Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): Valued for its antiseptic and antioxidant properties, it is an excellent tonic and is used in treating respiratory diseases and a variety of other ailments.
The flowering tops are anthelmintic, strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, sedative and tonic. Thyme has been shown to slow down the ageing process by maintaining the vigour of our body cells.
The essential oil of common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is made up of 20-54% thymol. Thymol, an antiseptic, is the main active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash. Before the advent of modern antibiotics, it was used to medicate bandages. It has also been shown to be effective against the fungus that commonly infects toenails.
A tea made by infusing the herb in water can be used for cough and bronchitis. Medicinally thyme is used for respiratory infections in the form of a tincture, tisane, salve, syrup or by steam inhalation. Because it is antiseptic, thyme boiled in water and cooled is very effective against inflammation of the throat when gargled 3 times a day. The inflammation will normally disappear in 2 – 5 days.
The thymol and other volatile components in the leaf glands is excreted via the lungs, being highly lipid-soluble, where it reduces the viscosity of the mucus and exerts its antimicrobial action. Other infections and wounds can be dripped with thyme that has been boiled in water and cooled.
The plant is used internally in the treatment of dry coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis, bronchial catarrh, asthma, laryngitis, indigestion, gastritis and diarrhoea and enuresis in children.
It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tonsillitis, gum diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and fungal infections. The plant can be used fresh at any time of the year, or it can be harvested as it comes into flower and either be distilled for the oil or dried for later use. Thyme has an antioxidant effect, thus regular use of this herb improves the health and longevity of individual body cells and therefore prolongs the life of the body. The essential oil is strongly antiseptic.
The whole herb is used in the treatment of digestive disorders, sore throats, fevers etc. The essential oil is one of the most important oils used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Bacterial'. It is used especially in cases of exhaustion, depression, upper respiratory tract infections, skin and scalp complaints etc. The oil can cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin and mucous membranes.
- Bronchitis: Thyme has antispasmodic, mucus-clearing, and antibacterial actions.
- Chronic Candidiasis: Volatile oils from thyme have been shown to have significant antifungal action. Doctors recommend enteric-coated capsules, which break down in the intestines instead of the stomach.
- Cough: Many constituents in thyme team up to provide its antispasmodic, mucus-expelling, and cough-preventing actions. It also appears to be safe even for small children.
- Halitosis: Volatile oils made from thyme have antibacterial properties and may be effective in mouthwash or toothpaste form.
From the Spanimax List: "15 Top Herbs II"
- American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines; Pierce, Andrea.
- In vitro antagonistic activity of monoterpenes and their mixtures against 'toe nail fungus' pathogens; Ramsewak RS.
- Medicinal Plants of China; Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S
- Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants; Chiej. R.
- The Herb Book; Lust. J.
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