Thyme has several wonderful health benefits which; include thymol and carvacrol which contains anti-inflammatory, respiratory, and neurological properties.
Other health benefits of thyme are widely used to complement dietary or culinary uses and are also a friendly helper in the cosmetic industry.
Thyme And Its Benefits
Thyme is a perennial shrub with tiny green aromatic leaves from the mint family and is popular in many countries across the world.
There are many varieties of the plant and each differs in its flavors. The common thyme as the name suggests typically contains 0.4% to 3.4% of essential oil which is prepared through steam distillation of its leaves. It is the most popular variety known in the world.
The uses of thyme range from pharmaceuticals to manufacturing household products and cosmetics. It was used in ancient times as a preservative, aromatherapy agent, and traditional medicine.
Thyme preserved the integrity and functionality of muscle cell membranes.
The Manufacture Industry
Thyme essential oil is used in the manufacture manufacturing industry because of its thymol and carvacrol compounds Some of the products manufactured from thymes are listed:
- Food flavorings
- Pharmaceutical products
- feed additives
Uses In The Culinary Industry
Thyme’s culinary uses are many because of its distinct aroma. The spice is used in baked products, stews, meats, garden salads, poultry stuffing, seafood, egg dishes, and in marinades of chicken and fish.
Thyme also adds flavor to a variety of vegetable preparations, such as beans, onions, potatoes, and carrots.
The oil contains a high concentration of the phenolic compounds thymol and carvacrol.
The recommended serving of thyme is two tablespoons when fresh or one teaspoon of dried herb. Thyme is safe when used in normal amounts.
The Potential Health Benefits Of Thyme
Thyme essential oil contains high concentrations of antioxidants and is ranked high as having the most potent antioxidant among several other oils.
When compared with the essential oils of basil, rosemary, lavender, chamomile, sage, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and clove, thyme’s hydrophilic extracts have substantial antioxidant activity which is due mainly to its rosmarinic acid and some flavonoids.
In a 2013 study done on animal studies, it was shown that thyme has the potential to protect against oxidative damage that may contribute to chronic diseases and aging. This is due mainly to oxidation-suppressing actions. Further research is needed to validate these findings.
The extracts of thyme have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce tumors due to lipid compounds derived from arachidonic acid and can regulate inflammation in the body.
The extracts of thyme are also reported to have activated dendritic cells in the body due to an increase in the number of cells as a result of cell growth and cell division.
Respiratory Benefits and Effects on Cough
Thyme is claimed to have antispasmodic, bronchiolitis, and secretomotor properties, and is used for bronchitis, whooping cough, and mucosal inflammation of the respiratory tract.
The essential oil of thyme can treat airway diseases because of the carvacrol and thymol.
If taken in large amounts, It could have a mild irritant effect. on the lung that stimulate mucosal secretions and enhance ciliary movement in the bronchial epithelia.
In a 2006 study, it is suggested that thyme and Ivy extracts can help to significantly suppress cough, lowers blood pressure, regulates heart rate, and reduce body temperature. However, further studies are needed.
1. Antinociceptie activity
The antinociceptive and anesthetic activities of thyme extracts and its essential oil, when inhaled, the thymol compounds can considerably reduce pain. The pain reduction was suggested as a result of the anti-prostaglandin and antispasmodic properties present in the plant.
2. Neurobehavioral and neuroprotective properties
Additional research showed that thyme’s phytochemicals can help to influence processes associated with cognition and mood.
Thyme oil has been suggested that carvacrol possesses cognition-enhancing activities. By applying acute administration of thymol it can help in the treatment of
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cerebral ischemia and reperfusion (I/R)
- oxidative stress
Dietary supplementation with thyme essential oil (42.5 mg/kg/day) helped maintain higher polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in the liver, kidney, brain, and heart tissue.
Safety And Usage
There is some evidence that carvacrol displays multiple neuromodulatory actions, and, because it is widely used as a food additive, has the potential to be incorporated into medicines for alleviating various neurological conditions.
When used in amounts found in foods, thyme and thyme essential oil are regarded as natural flavoring or seasoning agents that are generally recognized as safe for their intended uses.
However, when taken orally in undiluted form, thyme oil can be unsafe. Carvacrol is one of the most widespread constituents of plant essential oils and is approved by the governing authorities worldwide and should be used in the minimum quantity required to produce its intended effect.
In additional studies, investigations of thymol were shown to alter intestinal secretion. The increased water and electrolyte secretion can be used by the intestinal mucosa to flush out detrimental bacteria and antigens.
It was further suggested that Thyme and its constituents could potentially influence gastric maturation and function.
Thyme and its essential oil, along with some of its phytochemical components are said to have some effects on inflammation, oxidative stress, respiratory and GI distress, and neurological impacts on humans.
The culinary uses of thyme are considered safe and have been used throughout the world. It is used as a flavoring agent and as a spice in many dishes
The potential health benefits of thyme include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, neurological and gastrointestinal actions. Thyme has been a staple in the manufacturing industries for producing from pharmaceuticals to mouthwashes.
There are many varieties of thyme and each one has a different flavor, and its effectiveness is based on its variety when added for medicinal usage.
Thyme and its essential oil should be used with caution as it could have potential health effects if taken in large quantities above the recommended dosage.
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