Originally published July 31 2009
Live Naturally with Herbs: Thyme
by Katherine East
(NaturalNews) Thyme is a well-known herb and is not only indispensable in cooking, but is also used in natural medicine. It holds immense power in its tiny leaves and in ancient days, thyme could be found in every healer`s medicinal box. The monks grew it in their gardens and dispensed it in teas and syrups for many ailments. The ancient Egyptians used it in embalming procedures and were well aware of its preservative properties. In ancient Greece it was used to preserve food, and livestock were encouraged to graze upon the slopes of the hillsides where the wild thyme grew. This was thought to make their meat tastier and healthier. The most commonly used thyme varieties are the common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and lemon thyme (T. x citriodorus).
Health Benefits Of Thyme.
Thyme has an incredible range of healing properties. The essential oil, thymol, is distilled from its leaves and has many great benefits. Its antiseptic and antibacterial properties make it excellent for relieving a sore throat, inflamed tonsils, coughs, colds, allergic rhinitis, hay fever, a stuffy nose, aches and pains, backache, poor digestion, heartburn, colic, burping, flatulence and even bloating. The expectorant and antispasmodic properties are especially useful for helping alleviate asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough and chest infections. Poor circulation, ringworm, athlete`s foot, insomnia, inflammatory and fungal conditions and even scabies and lice can all be relieved with thyme.
Interesting Facts About Thyme
- Fresh thyme added to your food or taken as a tea assists in the digestion of fatty foods within the body.
- Thyme aromatherapy oil is rich in the volatile components: thymol geraniol and borneol. When Thyme oil is applied topically (always mixed in a carrier oil like almond oil), it shows antispasmodic, tension reducing, antibacterial and carminative actions.
- Thyme contains a variety of flavonoids, including apigenin, thymonin and luteolin, which increase thyme`s antioxidant capacity.
- Thyme is rich in manganese.
- Thyme is a wonderful insect repellent, so inter-planting some shrubs in your garden can help keep the insect population down.
- Thyme helps to increase brain function and is considered to be a valuable anti-ageing herb. It has been researched extensively, and has been found to protect the heart, brain and kidney cell membranes. It causes DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) to increase and research highlights the value of including thyme in the diet for all age groups - including the elderly for brain function and for children with attention deficit disorders.
- Thyme was burned as an incense for sacred ceremonies in Greece and Italy, for courage, fortitude and strength.
- Thyme is associated with bravery and courage, and medieval ladies of the court embroidered a sprig of thyme on the scarves given to their knights as they set off on their crusades.
- The ancient Egyptians used thyme in the embalming oils used to preserve their dead Pharaohs.
- Thyme oil used for its antibacterial and cleansing properties features in third century pharmacopoeia - it was used for skin ailments and as a mouth wash.
- By the 16th century, thyme was among the first of the registered medicines.
To make thyme tea take a thumb-length sprig (equal to 1/4 cup), cover it with one cup of boiling water, and let it stand for five minutes. Strain and sip slowly. The cooled tea can also be used as a lotion for scratches, grazes, skin infections, acne and greasy skins, and for dandruff and an itchy scalp.
Thyme Tea Rinse For Hair and Face
For oily hair, use thyme as a wash and as a rinse. To make thyme hair and face rinse, boil two cups of fresh thyme sprigs in two litres of water for 15 minutes. Simmer gently with the lid on. Cool to a pleasant warmth, strain and use as a wash or rinse, or in a spritz bottle as a skin toner.
Illustrated Book Of Herbs - New Holland Publishers LTD
About the authorKatherine Oosthuis is completing a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy. She researches and writes for a health and nutrition website Detox For Life . Her passion is to make research available to those who are looking to improve their well-being and revolutionise their health through better nutrition and alternative medicines.
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