Latin name: Thymus vulgaris.
Thyme is a household herb used to flavor and decorate ‘Western’ dishes. The name comes from Greek meaning “to fumigate.” There are many types of thyme. Some varieties have been used since ancient times for incense. Owing to its strong, fragrant scent. The garden variety has been the one popularized and mass grown for culinary use.
Thyme is a small shrub-like plant with small leaves. It grows to a foot high and can live for many years. Its essential oils are the reason for its aromatic smell and flavor. These are also the source of the herb’s medicinal properties. It has been used for many afflictions ranging from insect bites to wound infections, as well as food poisoning.
The nutrients we get from eating Thyme
Listed in the table below are the amounts of nutrients found in thyme. On a 100 gram basis, Thyme contains exceptionally high concentrations of vitamins and minerals. This is most especially true for vitamin C and iron. Where concentrations are 178% and 218% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) respectively. Quantities of the other nutrients are also very significant. Eating even just 20-50 grams of the herb a day is like taking a multivitamin pill.
|Carbohydrate, by difference||g||24.45||9.78||0.2||0.08|
|Fiber, total dietary||g||14||46.67||0.1||0.333|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||mg||160.1||177.8||1.3||1.4|
|Vitamin A, RAE||mcg||238||26.47||2||0.5|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||g||0.532||2.8||0.004||0.021|
Scientific Studies on the Health Benefits of Thyme
Thyme has been regarded as a traditional medicinal in Europe since ancient times. Romans ate the leaves to help counteract food poisoning. This was also used to disinfect wounds, and as well as to lessen swelling and pain.
Studies have attributed these healing properties to the essential oil. Substances within the oil identified, extracted, and even replicated in the lab. A few had been mass reproduced for use as ingredients. In the commercial production of antiseptic mouthwash and chest ointments. For coughs and colds. Lab tests made a clearer picture of how their medicinal properties work. On the molecular level.
- Thyme also has its share of antioxidant compounds called flavonoids that help protect cells from damage from injury due to factor such as inflammation. This helps to maintain the health and function of body tissues and organs.
- In this study. Strong action by essential oil extracts against bacteria and fungi. It is this property which makes thyme useful. For helping treat infections of skin wounds, sore throat, coughs, and colds. It can help fight off bacteria which cause food poisoning and diarrhea. The study shows the potential use of thyme instead of antibiotics.
- Studies used essential oil extracts. To understand how thyme can affect body tissues to control inflammation. The findings revealed the extract managed to regulate the immune system cells. Which contribute to inflammation. These chemicals were able to prevent inflammation from going out of control. Thyme’s is helpful for those suffering from bronchitis and persistent coughs.
- A lab study found extracts of thyme influences blood pressure. Lab mice with high blood pressure, fed with the extracts showed blood pressure reduction.
- The most concentrated oil in Thyme essential oil is Thymol. Lab studies showed anti-bacterial and anti-fungal of this oil.
- Other studies demonstrated its ability to repel insects. (Such as mosquitoes). It could even kill mosquito larvae.
- Carvacrol is another chemical compound present in thyme essential oil. Its chemical structure resembles that of thymol. Lab testing showed that Carvacrol can control and even kill abnormal cells. Like those in colon cancer.
Carvacrol is one of the chemicals which provide thyme’s mood-boosting quality. Known to traditional healers and those who eat the herb often. One study on rats. Found the chemical was regulating the “feel good” substances. Dopamine and serotonin, in different areas of the brain.
- Thyme also has its share of anti oxidant compounds called Flavonoids. Flavonoids protect cells from injury due to factor such as inflammation. This helps to maintain the health and function of body tissues and organs.
More scientific studies are needed to help picture the action of thyme’s healthful benefits on the chemical level. However, current knowledge to a certain degree confirms the historical use of this herb as a natural cure.
Why should I grow Thyme?
Thyme is a perennial pant. You can plant thyme once, and use in following years. It is easy to grow.
You wouldn’t have to wait for it to fruit or bloom. So it will be a ready source for your daily needs of multivitamins.
Thyme’s aroma is desirable for cooking. Also for a quick aromatherapy to boost your mood. Or stimulate the mind while traveling. Keep some leaves in a pouch. When you need it, just crush some leaves and inhale the scent. Its fragrance also makes it a pleasant option for disinfecting wounds. Or massaging tummy aches.
Immediately check the impact of Thyme on your body
Growing Thyme until it is matured enough to be eaten can take two months. If you want to test the impact of Thyme on your body, you can order the following products from iHerb, and get them in about a week. Then you can make an educated decision whether you want to grow Thyme or not.
