Aromatic plants and herbs such as thyme are greatly characterized by their great benefits and medicinal properties, which are due to their compounds and essential oils, these being a common factor in all of them.
For this reason, in the following article, we will talk about ten of the main benefits of thyme for the health of its consumers, backed by scientific studies.
What is thyme?
Thyme or also known as Thymus, is a plant native to regions such as Asia, Europe, Greenland and North Africa. It is cultivated mainly for its medicinal and gastronomic uses, being considered one of the most widely used condiments worldwide, especially for cooking in countries like Italy.
To highlight: The plant is temperate and highly branched, highly variable even in its chemical composition, which is why seven different chemotypes of thyme have already been detected, which has given way to different taxonomic varieties. (1)
In this sense, the leaves and flowers of the plant are used to obtain its essential oils, which thanks to the erect bearing of the plant are easy to collect. Among the main compounds of thyme essential oil, we can highlight the flavonoids and monopertenic phenols.
What benefits does thyme have?
Thyme provides great and kind benefits to the health of its consumers, thanks to its chemical composition. They will be mentioned and described below to allow their knowledge and use:
1. Strengthens the immune system
Thyme has antibacterial activity, which stimulates and increases the levels of leukocytes present in the blood, which is why it is considered a spice that is used as an immunostimulant enhancer.
Note: There are scientific studies, where in the veterinary area thyme has been used as an alternative to reduce the use of antibiotics and therefore the possibility of developing resistance to them, obtaining beneficial results on the immune system. (two)
2. Decreases the action of free radicals
Within the chemical composition of thyme, polyphenols and flavonoids stand out, compounds with antioxidant properties that reduce the activity of free radicals in our body. However, they also reduce cell aging and confer anti-inflammatory properties. (3)
You should know: The principle of action of thyme for the content of free radicals in the body is due to its ability to neutralize them by giving up an electron and therefore, obtaining as a result the formation of non-reactive species, which is greatly reduced and counteracts the oxidative aggression caused by free radicals. (4)
3. Relieves respiratory problems
Among the benefits of thyme, one of the most relevant is its use to take advantage of its antispasmodic and expectorant properties, which have the ability to exert a relaxing reaction on the bronchial muscle and respiratory tract , in addition to facilitating the extraction of fluids from a fluidization of the bronchial secretions and therefore favor their elimination. (5)
4. Fight parasites, bacteria and viruses
Thyme is considered antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, even with topical applications, indicated for the treatment of infections and useful for washing and caring for sores and wounds.
Note: It is important to note that studies and medicinal projects have even been developed over time for the creation of an antiviral product based on thyme derivatives, which contains a long list of nutraceutical and therapeutic agents. (6)
5. Promotes digestive health
Digestive health benefits from the use of thyme, because its essential oil allows it to be used as an aperitif and promotes digestion , greatly reducing gas formation.
To highlight: Thyme is also considered a stimulant for motility and digestive secretions, being useful for the treatment of loss of appetite, dyspepsia, meteorism and flatulence. (7)
6. Stimulates the appetite
As we previously mentioned, thyme essential oil has the ability to be used as a treatment for cases of loss of appetite, since it is considered an aperitif and carminative.
Tip: Usually, in these cases, infusions or hydroalcoholic extracts are recommended, being administered at least thirty minutes before each meal.
On the other hand, the appearance of appetite from the consumption of thyme is due to the fact that it leads to a stimulation of the production of gastric juices, which is why a reaction begins in our body that can be translated or understood by our brain as a sign that we are hungry.
7. Eliminates toxins from the body
The antiseptic and disinfectant qualities of thyme benefit the functionality of the liver and therefore help to eliminate toxins present in our body.
You should know: Its greatest effect is when it is consumed as an infusion. The active ingredients of thyme flavonoids also benefit the elimination and release of free radicals, which favors regular oxygenating function. (8)
8. Reduces inflammation and pain
The topical application of thyme essential oil has inhibitory activity on prostaglandin biosynthesis , which is why it is recommended for the treatment of muscle and osteoarticular pain, and thanks to its anti-inflammatory capacity, its capacity as a drug is complemented . (9)
Important: The use of this property and benefit of thyme is extrapolated to many areas of the body, thus allowing the reduction of symptoms in diseases such as bronchitis (where swelling occurs in the respiratory tract) and digestive problems.
9. Strengthens bones
Thyme is an aromatic plant that reduces bone decalcification, which prevents the development of diseases such as osteoporosis , especially as a consequence of the menopausal process.
Note: A study carried out at the University of Kanza by the National Research Center in Dokki, demonstrated the reduction of calcium loss in the bones due to the consumption of thyme infusion, in addition to benefiting its absorption. (10)
10. Improves wound healing
Returning to its antiseptic properties, for a long time ago thyme has been used topically to improve wounds and their healing process. This is due to the fact that thyme stimulates cell activity, which allows effective and rapid repair of tissues that have been affected.
Thyme is a plant that is eaten and applied in large gastronomic areas, so it is important to recognize its nutritional quality. We will mention below what are its properties:
Understanding the area of micronutrients, vitamins are essential for the health of the organism . Thyme provides high percentages of vitamin A , vitamin C , riboflavin, vitamin K and vitamin B6, which confers a large part of its properties and benefits.
Among the minerals provided by thyme we can mention zinc , phosphorus, potassium , magnesium , copper and calcium in different concentrations. All these nutrients have a greater benefit through infusions.
3. Other compounds
Thyme also contains macromolecules within its nutritional composition, where we can mention carbohydrates (24.5 gr), fiber (14 gr), protein (5.56 gr) and water (65.11 gr). Your calorie intake reaches at least 5% of the required daily minimum.
How can you consume and use thyme?
The main consumption and use of thyme is as a condiment in food , since it has a wide application in gastronomy. It is also consumed through infusions made in a cup of hot water, which allows a greater use of its properties and benefits , especially in cases of asthma and cough.
To highlight: Thyme essential oil also has a wide application, being applied for drinks and food or for topical use to prevent mosquito bites, promote healing and reduce inflammation in some areas.
What are the contraindications of thyme?
It is important to emphasize that excesses tend to affect our health and balance, so while thyme is consumed in amounts considered normal, it will not pose a risk, except if there is any allergy or intolerance, especially with respect to essential oils, where as response an irritation can be detected.
Important: Excessive intake of thyme can cause headaches, digestive problems, dizziness, constipation and even memory problems. Therefore, consumption of more than 4 grams of thyme per day is not recommended .
- Thyme is an herb or aromatic plant of great interest for its nutritional and medicinal properties.
- It has anti- inflammatory, antiseptic , antioxidant, detoxifying, digestive properties and can even combat loss of appetite.
- Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties , thyme has been used throughout history as a medicine for healing , in addition to benefiting cell production.
- Thyme has a wide medicinal use thanks to its properties for its ability to reduce and solve respiratory problems.
- The consumption of thyme in our meals benefits the absorption of calcium and reduces bone decalcification, being important to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- It is not recommended to exceed a daily dose of 4 grams , nor that the consumption be highly repetitive, in order to avoid intoxication in this way.