Thanks to its distinctive taste and fresh fragrance, thyme remains a culinary staple. But, did you know that long before the discovery of modern conventional medicine, it was also used for medicine? Yes, thyme essential oil has been celebrated since ancient times for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, diuretic and embalming properties.
Thyme as a herb comes in more than 300 varieties and seven different chemotypes (plants of the same species that are similar in appearance but differ in their chemical composition). Since each chemotype yields different oils with a different set of chemical properties, the therapeutic properties may also differ.
Read on to find out the various therapeutic health benefits of thyme essential oil.
1. Removes Toxins
Being a natural diuretic, thyme essential oil can eliminate toxins from the body by increasing urination. This is particularly important for people with arthritis and gout, since uric acid tends to build up in the bloodstream in both these conditions. The diuretic nature of thyme also helps to maintain blood pressure and improve digestion. (Related Article: The 5 Best Herbs To Cleanse Your Kidneys)
2. Respiratory Infections
Thymol, an important volatile oil present in thyme, is known for its bactericidal properties that are effective against respiratory infections. This essential oil has a relaxing effect on the bronchi of the lungs, which aids in relieving asthma, bronchitis and laryngitis.
Not only does it kill the bacteria causing respiratory discomfort, it also acts as an expectorant that provides congestion relief and dispels phlegm. People suffering from chronic sinus infection can benefit from inhalation therapy. (Related Article: Cold & Flu Season Guide To Good Health)
Thyme oil has been used as an antiseptic to treat wounds as far back as the 16th century. Caryophyllene and camphene present in thyme safeguard against the wounds becoming infected. Thyme essential oil can also be used to treat canker sores and gum diseases. You can either use it as a mouthwash diluted with water, or apply it topically. (Related Article: Treat Burns With These 6 Home Remedies)
4. Mood Enhancer
Using thyme or thyme essential oil regularly can have a positive effect on your mood and well-being. According to a 2013 study, carvacrol present in thyme was shown to have a neuromodulatory effect on the brain, which can enhance feelings of well-being. (Related Article: 6 Calming Foods For Every Mood)
5. Improves Immunity
Thyme is packed with vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A. Known for its antioxidant and immune-boosting properties, vitamin C stimulates the immune system to protect against infections and damage caused by free radicals. (Related Article: 5 Wonder Herbs To Boost Immunity)
6. Boosts Metabolism & Digestion
Being a potent antibacterial and antifungal agent, thyme essential oil can also protect against stomach infections. A stellar digestive herb, thyme also enhances appetite and boosts digestion and metabolism while stimulating the liver. Thyme essential oil is also known to have carminative properties that can help liberate the build-up of gases in the stomach. (Related Article: Is Your Age Catching Up With Your Metabolism?)
7. Menstrual Cramps
If you face painful cramps every month, thyme oil can come to your rescue. A well-known emmengagogue, thyme oil gives relief from obstructed and painful menstruation. (Related Article: 6 Ways To Ease Menstrual Cramps)
8. Cardiac Health
Thyme oil also extends its benefits to maintaining a well-functioning heart. The anti-spasmodic property of thyme oil keeps the valves functioning properly, while relaxing the arteries and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. (Related Article: Have A Healthy Heart With These 3 Supplements)