Thyme, botanically known as Thymus vulgaris, is a perennial garden herb that has been employed since ancient times for medicinal and culinary uses. The World’s Healthiest Foods notes that thyme has traditionally been associated with courage, with medieval women giving sprigs of thyme to knights going into battle; it has also been used as an herbal remedy for a host of ailments. Thyme tea, rich in volatile oils, minerals, beneficial phenols, and flavonoids, is a healthy beverage choice.
The next time you have a cold or a cough, try a cup of thyme tea. The University of Maryland Medical Center says it can help treat bronchitis and relieve coughs and states that thyme has been approved for this use by the German Commission E, which evaluates safety and efficacy of herbal preparations in Germany. Drugs.com, a website which offers peer-reviewed information to consumers, concurs, saying that extracts from thyme have shown relaxant and bronchodilatory effects.
Thyme tea is often recommended by herbal healers to promote good digestion and relieve gas and bloating. According to “Aromatherapy for Professionals,” by herbalists Shirley and Len Price, the volatile oils in thyme give it carminative –or gas-reducing– properties, while its phenols allow it to work as an antispasmodic, helping to relieve intestinal cramping.