces a red-, brown-, or orange-colored thyme oil, which has a strong, spicy smell.
Further distillation yields white thyme oil, a clear or pale-yellow oil with a mild fragrance.
As mentioned before, its chemical composition varies depending on the type of thyme used in production.
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Culinary uses
The most commonly used thymes for culinary purposes are the common thyme (thymus vulgaris) and lemon thyme (t.x citriodorus), while the most commonly used medicinal thymes are common thyme, spanish thyme (t.zygis), and creeping thyme (t.serpyllum). They are all native to southern europe and western asia, but they are now cultivated commercially in many parts of the world.
Much of the commercial thyme comes from spain, which has 37 varieties of thyme.
The fresh or dried leaves of thyme as well as the flowering tops are widely used to flavor soups, stews, baked or sauteed vegetables, casseroles, and custards.
Thyme provides a warm tangy flavor, somewhat like camphor, and can retain its flavor in slowly cooked dishes.
Thyme is also used in marinades (especially for olives), and in stuffings.
The leaves can also be used in potpourris and moth-repellent sachets.

Thyme is a common wild plant, very pretty and fragrant. It grows in little tufts by waysides, and on dry hillocks; the stalks are round, slender, reddish, six or eight inches long. Leaves, very small, of an oval figure; they grow two at each joint, are smooth, and of a bright green. The flowers are of a pale red, in little tufts at the top of the stalks; the plant has a fragrant smell, and an aromatic and agreeable taste.

Medicinal uses
Thyme contains many important essential oils, which are found to have anti-septic and anti-fungal applications.
Throat gargling with tepid thyme water or drinking few sips of thyme tea may help relieve coughs, sore throat, and bronchitis symptoms.
In the pharmacy, thyme based formulations has been used as an anti-septic mouthwash in the treatment of caries and gingivitis.
In nervous cases, it is a better medicine than most that are used. An infusion of the fresh plant may be used; the taste is agreeable, and if there be perseverance in the use, nervous disorders will be cured. The infusion drank before going to bed will effectually prevent nightmare.


Notice
The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications