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Thyme Is a Spice With Health Benefits

By Paul Rothbart

Any cook worth their salt keeps their kitchen stocked with spices, the most common of which happens to be salt. There's also black and red pepper, oregano, cinnamon, basil, rosemary, parsley flakes, and too many to list. One of the most essential spices to have in your cabinet is thyme. An herb related to mint, thyme has a distinctive fragrance and taste that enhances many dishes as well as tea and some cocktails. What you may not know is that thyme does more than taste good. It offers numerous health benefits.

Immune System Health

Thyme, as reported by the USDA contains significant amounts of the antioxidants Vitamin A and C. It also contains fiber, iron, copper, and manganese. The presence of these nutrients means that thyme can aid the immune system in its vital role in fighting infection and illness. The amount of thyme used in most recipes won't get you to the recommended daily allowance of these vitamins and minerals but it can make a contribution when combined with other foods.

Treating Coughs

The essential oil derived from thyme leaves is used as a natural treatment for coughs. A study conducted in 2006 found that taking thyme and ivy leaves together helped to relieve symptoms of acute bronchitis including coughs. Research done in 2018 on animal subjects discovered that extracts of thyme and primula combined were able to reduce mucus and inflammation. Thyme tea is a good home remedy for a cough.

Treating Acne

Acne and blemishes are disturbing and can hurt one's confidence. Using a tincture created by soaking thyme leaves in alcohol for several weeks can kill P. acnes, the virus that causes acne. A study conducted in 2010 discovered the antibacterial properties of thyme in fighting acne.


Thyme essential oil is one of the varieties used in diffusers for aromatherapy. Thyme contains an active substance called carvacrol. According to a 2013 animal study, carvacrol can increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These feel-good chemicals elevate mood and help prevent depression. 

Food Poisoning Prevention

If you are cautious about what you eat, you can avoid food poisoning. However, it can happen and is extremely unpleasant, to say the least. Adding thyme to your food can help reduce its risk due to its antibacterial properties. Multiple in vitro studies have found that thyme is effective in fighting some of the more resistant strains of bacteria such as pseudomonas and staphylococcus. Keep in mind, you still need to be careful what you eat. Thyme won't eliminate the possibility of food poisoning.

Any well-stocked kitchen will include thyme. It's a staple in many cuisines. It also has some nice health benefits that add to the list of reasons to have it in your cupboard.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cape Coral, Fla.

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