- What is thyme?
- Nutritional composition of thyme
- The 12 benefits of thyme tea on the human body
- Thyme in its different forms
Our current world is confronted with modern medicine, which in most cases offers us chemical treatments.
These treatments work in many cases, but they are full of side effects that sometimes lead to other health problems.
It is therefore quite normal to seek holistic and natural alternatives to our various daily health concerns.
Among these alternatives we have thyme. Frequently used as a spice for various recipes, or else infused in the form of tea, today let’s talk about thees numerous benefits of thyme infusion.
What is thyme?
The history of thyme
Thyme is a fragrant, small-leafed, woody-stemmed culinary herb that is frequently used in French, Mediterranean, Italian and Provencal cuisines (1).
It pairs well with lamb, poultry and tomatoes, and is often used in soups, stews, broths and sauces.
Other herbs like rosemary, marjoram, parsley, oregano and bay leaf can be combined with thyme for even more flavor.
The ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. In ancient Greece, the Greeks used it in their baths and burned it like incense in their temples, believing it to be a source of courage.
The spread of thyme throughout Europe was made thanks to the Romans, who used it to purify their room; but also to give an aromatic flavor to cheese and liqueurs.
In the Middle Ages in Europe, grass was placed under pillows to facilitate sleep and prevent nightmares.
Uses of thyme
Although there are many varieties of thyme, the two types that are mainly used in cooking are common thyme and lemon thyme. Both have sweet, slightly pungent flavors and are very aromatic. Lemon thyme has a slight citrus flavor.
Thyme is one of the main components of Herbes de Provence, a blend that also includes marjoram, rosemary, summer savory, lavender flowers and other dried herbs.
Thyme is also included in the traditional bouquet garni: a bundle of herbs and aromatics used in broths and sauces.
In its dried form, thyme is also a component of the basic spice sachet, which is also used to add flavor and aroma to broths.
Nutritional composition of thyme
Thyme herb is packed with many health-promoting phytonutrients (plant-derived compounds), minerals, and vitamins essential for overall well-being.
Botanically, thyme belongs to the Lamiaceae family, in the genus Thymus.
As mentioned above, thyme leaves offer significant levels of quality phytonutrients; 100 grams of fresh leaves provide the following contributions, compared to what our body needs daily:
- 38% dietary fiber;
- 27% vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine);
- 266% vitamin C;
- 158% vitamin A;
- 218% iron;
- 40% calcium;
- 40% magnesium;
- 75% manganese;
- 0% cholesterol.
The active ingredients of thyme
Thyme contains many active ingredients known to have disease prevention properties (2).
Thyme herb contains thymol, a very important essential oil. Thymol has antiseptic and antifungal characteristics. Other volatile oils in thyme include carvacrol, borneol, and geraniol.
Thyme contains many flavonoid phenolic antioxidants like zeaxanthin, lutein, apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin.
Fresh thyme herb has one of the highest levels of antioxidants among aromatic herbs, with a radical oxygen uptake capacity of 27— µmol TE / 426 g.
Thyme is packed with minerals and vitamins essential for optimal health.
Its leaves are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and selenium.
Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
Manganese is used by the body as an antioxidant enzyme cofactor. Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells.
The herb is also a rich source of several vitamins such as the B complex vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, and folic acid.
Thyme provides 0,35 mg of vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine; providing about 27% of the recommended daily allowance.
Pyridoxine maintains the levels of the beneficial neurotransmitter in the brain at their optimum, and also plays an anti-stress role.
To read: The benefits of ginger infusion
The 12 benefits of thyme tea on the human body
Against coughs and bronchitis
Thyme contains an essential oil rich in thymol. Thymol has natural expectorant properties that are effective in suppressing coughs, relieving chest congestion, and preventing colds.
In addition to expectorant properties, thymol essential oil has antispasmodic and bronchial properties.
This is why thyme is very useful for treating mild and chronic bronchitis, sore throats, whooping cough, asthma, laryngitis and inflammation of the respiratory tract.
An antibacterial herbal tea
Thymol infusion also acts as a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and powerful antioxidant.
It can be used in mouthwashes to treat inflammation of the mouth and infections of the throat.
