Thyme is an aromatic plant whose origins are to be found in the Mediterranean. Already known at the time of ancient Greece. Its most widespread and common variety also grows spontaneously in Italy and goes under the scientific name Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is an herb with culinary, medicinal and ornamental uses.
The flowers, leaves and thyme oil have been used to treat enuresis, diarrhea, stomach pain, arthritis, colic, throat, cough, whooping cough, bronchitis, flatulence and as a diuretic, to increase urination.
It is believed that thyme has antifungal, antibacterial, insecticidal and possibly antifungal properties.
The term thyme actually identifies about 300 aromatic plants belonging to the Labiateae family, of which Thymus vulgaris is one of the most appreciated together with the thyme cedrato or Thymus serpillum. Its plant is about 30-50 centimeters tall with small green or gray-tending leaves and covered with a thick down, with pale pink or lilac flowers.
The virtues of thyme are linked to the presence of a particular phenol: thymol, a powerful antiseptic, antispasmodic and vermifuge. Powerful digestive and carminative, it is effective against urinary tract infections and inflammation of the respiratory system and is an excellent remedy against cough, asthma, bronchitis and colds for its balsamic and fluidifying properties. The aromatic characteristics of thyme would seem useful to counteract headaches.
A thyme herbal tea is useful in case of cough or to promote digestion. Thyme in the kitchen is highly appreciated both for its organoleptic qualities and for its digestive effect. It goes well with many foods such as roasted or stewed meats, fish, vegetables, mushrooms, oils and aromatic vinegars.
Properties and Benefits
Thyme essential oil, which is obtained from its leaves, is often used as a natural remedy against coughing. In one study, a combination of thyme and ivy leaves helped relieve cough and other symptoms of acute bronchitis. The next time you have a cough or sore throat, try drinking some thyme tea.
Getting all the vitamins your body needs every day can be difficult. Fortunately, thyme is rich in vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A. Another health benefit of thyme: it is a good source of copper, fiber, iron and manganese.
Mold is a common but potentially dangerous air pollutant that can lurk in your home. Thyme oil may be the answer for low concentrations of mold. Thyme and thymol essential oil possesses many fungicidal properties. Research suggests that it can be used as a disinfectant in homes where there is a low concentration of mold.
Thymol is also an ingredient in many pesticides – both outdoors and indoors – and is commonly used to target bacteria and viruses, as well as rats, mice and other pests. A recent study shows that thyme extract can repel mosquitoes, but it's not enough to grow it in your garden. To get the best results of fighting pests, rub the thyme leaves in your hands to release the essential oil.
Organic and natural skin care products can now be found at most retailers, and many contain thyme. Due to its antiseptic and antifungal properties, it is a common ingredient in mouthwash. Thyme is also a popular ingredient in natural deodorants and is often included in potpourri.
Thyme essential oil is often used for aromatic and therapeutic purposes achieving a positive effect on people's feelings and mood.
- Excellent seasoning for your dishes
Thyme is a wonderful ingredient used in cuisines all over the world, especially in France, Italy and throughout the Mediterranean. Thyme is a main ingredient in this purifying pesto sauce, which you can use as a seasoning or add to pasta or rice. To prepare meat or poultry you can use fresh leaves or whole twigs. Thyme is also an excellent ingredient to use with fish, as in this healthy white fish recipe.