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Thyme Herb Health Benefits

Thyme has a long and varied history of both medicinal and culinary use. In Jamaica the herb can be found in almost every household and is almost always bundled and sold along with another herb, escallion.

 

The plants are perennial and belong to the family of mint. Thyme is packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

 

Its leaves are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

 

Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.

 

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that is required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision.

 

Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids like vitamin A and beta-carotene helps protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

 

Thyme has been used since ancient times for its culinary, aromatic and medicinal properties. The ancient Egyptians used it as an embalming agent to preserve their deceased pharaohs.

 

You can drink thyme tea for relief from coughs, bronchitis, and common colds. (Combining thyme with licorice or mint improves the flavour.)

 

Thyme has a pronounced effect on the respiratory system; in addition to fighting infections, it dries mucous membranes and relaxes spasms of the bronchial passages.

 

Jamaican thyme’s antiseptic properties make it useful to treat yeast infections and combat parasites such as tapeworms and hookworms.

 

Thyme is sold both fresh and dried. The fresh form is more flavourful, but also less convenient; storage life is rarely more than a week.

 

While summer-seasonal, fresh greenhouse thyme is often available year round. Thyme has no known side effects and is completely safe to use.

 

However, thyme’s essential oil could cause skin and mucous membrane irritation and can also cause allergic reactions.

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