The antibacterial property of thyme makes it an excellent remedy for a variety of yeast, fungal and bacterial infections.
Ointments containing thymol are also applied to the skin to relieve insect bites and other hair sores.
For the balance of the digestive tract
Thyme tea helps with gastrointestinal problems such as upset stomach, chronic gastritis, lack of appetite, indigestion, stomach cramps, irritable bowel syndrome, and colic.
This wonderful herb is very effective in relaxing the stomach muscles. Also, it helps to dissolve and remove mucus from the intestinal tract.
For the health of the cardiovascular system
The antispasmodic property of thyme is useful in treating heart disease. In particular, thyme oil works wonders in relieving arteries and veins strained by stress; thus reducing blood pressure and promoting good heart health.
Thyme also contains terpenoids, rosmarinic and ursolic acids, known for their cancer-preventive properties.
Regular consumption of thyme also increases the amount of docosahexaenoic acid in the membranes of brain cells, kidneys, and heart cells (3).
Thyme acts as a tonic agent which helps stimulate the nervous system and relieve nervous disorders, such as depression, nightmares, nervous exhaustion, stress, insomnia and melancholy.
For the protection of your skin
When applied externally, thyme helps heal wounds and bruises.
Skin parasites like scabies, ticks and lice are successfully eliminated with natural thyme medicines.
Thyme extracts are also applied externally to treat many skin infections and nail infections.
Thyme can be used for most parts of the body. This herb also helps for the treatment of conjunctivitis when placed on the eyes.
In addition, thyme infusions are effective remedies for tumors, tonsillitis, halitosis, deep wounds and other skin conditions.
Thyme herbal tea: A daily healer
Thyme also helps alleviate many other illnesses of small or medium importance, such as mild sore throat, runny nose, sciatica.
It also helps relieve headaches, rheumatic pain, nerve stimulation, macular degeneration
For menstrual cramps, diarrhea, PMS, symptoms of menopause, epilepsy, and seizures, think thyme.
Thyme in its different forms
Thyme has many uses in everyday life beyond herbal teas. It is sold in the form of stems, dried leaves of thyme, extracted liquid, mother tincture or even in the form of a bag for herbal teas.
You also have thyme essential oil which is used for massages. This oil is very beneficial against inflammations such as osteoarthritis.
It is also used in the case of pain and sports injuries. Thyme essential oil is also applied to the body to repel mosquitoes and other insects.
For respiratory problems, thyme essential oil is used in steam water to cure the patient.
If you have trouble breathing with colds and the like, take a steam bath with thyme essential oil. This will help you breathe better and sleep well.
Some people use thyme infusion to reduce the agitations of people with insanity (mild disturbances).
Cooking with thyme
Whole sprigs of fresh thyme can be used to roast meat, poultry or vegetables. But because of their sturdy and woody stems, the strands should be removed before serving.
The small leaves are easily removed from the stems and are frequently used to season frying or broiling meats.
The leaves can also be lightly crushed before use, releasing the volatile and flavorful oils in thyme (4).
Storage of thyme
Fresh thyme should be stored in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about a week. It can also be frozen on a baking sheet and then stored in zipper bags in the freezer for six months.
In its dry form, thyme will keep for about six months in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Thyme retains much of its flavor when dried.
When replacing dry with fresh, use a third of dried thyme versus fresh thyme.
So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, you will use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
Honey thyme infusion
You will need:
- 10-12 sprigs of thyme
- 1 ½ liter of mineral water
- 2 tablespoons of honey
Boil your mineral water for 10-15 minutes. Lower the pot from the fire as soon as the first bubbles appear.
In a utensil, wash your thyme stems.
In a (glass) jar, place the thyme sprigs. Pour boiling water and add honey to it. Mix well and seal the jar tightly.
Let this infusion sit in a place where the sun rays penetrate, either in the garden, on the balcony, or at a window so that the sun rays penetrate the jar and activate the thyme infusion.
Keep the infusion in the tightly closed jar for 10-14 days.
Open your jar at the end of this period. Basically, your infusion should smell like thyme. You can drink your infusion over several days.
