Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Taste: pungent, Aroma
tic, herbaceous, warm, stimulating to immunity but relaxing to tissue, thereby penetrating and loosening Energetics: Expectorant
, anti-viral, anti-Bacteria
l, anti-fungal, Carminative
, diaphoretic, Emmenagogue
, diffusive Organ System Affinity: Lung
system, mucous membranes, Skin
Contraindications: none known
Part of plant used: flowers with leaves
Plant family: Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Used fresh, dried or both: both fresh or dried
Best menstruums for extraction: water, honey; alcohol or oil
Medicine Making Dilutions: fresh tincture 1:2; dried 1:5 (75% alcohol, 25% water); tea- 1-2 tsp. steeped in 8 oz. of hot water covered for 10 min.
Dosage: tincture- 3-10 drops 3-4 times daily; tea- 1-2 cups daily
The name thyme has an interesting origin, and people don't necessarily agree what the name means. In some circles, I hear that it is derived from the Greek word thumus, meaning courage. Maude Grieve makes note of this origin. But she also states that the word 'thyme' translates as 'to fumigate'. Seeing as the plant was recognized for its pleasing scent, but also for its stimulating effect, it's possible both translations are correct.
Relaxes the autonomic Nervous
system, and tissue in mucous membranes.
Culpepper says it is a 'noble strengthener of the Lung
I have used it successfully in formulas for damp Cough
s, and for dry Cough
An exceptional plant in formulas for RSV, whooping Cough
. It combines especially well with garlic for these illnesses. You may also use thyme for symptom relief with Antibiotic
, flu and Respiratory
illnesses with stuck and stagnant mucous. It loosens thick Mucus
and relieves Congestion
, as it is penetrating. While it is warming, it is diffusive, meaning it helps to move heat.
and general Gastrointestin
al problems. It has been historically viewed as having a strong affinity for the Gastrointestin
al tract when there is Spasms
, gas, Colic
, poor Digestion
Topically, thyme as an infused oil or essential oil is an excellent remedy for Fungal Infection
and joint Pain
Cold and flu
s- tincture of osha, thyme, elecampane, wild cherry bark
s - syrup of garlic, thyme; tincture of thyme, elecampane, Solomon seal, lobelia
, general- tea of thyme, peppermint, holy basil
5 Health Benefits of Thyme (Healing Herbs in the Thymus Genus)
The term thyme encompasses several wild and cultivated herbs in the Thymus genus of plants, including Wild Thyme, Garden Thyme and Mother-of-Thyme. Since ancient times, the tiny green leaves and the purple or white flowers of these healthy herbs have been used medicinally - often in the form of herbal thyme tea - to treat everything from whooping Cough
, Sore throat
ache caused by excess Flatulence
(intestinal gas) and rheumatoid Arthritis
. In addition to being linked to numerous health benefits, thyme is a popular culinary herb that lends its citrusy tang to many types of dishes.
In this article, we take a look at the most interesting potential health benefits of thyme, plus provide serving suggestions to help you reap the benefits of this wonderful healing herb.
Thyme contains a number of Anti-inflammatory
compounds, including luteolin and rosmarinic Acid
, which may provide health benefits for people with certain Anti-inflammatory
conditions such as rheumatoid Arthritis
and inflammatory Acne
. Luteolin has been shown to exert strong inhibitory effects against TBK1, an Enzyme
that has been linked to inflammatory diseases. In fact, a study published in the April 2009 issue of the journal Biochemical Pharmacology found that luteolin showed the strongest inhibitory activity against TBK1 among the six tested compounds, all of which are known for their Anti-inflammatory
properties. The rosmarinic Acid
in thyme, in turn, is thought to exert Anti-inflammatory
activity by inhibiting lipOxygen
ase and cycloOxygen
ase, two Enzyme
s that have been associated with inflammatory responses.
Maximize the Benefits: Whip up an Anti-inflammatory
salad dressing by mixing thyme, oregano and rosemary with walnut oil (rich in omega-3 fat
s) and apple cider vinegar.
Thyme and its Potential in Cancer
Thyme contains several phytochemicals (such as ursolic Acid
, rosmarinic Acid
and luteolin) that have been linked to anti-Cancer
activity in laboratory studies. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that also thyme as a herb - rather than its individual components - has shown promise as a potential natural Cancer
fighter. A study published in the November 2012 edition of the journal Natural Product Communications reported the extracts of Mastic Thyme (Thymus mastichina L.) may have a protective effect against Colon Cancer
. Another study, published in the journal Nutrit
ion and Cancer
, found that Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) caused apoptosis (cell death) in breast Cancer
cells. Yet another study found that luteolin, one of the active compounds identified in thyme, was capable of neutralizing Trp-P-2, a common carcinogen that is formed during cooking and that is often present in cooked meat in significant amounts.
