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Thyme: Health benefits and side effects

Thyme has astringent, antiseptic and antibacterial properties that are very useful for treating acne. Just boil one tablespoon of dried thyme in a cup of water and steep for 15 minutes. Strain and apply to the affected area.

Written by Anusuya Suresh |Published : March 24, 2015 8:17 PM IST

The herb known as Garden thyme, Common thyme or English thymeis grown as an ornamental plant in several parts of the world. Its strong aroma makes it a popular herb for culinary use besides its medicinal value in indigenous systems of medicine across the world.

Health benefits: Thyme has been used externally as an antimicrobial to deal with bad breath, scalp and ear infections. Internally, it is used to give relief from cough, sore throat, bronchitis and whooping cough. It also has valuable digestive properties and gives relief from diarrhea, flatulence and colic. It is sometimes used as a diuretic to increase urine output. (Read: 10 herbs with surprising health benefits)

How to use: Thyme is cooked in fresh or dry form with eggs, beans and omelets.

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Active ingredients: Thyme contains volatile oil that consists of compounds such as borneol, thymol, p-cymene and carvacrol; it also contains flavonoids such as naringenin, apigenin, thymonin and luteolin.

Side effects: Thyme is safe for general use; however, some people develop an allergy to this herb. Due to its estrogen-like action, it should not be used by women with cancers of the uterus, breast or ovaries. It is also not recommended for people with bleeding disorders.

Photo source: Getty images

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1 Marino M, Bersani C, Comi G. Antimicrobial activity of the essential oils ofThymus vulgaris L. measured using a bioimpedometric method. J Food Prot. 1999Sep;62(9):1017-23. PubMed PMID: 10492476.

2 Grosso C, Figueiredo AC, Burillo J, Mainar AM, Urieta JS, Barroso JG, CoelhoJA, Palavra AM. Composition and antioxidant activity of Thymus vulgarisvolatiles: comparison between supercritical fluid extraction andhydrodistillation. J Sep Sci. 2010 Jul;33(14):2211-8. doi:10.1002/jssc.201000192. PubMed PMID: 20568253.

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