Thyme has a long history of use that dates back as far as 2750 BC with Sumerian cuneiform tablets suggesting that Thyme be dried and pulverized with pears, figs and water for use as a poultice. The Egyptians used it to embalm their dead, and the Romans threw Thyme on their floors to deter venomous creatures. The Benedictine monks added Thyme to their elixirs for its health supportive benefits. Both in the past and today, thyme has been readily used as a culinary spice in chowders, stews, sauces and stuffing. There are up to 400 different species of Thyme including different culinary flavored thymes such as lemon thyme and decorative species such as creeping thyme. Thyme grows in many regions around the world, but prefers dry, rocky soil. It is cultivated commercially in Europe, especially Hungary, Turkey and Germany.
What is Thyme Used For?
Thyme has long been used to support the immune system and support surrounding mucous membranes. A component of Thyme, thymol, has been well studied for its microbial benefits, specifically in mouthwashes, gargles, cough drops and vapor rubs. Thyme also has digestive supportive properties, has naturally occurring antioxidants, and supports healthy levels of inflammation.
Traditional Health Benefits of Thyme
Additional Information on this Herb
Thyme is composed of many essential oils including thymol, carvacol and phenol. It also contains terpenes, flavonoids, and saponins.
1.) Kitajima J, Ishikawa T, Urabe A, Satoh M. Monoterpenoids and their glycosides from the leaf of thyme. Phytochemistry 2004;65:3279-87. 2.) Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=1823.) Proestos C, Chorianopoulos N, Nychas GJ, Komaitis M. RP-HPLC analysis of the phenolic compounds of plant extracts. investigation of their antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial activity. J Agric Food Chem 2005;53:1190-5..
Not for use in excess during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.
- This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.
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