In ancient times thyme was one of the first herbs sued as incense. It was often mixed with equal parts of lavender and sprinkled on the floors of churches in the Middle Ages to eliminate any unwanted odors. In ancient Egypt, thyme was one of the ingredients used in the mummification process. It has also been used as a perfume among some ancient cultures.
Its antiseptic qualities also make it useful in cases of anemia, bronchial ailments, and intestinal problems, respiratory disorder, as well as a skin cleanser. It has been known for anti-fungal properties that can be used to treat athlete’s foot and has anti-parasitic properties that are useful against lice, scabies, and crabs. It has shown useful for colic, excess gas, sore throats, and as a hangover remedy. Thyme also proves beneficial as an expectorant to loosen and expel mucous. Also Inhibits COX-2.
Thyme Kills Bacteria and Infections
Thyme oil has strong antibacterial properties. A study presented at the Society for General Microbiology’s spring conference in Edinburgh pointed out that essential oils may be efficient and affordable alternatives to antibiotics in the battle against resistant bacteria. Due to thyme components like caryophyllene and camphene, the oil is antiseptic and kills infections on the skin and within the body. Thyme oil is also antibacterial and inhibits bacterial growth; this means that thyme oil is able to treat intestinal infections, bacteria infections in the genitals and urethra, bacteria that builds up in the respiratory system, and heals cuts or wounds that are exposed to harmful bacteria.
Susceptibility testing to antibiotics and chemotherapeutics was carried out using disc-diffusion method. 120 strains of bacteria isolated from patients with infections of oral cavity, respiratory, genitourinary tracts and from hospital environment were investigated. (1) (2)
Treat Respiratory Disorders
The antiseptic and antibiotic properties of thyme make it an effective remedy for respiratory conditions like coughs and bronchitis as well as cold and sore throat. You can prepare your own thyme tea by steeping a couple of leaves in warm water and allowing it to brew. Sweeten it with some honey. Regular consumption of this tea will help to treat respiratory conditions and cold. In case of throat ache, you can boil water along with thyme and gargle with it. Thyme is a proven natural remedy for bronchitis. (3)
In a study from Japan’s Nara Women’s University, researchers found that one of thyme oil’s constituents, carvacrol, actually inhibits the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme – part of the body’s inflammatory process that produces pain.
This strategy – of inhibiting COX-2 – has been utilized by pharmaceutical medications including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Yet some of these NSAIDs and COX-inhibitor drugs come with side effects such as cardiovascular and digestive problems, which docile herbs like thyme don’t seem to come with. (4)