Thyme is a popular herb belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is well known for both its culinary uses as well as its medicinal properties since ancient times. Historically, the health benefits of Thyme have been recognized by various civilizations for respiratory ailments, and digestive complaints, and even as an antiseptic. During the Middle Ages, it was a popular ingredient in herbal formulas to alleviate symptoms of depression and to promote courage.
The active compound, thymol, found in thyme, is credited with many of its therapeutic benefits, which have been validated by clinical research.
Health Benefits of Thyme
1. Improves insulin resistance in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease when supplemented (see study)
2. Reduces menstrual pain when supplemented as an essential oil (see study)
3. Improves respiratory function when the essential oil is inhaled (see study)
4. Treats acute bronchitis when supplemented along with Ivy leaves (see study)
5. Improves oral mucositis in cancer patients when rinsed with Thyme honey (see study)
6. Possesses potent antibacterial and antifungal properties when used as an essential oil (see study)
How To Use Thyme
Thyme Essential Oil can be used internally in small doses of 5 to 25 drops (of a 2% essential oil). It should always be mixed with a carrier oil and consumed with warm water.
Thyme Dried-Herb Supplements can be used in doses between 250-700mg twice a day.
Thyme tea can be taken in a dose of 1-2 cups a day. This is particularly useful for managing menstrual pain.
Warnings & Precautions
Thyme must be used under the supervision of a physician when being utilized for therapeutic/medicinal purposes as it can result in certain adverse effects and side-effects if misused.
- Allergic Reactions: Certain individuals may be allergic to thyme and can experience skin reactions or more severe allergic reactions
- Gastrointestinal Issues: Large amounts of Thyme can lead to digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Effect on Hormones: Thyme appears to somewhat mimic the activity of estrogen in the body. Therefore, people with hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or endometriosis, should avoid using large amounts of it.
- Blood Clotting: Thyme might slow blood clotting. This could increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders or those taking medications that affect blood clotting such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), heparin, etc.
- Thymol Toxicity: Thyme contains thymol, which can be toxic when consumed in large quantities. Symptoms of thymol toxicity can include dizziness, headache, nausea, and even coma in certain cases.
It is best to use Thyme under the supervision of a doctor who works with medicinal herbs.
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(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
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