Thyme, a traditional herb from the mint family is not only a culinary staple in many parts of the world owing to its characteristic taste but also a remedy, thanks to its innumerable health benefits. The herb goes by the botanical name Thymus vulgaris and is native to Western Asia and Southern Europe.
Known by several names such as Common Thyme, Garden Thyme, French Thyme, Spanish Thyme, Tomillo, Van Ajwayan, Vanya Yavani, this herb is vouched by Ayurveda, Siddha, and Chinese practitioners for its effectiveness in treating a range of respiratory disorders including whooping cough, bronchitis, sore throat, stomach pain, gastritis, diarrhoea, skin problems etc.
The name ‘thyme’ is derived from the Latin word ‘thymus’ which again comes from the Greek word ‘thumus’ which means ‘smoke’ due to its invigorating aroma. Dating back to thousands of years, ancient Greeks and Romans burned this traditional herb as a form of incense in temples, homes and holy places to ward off airborne bacteria and microbes.
Reputed as a healer and protector, thyme oil was also used as an antidote for protecting a person from poisoning, used as a digestive aid and also as a cure for cough and cold. Ancient Egyptians even used this essential oil for the embalming of mummies since they believed that the incense of this aromatic herb is a powerful aid to help them in their journey of the afterlife. Later, thyme was introduced to the whole world as a culinary and medicinal herb with loads of potential health benefits.
Thyme exists in 4 varieties, which are common thyme, red creeping thyme, caraway thyme, and lemon thyme. Thanks to its active constituents, essential oils, and pharmacological properties, the herbal products made using this aromatic herb has been gaining quite a bit repute in treating umpteen health anomalies.
Health Benefits Of Thyme Based Products
Treats respiratory Problems:
The abundance of anti-bacterial and expectorant properties of thyme essential oil, make this herb a one-stop-remedy for quite a few respiratory problems. It helps clear mucus and phlegm deposits from the nasal passage and provides relief from chest congestion. The soothing nature of thyme plays a key role in treating dry, irritated throat. It also serves as a potent remedy for asthma, bronchitis, sinus, headache, and pharyngitis.
Gargle your sore throat with warm water infused with thyme essential oil to get instant relief from cough and congestion.
Promotes Heart Health:
Recent researches suggest that a load of essential oils present in thyme has a relaxing and soothing effect on veins and arteries. Crushed thyme leaves or thyme powder products help dilate the blood vessels, thereby reducing the heart rate and flow of blood. It also lowers cholesterol and prevents deposition of debris within the capillaries, which in turn prevents ailments like atherosclerosis and lowers the risk of heart attacks and heart blocks.
Also Read: Top 10 Superfoods For A Healthy Heart
Aids In Digestion:
The antispasmodic properties of thyme induced products prevent harmful gases in the stomach and also interact with the gastric enzymes thereby boosting digestion, relieving flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. The richness of volatile oils also helps in curbing abdominal cramps and prevent constipation.
Have a spoon of crushed thyme leaf powder along with warm water early in the morning to improve gut health.
Enhances Skin Health:
Thyme essential oil or cosmetic products induced with this pungent herb are packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants. The skincare products as a natural remedy for several skin problems including acne, pimples, rashes, cuts, and scars. It also prevents oxidative sun damage, treats various signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines and promotes a healthy, glowing rejuvenated skin.
Apply a wet cotton ball with a drop of thyme and tea tree essential oil to the affected areas on your face to get rid of acne.
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Boosts Hair Health
Thyme essential oil is an essential ingredient in most of the hair-care products. Thanks to its innumerable healthful nutrients, thyme based shampoos and hair serums help in hair growth, treats dandruff and lice and prevents hair fall. The anti-bacterial property of thyme oil also prevents itching due to scalp infections.
Also read: Top 10 Hair Oils For A Healthy And Lustrous Mane
Being a rich source of antioxidants and bioactive components, thyme essential oil confers several folk remedies for improving the immune system, combatting microbes and shielding the body against various infections. It also inherently portrays the presence of strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antifungal properties, which is extremely effective in preventing various infections like fever, common cold, sore throat, and other respiratory anomalies.
Wards Of Bugs
Insects and bugs are the root cause of several problems. Being carriers of different types of viruses, bacteria, or other microbes, not only can they contaminate food and lead to food poisoning but also cause allergic conditions ranging from rashes and itching to fever and hallucinations. Some insects can even lead to lethal infectious diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, yellow fever, etc. Thanks to the presence of potent anti-bacterial properties, patchouli essential oil is extensively used for killing different types of insects including mosquitoes, house flies, ants, fleas, etc.
Relaxes The Mind
Imbued with an abundance of adaptogenic, and sedative properties, this incredible essential oil not only improves the mood but also relieves stress. It holds high significance in providing mental stability by regulating the stress hormone, i.e., serotonin which in turn attenuates the various symptoms of anxiety including restlessness, uneasiness, cold hands, and feet, etc. and bestows a fresh and happy feeling.
Oral Health Benefits
Potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of thyme oil make it beneficial for oral health. Used in several dental products, thyme has antibacterial compounds such as caryophyllene and camphene. Thyme helps get rid of bacteria and is powerful in treating cavities and dental infections. Thyme based products also combat bad breath, plaque, and tooth decay. Thyme infusions can be safely used as an alkaline mouthwash to improve overall dental health.
Thyme, a fat-soluble vitamin, is a rich source of Vitamin A which augments a sharper and better vision. Since thyme extracts are a very good source of carotenoids, they promote and maintain healthy mucus membranes. Consumption of thyme tea to treat dry eyes is strongly recommended.
Combats Headache And Muscle Cramps
Known to be a potential anti-inflammatory herb, applying droplets of thyme oil on the forehead can fight mild to severe headaches. Thyme tea soothes abdominal cramps during periods and helps treating PMS in women.
Aids Bone Health
Thyme is an excellent source of Vitamin K, iron, manganese, and calcium. These minerals play a pivotal role in maintaining bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Thyme based essential oil and other products offer immense health benefits. Enriched with powerful antioxidants and healthful nutrients, it is extremely beneficial in improving heart and respiratory health, promoting digestion, enhancing skin health and uplifting immunity.