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Health Benefits and Uses of Thyme
You probably have this herb in your cupboard to flavor salads, sauces etc., but what you may not know is how this incredible herb can also be considered as part of your medicine cabinet.
This lovely aromatic herb has been used as medicine throughout history especially for chest and respiratory problems. Researchers have found that thyme contains a volatile oil known as thymol. This oil acts as an antiseptic and disinfectant.
For respiratory problems such as bronchitis or asthma, an easy, effective homemade remedy can be made by finely chopping thyme (about a tsp.) with a spoon of local honey. This soothes the lungs and air passages. You can also make a tea with water, honey and thyme. Add a little lemon if you like and relax, let the herb do its magic. Thyme has been known to expel parasites in the body so drinking this tea daily can be very beneficial.
Other benefits for drinking a tea brewed with thyme, is that it is useful for easing menstrual cramps and PMS. It can aid in digestion and help dissolve and remove mucus from the intestinal tract. It has even been used to eliminate nightmares for children. Thyme tea has a pleasant flavor and mixed with a bit of honey and lemon makes for a nice warm soothing drink children will enjoy.
Because of the disinfectant properties of thyme you can also clean a sick room by making a tea solution with boiled water, a bit of soap and thyme. Allow the solution to cool and then strain into a clean spray bottle. You can clean all hard surfaces with it. It is also great for cleaning and disinfecting your cutting board instead of using harsh chemical cleaners which can linger there. The chemicals can kill bacteria but so does thyme. A natural cleaner makes more sense.
Thyme has also been known as a food preservative. It has anti-microbial properties which make the leftover food last longer. You may also apply a mixture of honey and thyme to small wounds to prevent infection.
Insects do not like thyme, so planting some in your garden can help keep the insect population down. If you don't mind the fragrance you can even make your own insect repellant. You'll need:
2 ounces of distilled water
Put the water into a deep bowl and with a whisk, slowly add the oil to the water until it is creamy. Continue whisking while you add the herbal tinctures. Place in a jar or lotion bottle and use when needed. It is a very simple, inexpensive and safe way to repel insects and enjoy the outdoors.
Thyme has a variety of flavonoids (which is a water soluble polyphenol) such as thymonin, luteolin, apigenin and naringenin, which makes it a good source as an antioxidant. Thyme also is a good source of iron, manganese, calcium and fiber.
Nature has its way of making things right and thyme is a wonderful versatile herb that can easily be incorporated in your everyday life.
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