Thyme, botanically known as Thymus vulgaris, is a perennial garden herb that has been employed since ancient times for medicinal and culinary uses. The World’s Healthiest Foods notes that thyme has traditionally been associated with courage, with medieval women giving sprigs of thyme to knights going into battle; it has also been used as an herbal remedy for a host of ailments. Thyme tea, rich in volatile oils, minerals, beneficial phenols and flavonoids, is a healthy beverage choice.
A cup of thyme tea has a lot more to offer than its pleasant taste; thymol, one of the volatile oils of thyme, is a potent antioxidant. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, thymol may help to increase omega-3 fatty acids, or healthy fats, in brain cells. In a clinical study conducted by K.A. Youdim and colleagues and published on April 19, 1999, an issue of “Biochemical and Biophysical Research,” researchers found that thyme oil helped to protect against age-related changes in the brain cells of rats. Studies are ongoing to determine whether thyme can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to thymol, thyme tea contains the antioxidant flavonoids apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymosin.
The next time you have a cold or a cough, try a cup of thyme tea. The University of Maryland Medical Center says it can help treat bronchitis and relieve coughs, and states that thyme has been approved for this use by the German Commission E, which evaluates safety and efficacy of herbal preparations in Germany. Drugs.com, a website which offers peer-reviewed information to consumers, concurs, saying that extracts from thyme have shown relaxant and bronchodilatory effects.
Thyme tea is often recommended by herbal healers to promote good digestion and relieve gas and bloating. According to “Aromatherapy for Professionals,” by herbalists Shirley and Len Price, the volatile oils in thyme give it carminative –or gas-reducing– properties, while its phenols allow it to work as an antispasmodic, helping to relieve intestinal cramping.
Provides Essential Minerals
WHEN YOU THINK OF A FOOD RICH IN IRON, THYME IS PROBABLY NOT THE FIRST THING TO COME TO MIND. BUT 2 TBSPS. OF DRIED THYME –ABOUT THE AMOUNT USED IN A CUP OF THYME TEA– DELIVERS 3.56MG, OR 19.8 PERCENT OF THE RECOMMENDED DAILY VALUE OF IRON, CAUSING THE WORLD’S HEALTHIEST FOODS TO LIST IT AS AN EXCELLENT SOURCE. THYME TEA IS ALSO AN EXCELLENT SOURCE OF VITAMIN K, VITAL TO NORMAL BLOOD CLOTTING, WITH 2 TSPS. SUPPLYING 48.01MCG, OR 60 PERCENT OF THE DV. THYME TEA IS ALSO A VERY GOOD SOURCE OF MANGANESE, SUPPLYING 12 PERCENT OF THE DV, AND CALCIUM, PROVIDING 5.4 OF THE DV IN 2 TSP.