Contains many active principles that are found to have disease-preventing and health-promoting properties.
Thyme herb contains thymol, one of the important essential oils. Thymol has been found scientifically to have antiseptic and anti-fungal characteristics. The other volatile oils in thyme include carvacolo, borneol, and geraniol.
Thyme contains many flavonoid phenolic antioxidants like zea-xanthin, lutein, pigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin. Fresh thyme herb has one of the highest antioxidant levels among herbs, a total ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value of 27,426-µmol TE/100 g.
It 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. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
The herb is also a rich source of many important vitamins such as B-complex vitamins, β-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C and folic acid.
It provides 0.35 mg of vitamin B6 or pyridoxine; furnishing about 27% of daily recommended intake. Pyridoxine keeps up GABA (beneficial neurotransmitter in the brain) levels in the brain, which has a role as stress buster.
Vitamin C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
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 β-carotene helps protect from lung and oral cavity cancer.
Throat gargling with warm thyme water or drinking few sips of thyme tea may help relieve coughs, sore throat, and bronchitis symptoms.
In the pharmacy, thyme based formulations have been used as an antiseptic mouthwash in the treatment of caries and gingivitis.