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SuperFood of the Week – Thyme

By April 4, 2017Super Foods

Stop what you are doing and make time for this fabulous herb – Thyme!

For thousands of years, thyme has been a superstar of the herb garden. As an antidote for poison, a plague preventative, a symbol of bravery in battle and a stalwart companion to the grave, thyme has a far more storied past than you’d think if you were walking past it in the supermarket today.

Thyme’s reputation as a healer and protector goes back thousands of years. It was also associated with courage, bravery and strength in ancient times. Roman soldiers exchanged sprigs of thyme as a sign of respect. Greeks and Romans burned bundles of thyme to purify their temples and homes, and to evoke a spirit of courage in those who inhaled it.

When the Black Death struck in the late 1340s, millions of people turned to thyme for relief and protection. Many of the day’s medicinal concoctions—from posies worn about the neck to poultices applied directly to plague-blistered skin—included the herb as a major ingredient. Though there was little science to these remedies, one of the chemical compounds found in thyme is a powerful antiseptic. Known as thymol, it’s still widely used today in mouthwash, hand sanitizer and acne medication.

In general, thyme is excellent at supporting the immune and respiratory systems as well as the digestive, nervous and other body systems. It’s a serious powerhouse when it comes to staying healthy. Check out some of the top ways this herb can help improve your health.

1. Fights Sore Throats

Thyme oil is one of the strongest, natural antimicrobials, making it a serious weapon against sore throats. Its carvacrol content is a major reason why it’s one of the top essential oils for sore throat relief.

One recent study conducted by the Medical and Sanitary Microbiology Department at Medical University of Lodz in Poland tested thyme oil’s response to 120 different strains of bacteria isolated from patients with infections of the oral cavity, respiratory tract and genitourinary tract. The results of the experiments showed that the oil from the thyme plant exhibited extremely strong activity against all of the clinical strains. It even demonstrated a good efficacy against antibiotic-resistant strains.  Next time you have a sore throat, make sure to add this herb to your soup and have some soothing and germ-killing thyme tea!

2. Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

The ingestion of thyme has been shown to produce antihypertensive activity, which makes it a great herbal choice for anyone suffering from high blood pressure. A recent animal study found that the extract was able to significantly reduce the heart rate of subjects with high blood pressure. The extract was also shown to reduce cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL levels while increasing HDL cholesterol levels.  Instead of overdoing it on salt, try adding more beneficial herbs like thyme to your daily meals.

3. Prevents Food Poisoning

Thyme has the ability not only to prevent food contamination, but to decontaminate previously contaminated foods as well. In several studies published in Food Microbiology, researchers found that the herb’s essential oil was able to decontaminate lettuce inoculated with Shigella, an infectious organism that causes diarrhea and can lead to major intestinal damage. Washing produce in a solution containing just 1 percent of the oil decreased the number of Shigella bacteria below the point of detection.

By adding it to your next meal, you can actually decrease your likelihood of a food-borne illness. Try adding fresh thyme to your next homemade salad to make those raw greens even healthier and safer to consume!

4. Boosts Your Mood

The carvacrol found in this medicinal herb has been studied and shown to have some very positive mood-boosting effects. Research published in 2013 showed that when carvacrol was administered for seven consecutive days to animals, it was able to increase both dopamine and seratonon levels in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Dopamine and serotonin are two key neurotransmitters when it comes to your mood.

The data from this study suggests that carvacrol is a brain-active molecule that clearly influences brain activity through the modulation of neurotransmitters. If thyme is regularly ingested in low concentrations, this study suggests that it might improve feelings of well-being.

5. May Fight Cancer

The properties in this herb have been shown to fight against tumors and cancer. More specifically, carvacrol is a major component of the essential oil that displays antitumor properties, making this beneficial plant a potential cancer-fighting food.

One recent study out of China and published in Anti-Cancer Drugs found that carvacrol inhibited the proliferation and migration of the two colon cancer cell lines. Overall, research shows that carvacrol has therapeutic potential for both the prevention and treatment of colon cancer.

6. Naturally Remedies Bronchitis

Thyme has been used for centuries for the treatment of cough and bronchitis. A study conducted by the Practice for Internal Medicine and Pneumology in Germany used an oral treatment that was a combination of thyme and ivy. The group treated with this combination had a 50 percent reduction in coughing fits that was achieved two days earlier than the placebo group. In addition, the group treated with the this combination had no more adverse events than the placebo group and no serious adverse events at all.

Do you see now why you need to make time for thyme?

Its easy to grow- you can plant some right in your kitchen window sill!

You can find this fabulous herb in our Cuisine for Healing organic spice mix you can purchase on our website or at our office. We have done the work for you by combining some amazing organic spices you can use in all sorts of dishes. Mother natures medicine cabinet at work!

Hurry over- they are flying off the shelf!

Happy Healthy Eating

Dana

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