Organic Thyme Leaf
Red Thyme Essential Oil
Recipes Using Thyme
Thyme Facial Steam
This simple procedure is very helpful to aid with coughs and nasal congestion.
This should be used with caution as it is very potent.
900ml. of water
1 tsp thyme leaf
1 tsp oregano leaf
1 tsp mint leaf
Boil the water in a large pot. Put the herbs into the pot.
While it is still steaming, lean your head over the water and herbs.
Use a large towel to cover head and seal in the steam.
Slowly inhale in the steam with deep breaths.
Do this for 5-8 minutes.
This should help loosen nasal congestion and reduce coughing.
This is also for treating colds, coughs and chest problems. It is a very effective and potent mixture. But it can also be diluted with water to make a quick, delicious beverage.
50 to 100ml ounces thyme leaf and flower
1 liter water
1 cup honey
Mix the thyme with water in a pan.
Heat with low heat. Simmer lightly.
Put a lid ajar to let the steam escape.
Let the liquid be reduced by half (about 2 cups of strong thyme tea).
Strain. Add the honey to the tea and stir, just until the honey is melted.
Keep in a glass container in the refrigerator to let it keep for 3 to 4 weeks.
To use: Take one-half to 1 teaspoon every couple of hours until the cough or cold improves.
Lemon-Thyme Basil Pesto
A healthier alternative for sauces and sandwich spreads.
3 tbsp fresh thyme
4 cups basil leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup chopped toasted almonds
4 cloves sliced garlic
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
¾ cup olive oil
¾ cup parmesan cheese
Mix everything thoroughly in a bowl. Add the olive oil smoothly while doing so.
Keep mixing until the desired texture is achieved.
Use as a marinade on meat or sprinkle on salads. Serve with pasta or chicken or spread on bread sandwich.
How to Grow Thyme hydroponically in condo-farm
Thyme is a small plant with a height of 5 to 20 centimeter. It is very strong and can withstand severe climate conditions. As such, it is ideal for growing in the condo-farm system.
You can start growing Thyme by buying Thyme seedling in your local nursery. Alternatively, you can start growing from seeds in the seed planter. The seeds are poor-germinated, so put some extra seeds in the seed planter.
You can also take clones of the plant and use them as seedlings. The recommended season to plant Thyme is autumn. (But you can plant it in any season).
Another way to grow new thyme plant is layering. Just cut the leaves from the upper section of a stem. Then, bend a stem of the plant into the clay pellets in the planter. In several weeks you can see new stem grows from the bent stem. You can them cut the new plant from its mother plant and move it elsewhere.
Thyme is sensitive to direct sunlight so proper window shade can be used in hot countries.
You can trim thyme heavily. Just leave some leaves on the bottom of the stems. It grows rapidly so you can enjoy a constant supply of it.
Its blossoming period is the summer. It grows little white flowers. If you want to keep the plant growing you should trim the flowers as they draw energy from the plant.
When you say “good morning” to the plant, you can cut a small stem and eat it in its freshest form.
Thymus vulgaris essential oil: chemical composition and antimicrobial activity.
Borugă, C. Jianu, C. Mişcă, I. Goleţ, A.T. Gruia, and F.G. Horhat
J Med Life. 2014; 7(Spec Iss 3): 56–60.
Effects of Thyme Extract Oils (from Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis, and Thymus hyemalis) on Cytokine Production and Gene Expression of oxLDL-Stimulated THP-1-Macrophages.
Ocaña and G. Reglero
J Obes. 2012; 2012: 104706.
Chemical Composition, Larvicidal Action, and Adult Repellency of Thymus magnus Against Aedes albopictus
Young-Uk Park, Hyun-Na Koo, and Gil-Hah Kim
Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 28(3):192-198. 2012
Top 6 Thyme Benefits (#1 & #6 Will Clear Your Throat)
Thymol – Compound Summary for CID 6989
Antimicrobial Activity of Carvacrol toward Bacillus cereus on Rice
A.Ultee, R.A.Slump, G.Steging, and E.J. Smid
Journal of Food Protection: May 2000, Vol. 63, No. 5, pp. 620-624.
The World’s Healthiest Foods – Thyme
Efficacy and tolerability of a fluid extract combination of thyme herb and ivy leaves and matched placebo in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough. A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Kemmerich B., Eberhardt R, Stammer H.
Pharmacological evaluation of antihypertensive effect of aerial parts of Thymus linearis benth.
Alamgeer et al.
Acta Pol Pharm. 2014 Jul-Aug;71(4):677-82.
Carvacrol: From Ancient Flavoring to Neuromodulatory Agent
Zotti et al.
Molecules 2013, 18(6), 6161-6172