Maximize the Benefits: Thyme pairs well with many of the world's most famous Cancer
-fighting foods such as onions, carrots and tomatoes.
Thyme and H. Pylori Infection
A study published in the Journal of Applied Bacteriology found aqueous extracts of thyme and alcoholic extracts of cinnamon had the strong inhibitory activity against Helicobacter Pylori
. The inhibitory effects of the thyme extract were even stronger than those of some common anti-Bacteria
ls. As you may know, Helicobacter Pylori
- or H. Pylori
for short - is a pathogenic bacterium that lives in the Stomach
of the infected people. If left untreated, H. Pylori Infection
s can cause peptic Ulcers
or even gastric Cancer
s are the most common (and effective) treatment for H. Pylori Infection
s, but scientists are constantly looking for alternative treatments as H. Pylori
strains are becoming increasingly resistant to Antibiotic
Maximize the Benefits: Pair thyme with cranberries which may also have H. Pylori
fighting properties (for more on this, check out our in-depth article on how cranberries kill H. Pylori
Thyme as a Treatment for Acne
A British study suggests that thyme preparations might help fight Acne
vulgaris by killing Propionibacterium Acne
s, the bacterium that causes Acne
. Scientists from Leeds Metropolitan University tested the effects of thyme, marigold and myrrh tinctures on Propionibacterium Acne
s (P. Acne
s), and found that while all three extracts were able to kill the bacterium in a laboratory setting, the thyme extract was the most effective of the tested tinctures. They also found that thyme tincture had stronger AntiBacteria
l effects against P. Acne
s than benzoyl peroxide, the active ingredient in most anti-Acne
creams. While clinical trials are still needed to assess the Acne
-fighting potential of thyme in humans, one thing is for sure: the results of this preliminary study will bring new hope for the millions of teenagers and adults suffering from persistent Acne
Maximize the Effects: Organically-raised, Skin
less chicken is a great source of many Acne
-fighting vitamins, plus it can keep those Acne
s in check. Use fresh thyme, along with other Aroma
tic herbs such as oregano and rosemary, as a poultry seasoning.
Intrigued by the link between low incidence of CardioVascular
diseases in the Mediterranean countries and the major role thyme plays in the Mediterranean diet, a group of researchers at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, conducted a study to investigate the potential Cardio
protective effects of wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum L.) in rats. The results, which were published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrit
ion in 2013, were promising: the thyme extract caused a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic Blood Pressure
and total peripheral resistance in rats with high Blood Pressure
, but not in rats with normal Blood Pressure
. However, given the novelty of these results, further research on these effects - particularly in humans - is warranted.
Reap the Benefits: Combine thyme with Cardio
protective foods like tomatoes, nuts or salmon, or make a Heart
-healthy salad dressing by mixing extra-virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar (or organic lemon juice) with freshly chopped thyme.
K. Samejima et (1995). Luteolin: A Strong Antimutagen against Dietary Carcinogen, Trp-P-2, in Peppermint, Sage, and Thyme. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 43(2), 410-414.
W. Zheng and S. Wang (2001). Antioxidant
activity and phenolic compounds in selected herbs. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 49(11),5165-70.
J. Lee et al (2009). Suppression of the TRIF-dependent signaling pathway of Toll-like receptors by luteolin. Biochemical Pharmacology, 77(8), 1391-1400.
G. Gamaro et al (2011). Effect of Rosmarinic and Caffeic Acid
s on Inflammatory and Nociception Process in Rats. ISRN Pharmacol. 451682.
J. Gordo et al (2012). Thymus mastichina: chemical constituents and their anti-Cancer
activity. Natural Product Communications, 7(11), 1491-4.
E. Bozkurt et al (2012). Effects of Thymus serpyllum Extract on Cell Proliferation, Apoptosis and Epigenetic Events in Human Breast Cancer
ion and Cancer
, 64(8), 1245-1250.
M. Tabak et al (1996). In vitro inhibition of Helicobacter Pylori
by extracts of thyme. Journal of Applied Bacteriology, 80(6), 667-672.
N. Mihailovic-Stanojevic et al (2013). Antioxidant
and Antihypertensive Activity of Extract from Thymus serpyllum L. in Experimental Hypertension
. Plant Foods for Human Nutrit
ion, 68(3), 235-240.