Thyme is a low-growing aromatic perennial herb that is common to Mediterranean countries and parts of Europe. Thyme was brought to North America, and has become a beloved garden herb. It is one of the most commonly used plants both medicinally and for culinary uses and has a rich history throughout the world. In ancient Egypt, thyme was used in embalming fluid. Thyme was one of the favorite plants in ancient Rome, and was beloved by the emperor. It was considered protective and healing, and was believed to protect against poisoning. It was also burned by the Romans and Greeks to purify homes and temples. The Romans used it to flavor alcoholic beverages and cheese. It is said that the Romans also gave this herb to people to cure them of melancholy and shyness. The Romans then introduced this herb to England, where it took on the same popularity it had in the Mediterranean. During the plague, which took hold of Europe in the mid 1300's, people would wear and carry thyme as protection. Rich in both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and loaded with vitamin C, thyme is medicinal for many different ailments. One of its most common uses is for respiratory issues. Because of its antibacterial and expectorant properties, thyme can help with soothing a cough. The antispasmodic property works as a cough suppressant, helping one to sleep through the night. Thyme can also be a wonderful digestive aid and can help bloating and malabsorption. It has also been shown to be beneficial to bone health because of its calcium content, and to be an aid in proper cardiac function because it relaxes the valves and veins, thus improving the heart's overall function.
If all these benefits aren't enough, thyme is also documented to increase feelings of positivity and to work to uplift the mood and ease stress. It contains many powerful compounds including caracrol, which has been shown to have a positive effect on mood as it increases level of serotonin and dopamine. Drinking thyme tea, consuming it, or diffusing the essential oil in an aromatherapy diffuser, can elevate feelings of well-being and enhance feelings of relaxation.
by Theresa Musatto