Thyme in Herbal Medicine
Native to the Mediterranean, thyme (pronounced "time") is a worldly known aromatic herb used in medicine, ornamental purposes and aromatherapy. The herb belongs to a genus consisting of about 350 species in the family Lamiaceae. The stems of this herbaceous perennialare usually narrow and wiry; the oval leaves are evergreen and are arranged in opposite pairs. The thyme flowers are white, pink or purple, have dense terminal heads and usually grow up to 4-10 mm long.
Hot sunny location with good-draining soil is the most preferred habitat for thyme. The herb is usually planted in spring and thereafter grows as a perennial. The propagation is usually performed by seed, cuttings, or by dividing rooted sections of the plant. As a rule, thyme is a draught-tolerant plant.
For various herbal preparations the whole herb is used, all parts of it having beneficial actions.
Thyme is available in the market both fresh and dried. The fresh form is more flavourful but at the same time less convenient; it has a short little storage life and is rarely saved for more than a week. This kind of thyme is usually sold in bunches of sprigs (single stems snipped from the plant).
The major active chemical in thyme is thymol (named after the herb itself). It is able to increase the percentage of healthy fats in cell membranes and other cell structures in brain, kidney, and heart. Also, the thymol violate oil compounds demonstrate antimicrobial activity against different bacteria (Staphalococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Shigella sonnei) and fungi. A number of flavonoids is also found in thyme – they include apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin, which provide potential antioxidant activity.
The action of the mentioned beneficial chemical is reflected in the thyme’s health benefits. The herb is prescribed to the patients with sciatica, headache and drowsiness. Rubefacient properties of the thyme oil act as counter-irritant in rheumatism treatment. Also, applied to the skin, the plant relieves soreness and roughness, quickens the circulation, brightens and clears the complexions, preserving the skin youth. As a component of the herbal combination, thyme is also good for the digestive disorders. Prepared as tea, the herb is used for respiratory infections, cough and bronchitis. Antibacterial and antiviral properties of thyme are used for immune boosting and the herb is often found as the component in cleaning products.
I have always been interested in herbs , and to know there is hope away from doctors and pharmists, and drug companys just trying to get Rich, is wonderful to read about! and by the way ,I have used this herb THYME , and found it great for clearing the lungs and bronical tubes. Thanks
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