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Thyme, a relative of the mint family, has much more value than merely an herb to flavor your meals. Thyme is known to have potent antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, reduce inflammation, and accelerate the healing process. Thyme has a long history of use as an anti-inflammatory in natural medicine in connection with chest and respiratory problems including coughs, bronchitis, and chest congestion.

Thyme is a great immune booster as it is packed with vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A. It’s also a good source of copper, fiber, iron, and manganese.

Recently, researchers pinpointed some of the volatile oil components in thyme that bring about its healing effects. The volatile oil components of thyme are now known to include carvacolo, borneol, geraniol, but most importantly, thymol.

Thymol is the primary volatile oil constituent of thyme, and its health-supporting effects are well documented. In studies on aging in rats, thymol has been found to protect and significantly increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes and other cell structures. In particular, the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in the brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes was increased after dietary supplementation with thyme.

DHA is especially important; as more than 90% of the omega-3 fat found in brain tissue is DHA, making it very important for brain health.

For thousands of years, herbs and spices have been used to help preserve foods and protect them from microbial contamination. The ancient Egyptians were known to use thyme, the potent preservative, in their embalming practices. Research shows that both thyme and basil contain constituents that can both prevent contamination and decontaminate previously contaminated foods. In these studies, published in the February 2004 issue of Food Microbiology, researchers found that thyme essential oil was able to decontaminate lettuce inoculated with Shigella, an infectious organism that triggers diarrhea> and may cause significant intestinal damage. In addition, washing produce in a solution containing either basil or thyme essential oil at the very low concentration of just 1% resulted in dropping the number of Shigella bacteria below the point at which they could be detected.

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This entry was posted on June 12, 2020 by in Herbs & Spices.

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant in any way to diagnose, treat or interfere with prescribed medical care.
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