For ancient Rome, thyme was believed to “promote vigor” and was used in their baths or spas. In Europe, singers even today, follow the tradition of gargling with thyme, marjoram and honey tea to preserve their voices.
Thyme along with sage and marjoram are recommended to use as a gargle; to relieve laryngitis, tonsillitis, clogged sinus and lung congestion.
In females, a hormone like substance prostaglandin (PG2) increases and can cause the dreaded “monthly cramps”. But thyme, along with ginger, or cloves can be most beneficial for these symptoms. Try taking thyme a week before menstruation starts to decrease the pain of the cramps. Also avoid fried foods and baked goods because hydrogenated oils also increase PG2.
Thyme contains a very powerful antiseptic called “thymol”, this is the reason it is so successful as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Thymol is great for the gums, tooth decay, mucous membranes and helps prevent bacterial growth. It is also used in Listerine! German research has found that thymol can also stop herpes simplex virus from replicating.
Thyme oil is effective against bacteria that are becoming resistant to antibiotics; particularly the “flesh eating” bacteria; Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. Also, researchers at University of Illinois have shown that thyme contains 40 cancer preventing substances.
In ancient Egypt, embalmers used thyme to ready mummies for their heavenly journey. In Greece, lambs were encouraged to graze in fields of wild thyme to make them tastier for eating! Thyme was also used to preserve food; ancient cooks packed meat in thyme to protect it from spoiling.
Plant thyme with your other plants to prevent whitefly infestation, it is a repellent! If you have bees, keep thyme planted close by because it attracts bees and thyme flavored honey is considered “the nectar of the gods”.
Thyme can help with increasing Iron in the blood but take it with Vitamin C so it can be better absorbed by the body.
Mix thyme oil with almond or olive oil and massage it into your neck and chest to relieve congestion or bronchitis.
1 cup of boiling water, 2 tsps. thyme leaves, pinch of salt
Pour water over leaves, cover and steep for 20 minutes.
Strain, add salt, and gargle as needed. Store in the refrigerator, it will keep for several days. Add sage, as an option.
Herbs for Health and Healing by Kathi Keville
The Good Herb by Judith Bunn Hurley
Healing Spices by Bharat B, Aggarwal