Thyme, botanically known as Thymus vulgaris, is a perennial garden herb that has been employed since ancient times for medicinal and culinary uses. The World’s Healthiest Foods notes that thyme has traditionally been associated with courage, with medieval women giving sprigs of thyme to knights going into battle; it has also been used as a herbal remedy for a host of ailments. Thyme tea, rich in volatile oils, minerals, beneficial phenols, and flavonoids, is a healthy beverage choice.
The next time you have a cold or a cough, try a cup of thyme tea. The University of Maryland Medical Center says it can help treat bronchitis and relieve coughs and states that thyme has been approved for this use by the German Commission E, which evaluates safety and efficacy of herbal preparations in Germany. Drugs.com, a website which offers peer-reviewed information to consumers, concurs, saying that extracts from thyme have shown relaxant and bronchodilatory effects.
Thyme tea is often recommended by herbal healers to promote good digestion and relieve gas and bloating. According to “Aromatherapy for Professionals,” by herbalists Shirley and Len Price, the volatile oils in thyme give it carminative –or gas-reducing– properties, while its phenols allow it to work as an antispasmodic, helping to relieve intestinal cramping.
WHEN YOU THINK OF A FOOD RICH IN IRON, THYME IS PROBABLY NOT THE FIRST THING TO COME TO MIND. BUT 2 TBSPS. OF DRIED THYME –ABOUT THE AMOUNT USED IN A CUP OF THYME TEA– DELIVERS 3.56MG, OR 19.8 PERCENT OF THE RECOMMENDED DAILY VALUE OF IRON, CAUSING THE WORLD’S HEALTHIEST FOODS TO LIST IT AS AN EXCELLENT SOURCE. THYME TEA IS ALSO AN EXCELLENT SOURCE OF VITAMIN K, VITAL TO NORMAL BLOOD CLOTTING, WITH 2 TSPS. SUPPLYING 48.01MCG, OR 60 PERCENT OF THE DV. THYME TEA IS ALSO A VERY GOOD SOURCE OF MANGANESE, SUPPLYING 12 PERCENT OF THE DV, AND CALCIUM, PROVIDING 5.4 OF THE DV IN 2 TSP.