Thyme herb has many varieties and a number of medicinal uses. It was used extensively by the ancient Greeks and Romans and has antiseptic properties, which makes it invaluable for treating infections. Thyme oil is often found as an ingredient in cough syrups.
The health benefits of thyme include:
- Thyme is known to be an effective preservative.
- The herb has antifungal properties. It can be made into a tea and used to clean areas infected with athlete’s foot or fungal infections of the nails.
- One of the main uses of thyme is as an antiseptic. Thyme tea bags can be applied as a compress to infected eyes. The fresh herb can be crushed to release the active ingredients and applied to cuts and wounds as a natural antiseptic, though the fresh herb may be irritating to those who have sensitive skin.
- When taken as a raw herb it can help digestive problems. It can relax the stomach muscles and prevent a build-up of gas in the system.
- It is an antispasmodic, which means it can be beneficial for women who are suffering from menstrual cramps.
- Thyme herb can be made into a tea, which can ease the symptoms of a hangover.
- The tea is good for those suffering from a sore throat or cold and is good for reducing inflammation in the respiratory system. It is a natural expectorant, clearing congestion from the airways.
- The herb can be added to hot water and used as a steam treatment to clear the airways when suffering from colds and bronchial conditions.
- Thyme herb is also thought to be good for toothache.
- Some have used it to treat depression and stress, and it is known that the Romans used it as a cure for melancholy. The essential oil can be used to lift moods and calm people who are stressed.
- The uses of thyme also include adding to a hot bath as an effective pain reliever for body aches.
Thyme herb is available in a number of forms. The dried herb can be purchased and made into a tea, and thyme essential oil is used frequently in aromatherapy.
Wild thyme extract is also available and is often used in skin care products for its astringent and antioxidant properties, helping to clear the skin of blemishes and keeping it looking younger.
Side effects of the herb are rare, but there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration when using it. Thyme oil should not be ingested, as it is too powerful and can cause nausea and vomiting.
The oil should not be applied directly to the skin without dilution, as it can be an irritant. Thyme can also be stimulating to the uterus so should not be used by pregnant women.