At the end of the infusion, you can remove the thyme branches. I prefer to keep them myself. For several people, make a larger amount of thyme tea.
This thyme infusion is very easy to make. It is effective against colds, bronchitis and colds.
Turmeric thyme herbal tea
You will need:
- 3 tablespoons of dried thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons of dried or fresh green tea
- 1 finger of ginger
- 4 cups of mineral water
- 4 teaspoons of turmeric. Turmeric peels would be perfect
- 2 teaspoons of honey or any other ingredient to sweeten your infusion
Put your mineral water in a fireproof container. Boil the water and take it off the fire
Add your spoonfuls of thyme, cinnamon and green tea. Leave covered for 15 minutes.
Filter and add your honey to it.
This drink can be kept for a week in the fridge.
- The turmeric in your thyme tea has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
This spice is known for its preventive actions on the immune system.
Turmeric and curcumin also protects against the development of cancer cells. It fights against Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative diseases.
Combine your turmeric with ginger, pepper (with piperine) to facilitate its absorption in your body.
- Ginger is a fairly popular spice. It is known and consumed in all corners of the planet.
Its use is not only culinary, your ginger has many medical properties. Anti Inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, ginger is an essential spice in winter. It also helps facilitate digestion.
Very important in the treatment of mild illnesses, ginger adds to the medicinal power of your thyme infusion.
- Green tea is a powerful antioxidant. It helps burn fat especially abdominal fat.
Your green tea is an anti inflammatory, a detoxifier. It increases insulin sensitivity in the body, which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Green tea fights blood cholesterol, supports the immune system and improves vitality and athletic performance.
Green tea inhibits the supply of oxygen to tumors, which promotes the destruction of tumors and cancers.
The combination of green tea with an infusion of thyme has a powerful power in protecting the immune system in general.
This thyme infusion is highly recommended for people with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes.
Lemon thyme herbal tea
You will need:
- 2 tea bags
- 1 whole lemon
- 6 sprigs of thyme
- 3 cups of mineral water
- Honey as needed
Boil your cups of mineral water.
Turn off the heat and add the tea bags to it. Then add your thyme branches and cover. Leave to infuse for about 20 minutes. Add your lemon juice and honey.
Drink your lemon thyme tea hot.
Another alternative to this tea is to drink it chilled. In this second case, let your infusion cool. Then put it in the fridge, or add ice cubes to drink it right away.
This hot drink will help you on winter evenings against colds, colds and especially the melancholy that sometimes takes hold of us in winter.
Lemon is an antioxidant, very effective against mild illnesses. It is also advised in the prevention of cancers and tumors because its nutrients inhibit the activity of tumors and cancer cells in the body.
If lemon is causing you insomnia worries, then skip this recipe and prefer the above ones. On the other hand, I sleep well after taking a lemon infusion or herbal tea.
Precautions for use
We sometimes read on the net herbal tea made from thyme essential oil. Which is dangerous because thyme essential oil can be poisonous if consumed orally.
- Avoid consuming the thyme leaves directly as migraines, palpitations, nausea, and dizziness may result.
- Thyme lowers blood pressure. Which is good if you have high blood pressure and are not on medication.
However, if you are under medical prescription, seek the advice of your doctor before prolonged consumption of thyme.
- Thyme also lowers blood sugar levels. Before consuming it regularly, talk to your doctor if you already have diabetes or low blood sugar.
Refrain from consuming thyme infusion if you are taking blood sugar medications.
This is to avoid any interference that it could have between the properties of thyme and that of your medicines.
- If you have difficulty in blood clotting or are taking clotting medications, avoid prolonged consumption of thyme.
Thyme in fact thins the blood and could therefore interfere with anti-coagulant or coagulant drugs.
- If you are on medication for the liver, talk to your doctor before taking thyme for a long time.
- Thyme could affect your pregnancy or your fertility, avoid consuming it during pregnancy to limit the risk of abortion.
- If you have allergies to mint or rosemary, avoid thyme (5).
How about a good thyme tea for winter evenings? Fill up on nutrients with thyme infusions combined with other vegetables and fruits. Through its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, protect yourself from cold diseases.
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