There are certain herbs that have been used for thousands of years, with people still swearing by them today. Thyme is certainly among those herbs, and its first uses date all the way back to ancient Egypt and Greece. When thyme started to spread around the world, it was noted for being a delicious addition to foods and was also used as a healing herb. Without many material goods, thyme was even a popular gift to give to somebody you cared about.
While we don’t hand out thyme flowers as gifts these days, giving someone thyme is certainly not a bad idea for a gift. That’s because thyme has a tremendous amount of health benefits, which is why it’s been used for so long. To show you all of the great things that thyme can do, let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value, and the health benefits you can get from thyme’s many different uses.
Nutrition of Thyme
Each one ounce serving of thyme has a wide arrange of nutrients that your body will need, with fewer than 30 calories. Thyme offers up more than a gram of protein, and more than 15 percent of your daily recommendation for dietary fiber. Out of the vitamins in thyme, vitamin C is the most abundant with 75 percent of your daily recommendation, while there’s more than a quarter of your daily vitamin A.
Other vitamins found in smaller amounts (around five to 10 percent) include riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. Manganese and iron are the most abundant minerals of the group at 25 percent of your daily value. Calcium and magnesium are both at over 10 percent, while thyme also offers a significant amount of copper, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. With only half a gram of fat, no cholesterol and 125 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, thyme is quite the versatile herb.
Steering Clear of Illness
Perhaps the biggest reason that people have been using thyme for so long is because it’s considered to be a healing herb. Before science was able to figure out why thyme was so beneficial, people weren’t aware that it was the high amount of vitamin C and antioxidants found within thyme. Vitamin C and vitamin A are two of the biggest immune boosters that you can find, helping your body to produce more white blood cells.
Certain infections from fungus and viruses can also be prevented from eating more thyme, which is thanks to the antioxidant known as thymol. That gives your immune system an overall boost since other vitamins can work more efficiently. There has also been research done to show that thyme may help you prevent certain forms of cancer, with colon cancer chances seeing the biggest reduction in patients.
Thyme For the Heart
Increasing the overall efficiency of your circulatory system and your heart are two of the most important things you can do for your long term health. Thyme does just that by delivering a healthy amount of iron to the blood so that you can reduce more red blood cells. This increases your overall blood flow and can prevent problems such as anemia, giving you more energy throughout the day.
There’s also an effect on the cholesterol and blood pressure levels in your body. With the combination of important minerals such as potassium and zinc, you can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increase your HDL (good) levels. Researchers have suggested that people who use thyme as a seasoning instead of regular table salt are more likely to avoid heart attacks and strokes at an older age.
One of the oldest uses of thyme that was documented was its ability to help people with sore throats. If you constantly have these problems and suffer from illnesses such as bronchitis, consider mixing together thyme and ivy leafs. Many respiratory problems come from inflammation, and thyme is one of the best anti-inflammatory herbs that you can find.
Since respiratory problems can be quite common for an individual, using thyme can also help you avoid making these problems more constant. With less harmful bacteria, you’ll be less likely to see the problems persist as much. Either the thyme leaves themselves or the oil mixed with a drink or soup can be very helpful, especially when the winter months roll around.
Because of the fact that many of us are glued to a desk and staring at our computers most of the day, it can negatively affect your mood. Thyme is a natural way that you can get through some of those sluggish days, according to researchers. This is because thyme contained carvacrol, which is a compound that allows your body to produce more dopamine and serotonin.
Dopamine gives you a natural good feeling, while serotonin helps to relieve stress and even allow you to get better sleep at night. These studied showed that there was a correlation between thyme usage and lowered symptoms of depression. With mental health always a concern, it’s important to get as much help as possible.
Thyme has always been a versatile herb with a lot of different uses at your home. For help with something such as muscle cramps or problems with your skin, using the oil from thyme or drinking some in a tea can really help you. One of the more common skin problems we see in the summer months is bug bite. Keeping thyme (especially the oil) around the house can help keep those pests away, and will also work on your skin.
Placing thyme on a table in your house also naturally improves the smell without the need for cleaning chemicals that can cause irritation. That smell also helps to improve your overall mood. Even chewing on the leaves is a great way to get a quick breath freshener while avoiding problems that can stem from bacteria such as gum disease and tooth loss. Really, there’s not much that thyme can’t do!
Summing it Up
Thyme is one of those great things found in nature that have a ton of health benefits without many of the negatives that could be found. Thyme is going to be safe for your average person, but there are certainly some things you’ll need to know. Although women that are pregnant or nursing (and even children) can use thyme, you’ll want to avoid it if you are taking medication that affects the blood. This is because thyme can thin your blood, preventing it from clotting.
There are also certain types of cancers that don’t interact well with thyme, specifically ones where estrogen could be harmful. If you have been diagnosed with one of these cancers, you should avoid using thyme until you talk to a doctor. Those are all rare circumstances, however, meaning that thyme doesn’t have any inherent negatives on its own. This is good news for many people, so feel free to add thyme to your diet today and start reaping the many health benefits it brings!