health benefits of thyme
Thyme is an herb with culinary, medicinal and ornamental uses.
The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme have been used to treat bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, including whooping cough, bronchitis, flatulence, and as a diuretic, to increase urination.
Thyme is of the genus Thymus. The most common type is Thymus vulgaris.
It is native to the Mediterranean.
Fast facts about thyme
- Thyme is thought to have antifungal, antibacterial, insecticidal, and possibly antifungal properties.
- In history, it has been used for embalming and to protect from the Black Death.
- Forms of thyme include fresh and dried herbs and essential oil.
Thyme has been used for flavoring and medical purposes since ancient times.
Thymol is one of a naturally-occurring class of compounds known as biocides, substances that can destroy harmful organisms.
Used alongside other biocides, such as carvacrol, thyme has a strong antimicrobial action.
One study has suggested that thymol can reduce bacterial resistance to common drugs such as penicillin.
The tiger mosquito
The tiger mosquito is native to tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia. Since the 1990s, it has spread around the world, carrying West Nile virus, Yellow fever virus, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue fever, and Chikungunya fever.
A team at Chungbuk National University in South Korea reported that a combination of thymol, alpha-terpinene, and carvacrol was effective in killing off tiger mosquito larvae.
High blood pressure
Researchers at the University of Belgrade, in Serbia, found that an aqueous extract obtained from wild thyme reduced blood pressure in tests on rats. Rats tend to have similar responses to humans when they have hypertension, so the findings could have implications for humans.
Foodborne bacterial infections
A team at the Center for Studies of Animal and Veterinary Sciences in Portugal studied the antimicrobial activity of essential oils extracted from a range of aromatic plants, including thyme oil.
They reported that thyme oil, even at low concentrations, showed potential as a natural preservative of food products against several common foodborne bacteria that cause human illness.