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There are many different varieties of thyme that grows practically everywhere around the world. In medieval times, thyme was given as a gift to warriors to bring them courage. It was also used as an incense and placed on coffins at funerals to assure the deceased was able to pass onto their next life.
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Health Benefits of Thyme Tea
For medicinal purposes, the two most common varieties of thyme are Spanish thyme (T. zygis) and creeping thyme (T. serpyllum). They offer the best health benefits.
Constituents of thyme tea include thymol, tryptophan, alpha-linolenic acid, borneol, geraniol, limonene, ursolic acid, kaempferol, eugenol, p-coumaric acid, anethole, ferulic acid, luteolin, and rosmarinic acid.
Thyme tea also contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and manganese.
Thymol, an essential oil in thyme, is a powerful antioxidant, antiseptic, and antibacterial.
Thyme tea is most often used to treat respiratory problems, such as colds, coughs (including whooping cough), bronchitis, and hay fever. It possesses expectorant and antispasmodic properties. Terpenoids, found in thyme, helps dissolve thick mucus and expel phlegm from the lungs. Flavonoids are responsible for relaxing spasms.
Thyme tea is also used as a remedy to treat digestive disorders, such as excessive flatulence, nausea (especially when mixed with ginger), and intestinal parasites (when mixed with equal amounts of sage, red clover, and rosemary).
Externally, thyme tea is used to help heal cuts and wounds. For best results, make a strong cup of thyme tea by doubling or tripling the recipe. You can also use this recipe to gargle with to treat chronic gum problems or sore throats.
Other health benefits of thyme tea include:
- relieving rheumatic pain
- treating headaches
- reducing a high fever by increasing perspiration
- treating vaginal yeast infections and athlete's foot when used as a bath wash
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Preparing Thyme Tea
Add 1 teaspoon of crushed thyme leaves to 1/2 cup of just-boiled water, steep for 10 minutes, and strain.
You can sweeten with honey. Honey acts as a demulcent (soothes irritated mucus membranes) and is especially helpful when drinking thyme tea to treat coughs.
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