Thyme: Healthful Benefits Over Time
Just take a look in kitchen cabinet and you’ll probably find a bottle of thyme. Or, you may have your own herb garden filled with herbs including thyme. Used for centuries, thyme traditionally flavors stews and is mixed in with roasted
vegetables. It is a widely used and a popular herb. It is easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive to purchase fresh or dried. This wonderfully fragrant herb has many uses in the kitchen, but for purposes of this article, the health benefits of thyme will be discussed.
Derived from the Greek word meaning courage, it is said that Roman soldiers took thyme baths to energize and prepare for battle. Conversely, women would sew sprigs of thyme into the vests of their knights as good luck tokens. More notably, the Egyptians used it as embalming fluid. It stands to reason since thyme is known to be both a preservative and an antifungal agent. Thyme also has antiseptic qualities. Surely one time or another it has been used as a tea bag and placed on the eyes to cure sties, and aid in treating pink eye or conjunctivitis.
Externally applied, thyme has been used to help treat tumors, dental decay, plaque, thrush, tonsillitis, halitosis, deep wounds, and bruises. It is said to be effective for destroying skin parasites, such as scabies, crabs and lice. Used internally, thyme properties work to rid parasites in the gastrointestinal tract. If you happen to have a herbal garden, thyme can be crushed and used to clean cuts and scrapes, offering an immediate antiseptic remedy. Studies have shown that the innate qualities in thyme destroy many forms of fungus and bacteria. As a tea, thyme has beneficial results in gastrointestinal problems. In addition, it can relieve both hangovers and act as a digestive aid or tonic.
Especially helpful to women, because of its antispasmodic qualities, it offers relief from cramps associated with monthly periods. This herb is said to be effective in the treatment of chest infections for which phlegm can be expelled from the lungs. It has been used effectively for sore throats, coughs, croup, whooping cough, acute bronchitis, laryngitis and asthma.
Thyme oil has been used to treat topical fungal infections and is also used in toothpastes to prevent gingivitis. It is also considered an excellent expectorant. It is said to relax the muscle of the stomach, relieving a variety of stomach upsets. Thyme is also used to alleviate chronic gastritis, lack of appetite, indigestion, irritable bowel and colic. In addition, it is also used to ease convulsions, epilepsy, menstrual cramps and spasm-induced coughing and diarrhea. As a tonic, thyme is believed to stimulate the nervous system, alleviating such nervous disorders as depression, nightmares, nervous exhaustion, insomnia and melancholy.
With all that said, thyme is one efficient and effective herb!