There are few things a sprig of thyme won’t make immensely better. This versatile herb blends well with a myriad of flavors and is packed full of health-promoting compounds, vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
Thyme belongs to the genus Thymus which is part of the mint family and closely related to oregano—another powerful herb. Native to the Southern Mediterranean regions, this perennial herb is now grown around the world for its culinary and therapeutic uses. While this herb will liven up your cooking, thyme may also help expel harmful organisms from your body and support your mental and physical health.
Thyme has remained influential over the years in part because of its health benefits, all of which are owed to its diverse profile of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutritional compounds. Thyme is an excellent source of fiber, calcium, iron, manganese, and vitamins A, B6, and C. There are also robust phenols inside the plant—thymol, eugenol, and carvacrol.
Here is a list of impressive health benefits that have been corroborated by recent studies and research.
1. Resists Harmful Organisms
Thyme contains potent chemical compounds like thymol and carvacrol which are resistant to harmful organisms. Studies have found that thyme promotes fungal balance. Some studies even show compounds found in thyme and oregano oil are helpful as part of a comprehensive strategy for dealing with some types of organisms that are particularly aggressive.
2. Supports Respiratory Health
Respiratory health is important, especially for those with compromised immune systems. Thyme supports normal respiratory health in every season. Studies show that thyme combined with primrose root helps soothe your airways and promote normal lung health.
3. Promotes Heart Health
Blood pressure and cholesterol both play a significant role in heart health. Thyme contains nutrients that support normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
4. Mood Booster
Thyme may help maintain mental wellness. Daily consumption of thyme and oregano oil can influence neurotransmitters and boost your mood. One compound found in thyme oil, carvacrol, when consumed over a seven-day period, positively affected dopamine and serotonin status.
5. Encourages Healthy-looking Skin
For years, nurses wrapped thyme into bandages to help wounds heal. Recent studies confirm that thyme does have the ability to support skin health. One study even noted thyme might contribute to reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
6. Natural Bug Repellent
Thyme is a favorite herb to grow at home. Not only is it convenient for cooking, but it may help keep your home bug free. Thyme acts as a natural repellent for mosquitoes and other pests.
7. Powerful Antioxidant
Thyme is a great source of antioxidants such as apigenin, luteolin, saponins, and tannins. These antioxidant compounds help neutralize free radicals before they can cause harm and oxidative stress. Thyme and iron are often taken together to help keep a better balance and reduce the chances of oxidative stress from occurring.
8. Soothes Occasional Coughs and Sore Throats
For years, thyme has been used to support seasonal wellness. Many studies have validated this use, showing thyme’s ability to help your body get over an occasional cough and sore throat.
9. Promotes Oral Health
Thyme, along with other herbs, can support good oral health. Thyme essential oils can protect against harmful organisms that target the mouth, and help prevent bad breath.
10. Food Safety and Preservation
While thyme is a well-liked addition to many dishes, it can be used for more than taste. Thyme’s resistance to harmful organisms is something that’s been observed and harnessed by large-scale food producers. Thyme essential oil is an effective, natural way to preserve food and increase shelf life.