Thyme is a Mediterranean herb with dietary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme have been used to treat a range of symptoms and complaints.
Thyme is thought to have antibacterial, insecticidal, and possibly antifungal properties. People used thyme throughout history for embalming and to protect from the Black Death. Forms of thyme include fresh and dried herbs and essential oil.
Thymol is one of a naturally occurring class of compounds known as biocides.
These are substances that can destroy harmful organisms, such as infectious bacteria.
Used alongside other biocides, such as carvacrol, thyme has strong antimicrobial properties.
One study from 2010 suggests that thymol can reduce bacterial resistance to common drugs, including penicillin.
High blood pressureResearchers at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, found that an aqueous extract obtained from wild thyme reduced blood pressure in tests on rats. Rats respond to hypertension in a similar way to people, so the findings might have implications for humans. More tests are required for the data to prove significant, however.
Foodborne bacterial infections
A team at the Center for Studies of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Portugal, studied the antimicrobial activity of essential oils extracted from a range of aromatic plants, including thyme oil.They reported that thyme oil, even at low concentrations, showed potential as a natural preservative of food products against several common foodborne bacteria that cause human illness.A Polish study tested thyme oil and lavender oil, and they that observed that thyme oil was effective against resistant strains of Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia and Pseudomonas bacteria. 3. Colon cancer & Breast cancer
A study carried out in Lisbon, Portugal, found that extracts of mastic thyme might protect people from colon cancers. Breast cancer Researchers in Turkey looked at the effect of wild thyme on breast cancer activity, and specifically how it affected apoptosis, or cell death, and gene-related events in breast cancer cells. They found that wild thyme caused cell death in breast cancer cells.
4. Yeast infection
The fungus Candida albicans (C. albicans) is a common cause of yeast infections in the mouth and vagina, a recurring condition called "thrush."Researchers at the University of Turin, Italy, found that essential oil of thyme significantly enhanced the destruction of the C. albicans fungus in the human body.
The ancient Egyptians used thyme as an embalming fluid. In ancient Greece, they used thyme as an incense in temples and added it to bathwater. The Romans used thyme as a flavoring for cheese and alcoholic beverages. They are also supposedly offered it as a cure people for who were melancholic or shy. The Roman army introduced thyme to the British Isles when they conquered the land. Hippocrates, who lived around 460 BCE to 370 BCE and is known today as "the father of Western medicine," recommended thyme for respiratory diseases and conditions. People grew thyme in gardens and gathered it in the countryside. When the Black Death took hold of Europe in the 1340s, people would wear posies of thyme for protection. Scientific research does not support this specific use but has shown thyme to have a range of medicinal properties that modern people can put to beneficial use.