Other Names of Thyme: Common thyme, red thyme, white thyme, French thyme, garden thyme, Spanish thyme, rubbed thyme, thyme aetheroleum, thymus vulgaris, thym, thymus zygis, thymi herba, thym commun, tomillo, vanya yavani, van ajwayan

Useful Parts of the Plant: Leaves

Nutritional Information and Properties

Apart from its fragrance, thyme is perhaps best known for being a rich source of iron. There are a lot of other nutrients in thyme. Thyme is also a rich source of vitamin K and manganese. Being green and leafy, they also have a lot of dietary fiber and calcium. Thyme is also low in calories, and therefore, it is an ideal accompaniment for all kinds of foods. It is known to have active compounds that are good for the treatment of respiratory infections and problems such as a cough, chest congestion, and even bronchitis. It has a lot of healing effects that stem from large quantities of a volatile oil known as thymol. Some of the other therapeutic volatile oils in thyme include borneol, carvacolo, and geraniol.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

  • Thymol, the volatile oil from thyme, has antioxidant properties that can be used for the protection of the body against carcinogenic oxygen radicals.
  • Thymol, apart from being an anti-carcinogenic, is documented to have anti-ageing effects on test animals. Since thymol protects your cell membranes from damage from free oxygen radicals, it helps enhance your overall organ functioning.
  • Dietary supplementation with thyme can help you increase the amount of DHA, an essential fatty acid, to reach various parts of your body, especially the brain. This enhances mental prowess and improves mental acuity. It also slows down the ageing of the brain cells.
  • Thyme is also rich in flavonoids such as apigenin, luteolin, naringenin, and thymonin. All of these flavonoids improve the antioxidant activity of thyme, making it an extremely healthful food.
  • Thyme also offers the benefit of antimicrobial activity. Regular consumption of thyme can help inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi in the body. If bacteria and fungi are already present in your body, consuming thyme can help reduce their numbers and treat any health conditions that they may be causing. Thyme can be used to preserve foods and protect them from microbial contamination.
  • Adding fresh thyme to uncooked foods, especially salad greens, can help prevent microbial infections. Thyme is usually added to salad dressings for this purpose. Some people also wash raw foods with a mixture of water, vinegar and thyme, to protect them against microbial contamination.
  • Apart from the heavy antioxidant activity, thyme is also a nutrient dense herb that contains a lot of health promoting nutrients. The calcium and dietary fiber in thyme can promote good health, improve digestion, and prevent calcium-related bone and skeletal disorders.

Other Uses

Thyme is used in Mediterranean cooking to add flavor and aroma to various foods. It can be used to flavor pasta and poultry preparations. Some people may prefer adding thyme to their food as an added seasoning, owing to their rich flavor.