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Health Benefits of Thyme, Uses And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 02, 2020

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Thyme is very well known for its plethora of medicinal benefits. The leaves, flowers and oil of thyme have been used to treat various diseases and ailments. Thyme contains antiseptic and antiseptic properties which make it a very effective remedy against colds and coughs and other respiratory diseases.

Thyme also possesses antibacterial properties, and is often used in face washes and anti-acne creams. Thyme contains an extract that can help lower blood pressure. Thyme is also rich in Vitamin K, iron and calcium, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones.


Thyme is an aromatic perennial evergreen herb, which belongs to the genus Thymus of the mint family, and it produces small white, lilac or pink flowers.

There are over 350 species of thyme, which is mainly due to the fact that they hybridize very easily. Thyme can be either low-growing or busy, and the colors of their leaves can vary from pale green shades to shades of deeper green and olive, as well as bronze, or even silver.

Nutritional Value of Thyme

Thyme herb rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals which are essential for overall growth and wellness of the body. Thyme contains thymol, a very important essential oil that has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. Thyme also contains phenolic antioxidants like zeaxanthin, lutein, apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin.

Thyme leaves are rich in potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and magnesium – all of which are essential for normal body functions. Thyme herb is also a good source of vitamins, especially B-complex vitamins, and vitamin-K, vitamin-C, and folic acid.

Nutritional facts Per 100 Grams

1.7 g
Total Fat
9 mg
609 mg
24 g
Total Carbohydrate
6 g

Vitamins and Minerals

95 %
Vitamin A
266 %
Vitamin C
97 %
15 %
Vitamin B-6
40 %

Health Benefits of Thyme

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Let check out the best health benefits of Thyme. This amazing herb holds antibacterial and antifungal properties and various products available in the market contain an amount of thyme herb. After checking out the nutritional benefits of thyme, let's check out some medicinal properties of it.

Helps improve eyesight

Thyme oil is rich in Vitamin A, which is a fat-soluble vitamin and an antioxidant. It is essential for promoting and maintaining a healthy mucus membranes and skin. Thus, thyme helps promote better vision. Consume thyme tea or use oil its for dry eye problem.

Thyme treats colds, coughs and sore throat

Thyme herb has antiseptic and antibiotic properties, making it a great remedy for colds and coughs. Thyme is also used in the treatment of bronchitis. Thyme oil is one of the strongest natural antimicrobials, which is why it is used extensively in the treatment of sore throats. Its carvacrol content is a major reason why it’s one of the top essential oils for sore throat relief.

Thyme for acne and scars problems

Thyme has excellent antibacterial properties, which is why it is very effective in fighting off acne-causing bacteria. Thyme helps in maintaining skin health by eliminating the bacteria that is responsible for causing various skin problems. Thyme essential oil can be diluted with water and used as a toner to tighten mature skin.

Thyme promotes hair growth

Delivery of nutrients to the hair follicles is vital for hair growth. Thyme helps with hair growth by improving blood circulation to the scalp. Applying thyme essential oil, or a mixture containing thyme in it helps facilitate delivery of essential nutrients to the scalp, thus encouraging hair growth.

Thyme oil also prevents hairfall and thinning of hair, and is also effective in the treatment of dandruff, due to its antibacterial properties.

Thyme treat respiratory disorders

The antiseptic and antibiotic properties of thyme plant make it an effective remedy for respiratory conditions like coughs and bronchitis as well as cold and sore throat. Thyme has been proven to be very effective in treating bronchitis.

Thyme keeps your bones healthy

Thyme is an excellent source of Vitamin K and a great source of iron, calcium and manganese.

These minerals of thyme play a crucial role in bone health, promoting proper bone growth and development, and reducing the risk of bone disorders. Thus, thyme helps in sustaining powerful, healthy bones and preventing bone diseases.

Thyme prevent cardiovascular disease

The combination of thyme’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties helps in the prevention of chronic inflammation, which is the primary cause of cardiovascular diseases. Thyme oil, in particular, is known for its anti-spasmodic properties, which subsequently promotes cardiac health. It enables proper functioning of the cardiac valves and relaxes the veins and arteries, reducing blood pressure and strengthening the heart.

Thyme helps in controlling blood pressur

Thyme leaves are rich in potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Thyme extracts have also been known to help reduce blood pressure in situations involving hypertension.

Thyme treats muscle cramps

Thyme has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it very effective in the treatment of menstrual cramps, and any other forms of spasms in the body. Thyme tea has often been recommended in the treatment of PMS in women.

Thyme has excellent anti-bacterial properties

Thyme has anti-bacterial properties, which is why it is often used to fight infections and diseases caused by bacteria and fungi, for example, E.coli. Studies have found that thyme essential oil has the power to fight against antibiotic resistant strains of different types of bacteria. It can kill off bacteria both inside and outside the body. Additionally, thyme tea is also used for disinfecting skin and other surfaces.

Thyme herb for anemia

Thyme is a very good source of iron. Iron is vital for the growth and development of red blood cells in the body. Since iron deficiency can cause anemia, incorporating thyme in your daily diet can help prevent anemia.

Uses of Thyme

Fresh thyme leaves are mostly used for cooking purposes, as well as for making teas. Thyme is also often used for protection against insects by placing the thyme leaves between layers of linen, to prevent the fabric from insect attacks. Thyme oil has a wide range of uses, for example, as an ingredient in deodorants and scented soaps.

Thyme works very well as an antiseptic, and has also often been used in meat and vegetable preservation. While the fresh leaves of thyme are edible, the essential oil that is extracted from it is not, and when used on the skin, it should always be diluted with a carrier oil, or water.

For medicinal purposes, thyme is used in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as diarrhea, stomach ache, colic, sore throat, whooping cough and arthritis. It is also often used as a diuretic.


Side-Effects & Allergies of Thyme

Similar to other herbs, thyme has a few side effects too. Thyme contains compounds such as thymol and carvacrol which can cause irritation of the mucuous membranes in people who are sensitive.

There are no established evidences that prove the safety of this herb on pregnant and breastfeeding women, there are no contraindications also. However, since thyme has been a time proven remedy to induce menstruation, there are chances that pregnant women might be at the risk of miscarriage.

Thyme herb should not be administered to children below the age of 10. People on anti-thyroid and thyroid replacement medications should avoid using thyme as it is known to inversely react with these medications, hindering their functions.

Cultivation of Thyme

Thyme is native to the western Mediterranean area, but is now widely cultivated throughout temperate climates. Thyme was extensively used by the early Greeks. For the Greeks, thyme represented style and elegance.

In the Middle Ages, it represented chivalry. In France, it represented the Republican spirit. It was used as flavoring in liquors and cheese. It was used medicinally to treat epilepsy, melancholy, the plague, and as an antiseptic on the battlefield in World War I.

Thyme is best cultivated in a hot, sunny location with well-drained soil. It is generally planted in the spring, and thereafter grows as a perennial. It can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or dividing rooted sections of the plant. It tolerates drought well. The plants can take deep freezes and are found growing wild on mountain highlands.


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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
    Reviewed By
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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