Thyme is an herb from the mint family that you probably recognize from your spice set. But it’s so much more than an after-thought ingredient.
Its range of use is impressive, and it has over 400 subspecies. Ancient Egyptians used it in their embalming practices, while ancient Greeks used it as incense.
Thanks to its distinctive taste, thyme has remained a culinary staple to this day. But thyme is also fast gaining a reputation for its medicinal qualities, such as its ability to help treat acne and high blood pressure.
IT’S ABOUT THYME
If you’re tired of buying and trying over-the-counter acne medication with no good results, you may be in luck. Thyme is known for its antibacterial properties and it might have a future as an acne-fighting ingredient.
When thyme is steeped in alcohol for days or weeks, it turns into a solution known as a tincture. Researchers in the U.K. have tested the effects of thyme tinctures on acne.
In the one study done on thyme tincture, the findings were impressive. This natural herb preparation fought pimples better than antiacne products, which included benzoyl peroxide. Time will tell if this remedy is an effective acne treatment.
THYME TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Thymus linearis Benth. is a species of thyme found in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
A study found that an extract was able to significantly reduce heart rate in rats with high blood pressure, and it was also able to lower their cholesterol.
One sure way to use thyme to help lower your heart rate is to substitute it for salt in your foods.
THYME TO STOP COUGHING
Thyme essential oil, which is obtained from its leaves, is often used as a natural cough remedy. In one study, a combination of thyme and ivy leaves helped to alleviate coughing and other symptoms of acute bronchitis.
Next time you’re faced with a cough or sore throat, try drinking some thyme tea.
THYME TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
Getting all the vitamins your body needs every day can be challenging. Luckily, thyme is packed with vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A. If you feel a cold coming on, thyme can help get you back in good health.
Another health benefit of thyme: It’s a good source of copper, fiber, iron, and manganese.
THYME TO DISINFECT
Mold is a common yet potentially dangerous air pollutant that can lurk in your home. Once you identify it, take the necessary steps to get rid of it once and for all. Thyme oil may be the answer for low mold concentrations.
Essential oil of thyme and thymol hold many fungicidal properties. Research suggests that it can be used as a disinfectant in dwellings where there is a low concentration of mold.
THYME TO GET RID OF PESTS
Thymol is also an ingredient in many pesticides — both outdoor and indoor — and is commonly used to target bacteria and viruses, as well as rats, mice, and other animal pests.
A recent study shows that thyme extract can repel mosquitoes, but growing it in your garden isn’t enough. In order to get the best pest fighting results, rub thyme leaves between your hands to release the essential oil.
You can also make homemade repellant by mixing four drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of olive oil, or mixing five drops for every 2 ounces of water.
THYME FOR GOOD SMELLS
Organic and natural skin care products can now be found at most retailers, and many contain thyme.
Thanks to its antiseptic and antifungal properties, it is a common ingredient in mouthwash. Thyme is also a popular ingredient in natural deodorants and is often included in potpourri.
THYME TO BOOST YOUR MOOD
Thyme essential oil is often used for aromatic and therapeutic purposes because of its active substance carvacrol.
In a 2013 study, carvacrol was shown to affect neuron activity in ways that boosted the subjects’ feelings of well-being.
So if you use thyme or thyme oil regularly, it might have a positive effect on your feelings and mood.
THYME FOR SOME GOOD FOOD
Thyme is a wonderful ingredient that’s used in cuisines around the world, particularly in France, Italy, and across the Mediterranean.
Thyme is a main ingredient in this cleansing take on pesto sauce, which you can use as a condiment or add to pasta or rice.
Fresh leaves or whole sprigs can be used while preparing meat or poultry. Thyme is also an excellent ingredient to use with fish, like in this heart-healthy white fish recipe.
This whole-wheat macaroni and cheese with mushrooms and thyme is a grownup spin on a childhood favorite, and it’s a great way to add some thyme to your diet.