2 Health Benefits of Thyme Leaf [Infographic]
Thyme leaf is a popular culinary herb known for its minty and peppery flavor. But it also boasts a number of medicinal effects. Research studies have found that the herb may have anti-aging effects, may strengthen immune function and fight diseases, and it may ease feelings of stress and tension. It can be added to tea blends to give a slightly minty and lemony flavor.
What is thyme leaf?
Thyme is commonly used as a flavoring agent or a culinary herb in European cuisine and is considered one of the four essential herbs in Britain. The herb’s name name was derived from the Greek word thumus meaning courage and was cited by Hippocrates and Dioscorides for its medicinal uses. In Medieval times, knights wore sprigs of thyme on their tunics as a sign of inspiration and courage during battle. The herb was also placed under pillows to ward off depression and nightmares to promote restful sleep. In medicine, thyme is used for various conditions such as arthritis, indigestion, digestive problems, and skin disorders.
The health benefits of thyme leaf according to research
Research conducted in Scotland suggested that thyme and its volatile oil, thymol, helps counter the effects of aging. Recent research shows that thyme is strongly antioxidant and may help maintain higher levels of essential fatty acids in the brain, potentially offsetting some of the processes that lead to brain cell aging.
2. Immunity and Overall Health
Thyme has traditionally been used for immune function health and to treat various infections, such as throat and chest infections. Modern research shows thyme exhibits antimicrobial and antiseptic activity, supporting its traditional use for immune health.
Thyme seems to have antiviral activity against influenza and may also have anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) effects. Carvacrol, a compound found in thyme, was found to have an effect against non-small cell lung cancer, which accounts for 75% of lung cancers, and inhibits the growth of colon cancer cells. Results from in vitro studies suggest that carvacrol acts by inhibiting cancerous cell growth.
3. Stress & Mood Support
Thyme may potentially help ease feelings of stress and improve mood. According to animal studies conducted in 2014, carvacrol was found to increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are responsible for stimulatory processes in the body and regulate moods. According to the researchers, moderate consumption of thyme might improve feelings of well-being.
4. Women’s Health
Thyme was found in a clinical trial conducted in 2014 to help relieve muscle cramps associated with menstruation. The herb was found to be as effective as ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug, in reducing the severity of pain and cramps.
* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.
A Tansu Koparal, Melih Zeytinoglu. “Effects of Carvacrol on a Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Cell Line, A549.” Cytotechnology. November 2003;43(13):14954.
Alamger, Uzma Mazhar, Muhammad Naveed Mushtaq, Hafeez Ullah Khan, Safirah Maheen, Muhammad Nasir Hayat Malik, Taseer Ahmad, Fouzia Latif, Nazia Tabassum, Abdul Qayyum Khan, Haseeb Ahsan, Wasim Khan, Ibrahim Javed, Haider Ali. “Evaluation of antiinflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activities of Thymus serphyllum Linn. in mice”. Acta Pol Pharm. January 2015;72(1):1138.
Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. New York, NY: DK Publishing, 2016. Print.
Faraz Mojab, Mahshid Poursaeed, Hadi Mehrgan, Shima Pakdaman. “Antibacterial activity of Thymus daenensis methanolic extract.” Pak J Pharm Sci. July 2008;21(3):2103.
Hajar Salmalian, Roshanak Saghebi, Ali Akbar Moghadamnia, Ali Bijani, Mahbobeh Faramarzi, Fatemeh Nasiri Amiri, Fatemeh Bakouei, Fereshte Behmanesh, Reza Bekhradi. “Comparative effect of thymus vulgaris and ibuprofen on primary dysmenorrhea: A triple-blind clinical study.” Caspian J Intern Med. 2014;5(2):828.
M A Nassan, E H Mohamed. “Immunopathological and antimicrobial effect of black pepper, ginger and thyme extracts on experimental model of acute hematogenous pyelonephritis in albino rats.” Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. October 2014;27(4):53141.
María C. Rotaa, Antonio Herrera, Rosa M. Martínez, Jose A. Sotomayor, María J. Jordán. “Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis and Thymus hyemalis essential oils”. Food Control. July 2008;19(7):681–687.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Therapeutic Research Center. Web. June 22, 2016.
Seung-Joo Lee, Katumi Umano, Takayuki Shibamoto, Kwang-Geun Lee. “Identification of volatile components in basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and thyme leaves (Thymus vulgaris L.) and their antioxidant properties.” Food Chemistry. June 2005;91(1):131-137.
Weiguang Yi, Hazel Y Wetzstein. “Antitumorigenic activity of five culinary and medicinal herbs grown under greenhouse conditions and their combination effects. J Sci Food Agric. August 15, 2011;91(10):184954. Epub March 30, 2011.