Thyme is a perennial herb from the mint family. Herbs are technically leaves of herbaceous plants. However, the word has evolved to a more general term when used in cooking. It originated in the Mediterranean are. It has been used there since ancient time. Hippocrates and Dioscorides mention the medicinal uses of thyme. The Romans used it for bee culture, to purify rooms and add flavor in foods. The Egyptians used it in embalming, among other things.
Thyme is very nutritious. It has many phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins. It contains potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and selenium. Potassium is a component of cell and body fluids that help with heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Thyme has enough iron in it for 20% of the daily recommended allowance in only 2.8 grams. It is rich in vitamins A, K, E, C and folic acid, and B complex vitamins. It provides .35 mg of B-6 which is about 27% of the daily recommended allowance. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that helps with skin and eyesight and even has been shown to help protect against lung and oral cavity cancers. Vitamin K helps with bone health.
Used fresh, thyme has one of the highest antioxidants levels of all herbs. It contains the flavonoids apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, phenolic and thymonin. Antioxidants help with the body’s cellular function. It also has antimicrobial properties which may help fight some bacteria in the body.
The oil of thyme, thymus vulgaris, contains thymol which is a compound known as a biocide. It has been shown to reduce bacterial resistance to common drugs like penicillin and may help reduce blood pressure. Thymol has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Some of the other essential oils in thyme are carvacolo, borneol, and geraniol. Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties it can even help with acne.
Thyme has many anti-inflammatory benefits and can help with respiratory issues such as coughs and bronchitis. WebMD.com says it can be used for “bronchitis, whooping cough, sore throat, colic, arthritis, upset stomach, etc.”
Thyme has many health benefits as do other herbs and spices. Use them in your cooking and as part of your meals for better nutrition and health. If you have questions you can contact our Health Coaches at 1-800-980-7208. You can also visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aminodiet.
Authored by: Kim