20 Health Benefits of Thyme
Dr. Mercola has written an interesting article about the health benefits of Thyme Oil,
it's long, but informative!
20 Health Benefits of Thyme Oil
The benefits of thyme oil have been recognized for thousands of years in Mediterranean countries, and it’s also commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s the perfect example of a natural compound that exerts multiple, often synergistic, effects on your health – nearly two dozen in all (that we know of).3
Wild thyme has been used to induce cell death in breast cancer cells. After 72 hours of treatment, thyme essential oil killed 98 percent of human breast cancer cells, with researchers concluding wild thyme “may be a promising candidate in the development of novel therapeutic drugs for breast cancer treatment.”4
Thyme oil has strong antibacterial properties, including against Propionibacterium acnes, a bacterium that causes acne. In one study, a tincture made from thyme was more effective against the bacterium than tinctures made from marigold or myrrh. In addition, the thyme tincture had a stronger antibacterial effect than the common acne treatment benzoyl peroxide.5
Spasms are involuntary muscle contractions that may lead to coughs, cramps, and aches. Thyme oil has anti-spasmodic activity, which explains why it’s traditionally been used to treat respiratory ailments and coughs. According to the American Botanical Council:
“In vitro and in vivo studies show that thyme flavonoids relax tracheal and ileal smooth muscles.”6
Thyme oil is anti-rheumatic because it acts as a diuretic, helping to increase urination and remove excess toxins from your body. In addition, it stimulates circulation, which may help lower concentrations of uric acid in your bloodstream.
Thyme oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. In research published in the Journal of Lipid Research, six essential oils including thyme oil showed the ability to suppress the inflammatory cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme in the same manner as the antioxidant resveratrol does.7 It was noted that the chemical constituent carvacrol was responsible for this effect.
Compounds in thyme oil, including caryophyllene and camphene, are powerful antiseptics that can guard wounds against infections.
Wild thyme extract (Thymus serpyllum L.) has been shown to reduce blood pressure in animal studies, with researchers noting, “Our results indicate that TE [wild thyme] may protect against hypertension in experimental model of essential hypertension.”8
It’s important to note that not all thyme varieties have this effect and, in fact, some may have the opposite effect by increasing circulation, which elevates low blood pressure.
Thyme oil has strong antibacterial properties. A study presented at the Society for General Microbiology’s spring conference in Edinburgh pointed out that essential oils may be efficient and affordable alternatives to antibiotics in the battle against resistant bacteria.9
Among the essential oils tested, cinnamon oil and thyme oil were found to be the most successful against various Staphylococcus species, including MRSA. Researchers said that this can help lower antibiotic use, and minimize the formation of new resistant strains of microorganisms.
8. Health Tonic
Thyme essential oil is known for benefitting the circulatory system, heart, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, and skin, as well as boosting immunity.
9. Heart Health
Because thyme oil is anti-spasmodic, it helps relax your arties and veins, lowering blood pressure and stress to your heart. It may also help strengthen and tone your heart muscles.
Thyme oil is carminative,10 which means it not only helps prevent the formation of gas in your gastrointestinal tract but also helps your body to remove excess gasses, helping to combat flatulence.
As a diuretic, thyme oil may help your body to remove excess water, salt and toxins from your body, helping with weight, blood pressure, digestion, and more.
12. Menstrual Regularity
Thyme is an emenagogue, which means it stimulates blood flow to the pelvic area and uterus, and may stimulate menstruation in women. Thyme oil may therefore be useful for irregular periods, premature menopause, and other menstrual problems.
13. Scars and Skin Marks
As a cicatrisant, thyme oil may help with the removal of scars and other skin marks, such as those left by acne, chicken pox, and other sores.
Thyme oil is an expectorant, which means it can help remove mucus from your airways and lungs. Thyme oil is approved by Germany’s Commission E in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough, and upper respiratory inflammation.11
15. Low Blood Pressure
As mentioned, certain types of thyme have hypertensive effects, i.e. they may increase blood pressure. This is beneficial for those suffering from low blood pressure, who are at risk of becoming unconscious, for instance.
16. Repel Pests
Thyme oil is very effective against insects and pests. It can be used to repel mosquitoes, fleas, lice, bed bugs, flies, beetles, moths, and more.
Thyme oil can stimulate your circulation, digestion, secretion of hormones, and your entire metabolism.
As mentioned, thyme oil is an expectorant and anti-spasmodic, and it’s also bechic, which means it helps relieve or cure coughs and may also help heal infections in your chest.
Thyme oil is a vermifuge, which means it kills worms, including round worms, tape worms, maggots, and hook worms.
Thyme oil has anti-fungal properties, and has been shown to be effective against candida albicans, which is a common cause of yeast infections. According to one study, thyme (red) essential oil “significantly enhanced intracellular killing of C. albicans…”12