Making the Most of Your Thyme: The Herb’s Amazing Health Benefits

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Thyme, a popular herb used to add flavor to a variety of foods, also boasts a range of health benefits. Whether you use it in salads or as a tea, its powerful effects can keep your body and mind going strong. If you haven’t already, be sure to pick some up the next time you’re out shopping. Adding it to your diet (affiliate link to buy thyme and related products from Amazon) is a surefire way to stay in great shape both mentally and physically.

5 Incredible Benefits of Adding Thyme to Your Diet

Improves Respiratory Function

Thyme is one of the best natural ways to improve respiratory problems. In fact, according to The University of Maryland Medical Center, enjoying a cup of thyme tea can help relieve coughs and even shorten the duration of a cold. In Germany, the German Commission E, a group that examines herbal safety and efficacy in the country, has approved thyme as a bronchitis treatment.

Powerful Anti-Microbial Properties

Not only can thyme help preserve foods naturally, but thanks to its essential oil, it can also decontaminate a variety of bacteria. From Staphylococcus aureus to Escherichia coli, research shows that thyme has powerful antimicrobial properties. Studies published in Food Microbiology explain that thyme’s essential oil decontaminated lettuce that had Shigella, which causes diarrhea and other stomach ailments. Even a very small concentration (just 1%) of the oil dropped Shigella’s bacterial levels so low that they could not be detected.

High in Antioxidants

Thyme’s volatile oil, thymol is brimming with antioxidant benefits. Researchers discovered its ability to protect brain cells, paving the way for its role in possible Alzheimer’s disease prevention. Furthermore, thymol (aff link) has also been found to boost the amount of the body’s health fats, specifically omega-3 fatty acids. In turn, problems with brain, kidney and heart cell membranes are lessened.

Rich in Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Thyme is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It’s rich in potassium, iron and calcium, all of which contribute to blood pressure regulation, proper red blood cell formation and distribution of antioxidants in the body. That’s just for starters. The flavorful herb is high in B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, C and folic acid, to name just a few. As such, thyme plays a role in getting rid of free radicals in the body, improving our vision and even protecting us from certain lung and oral cavity cancers.

Helps Relieve Gas and Bloating

It’s often embarrassing and sometimes painful, especially if excess gas is an ongoing issue. Thyme tea to the rescue! Once again, the essential oil in thyme has gas-relieving properties that also help get rid of cramping and bloating.

Did You Know . . .

  • Since ancient times, thyme has been enjoyed for culinary, aromatic and medicinal reasons.
  • Thyme’s aroma was pleasing to those in ancient Greece, where people burned it as incense in temples.
  • “The smell of thyme” was a phrase often used to describe a person or situation that involved courage and admiration, designed to convey utmost praise.

Sources for this article include:

Antonia
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. (http://www.rawfoodhealthwatch.com/)

  • l.reid

    We grow 2 varieties but had no idea it was this useful—-what is the best way to dry it? Does it still have health benefits if dried in oven?

  • l.reid

    do you have good info on other herbs that we can grow in southern Ontario—-that have health benefits ie. fennel?

  • Lucille

    In the fall what ever herbs are left, I cut them down and place them in each their own brown paper bags to dry. I label the bag with the name of the herb and the date. I like using it for tea.