Thyme, “The Anti-Viral Herb”

The worldwide viral situation was influential for this month’s herbal choice.  Get ready to discover some very interesting benefits of this herb.  May I also suggest that it may be “Thyme”, (pun intended) to start an herbal garden.

Did you know…

> During medieval times, knights often wore scarves decorated with thyme because it was a symbol of bravery.

> Ancient Greek soldiers were given the plant before battle to bolster their courage. It also seems that thyme may have helped them breathe easy as they swung their swords.

Thyme herb contains thymol found scientifically to have one of the most important volatile oils found in thyme that offers antiseptic and antifungal properties.   Thyme can be of 300 varieties and chemotypes, or plants that seem similar, but have different chemical compositions. I would give this herb 5 star*****/A+++ rating.  Be inspired by Thyme’s extraordinary quality and value in its following characteristics:

  • *Anti-viral
  • Antiseptic (thymol contains powerful antimicrobial properties)
  • **Anti-fungal characteristics. (carvacrol, borneol, and geraniol)
  • ***Anti-oxidants –  (zeaxanthin, lutein, apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-cancer (carvacrol)

At the top of the list, you see that thyme is an anti-viral herb.   There are more than 400 different viruses that can cause infections, including the common cold, the flu, hepatitis, mononucleosis, and HIV.

A virus is a small infectious agent that can only replicate inside the living cells of other organisms. Viruses have actually been described as “organisms at the edge of life” because they carry genetic material, reproduce, and evolve through natural selection, but they lack cell structure, which is generally needed to be considered living.

>  *Antiviral herbs inhibit the development of viruses. Many of the best antiviral herbs boost the immune system(A,C), which allows the body to attack viral pathogens. This can be even better than attacking specific pathogens, which antiviral drugs are designed to do because pathogens mutate over time and become less susceptible to treatment.

Not only do antiviral herbs fight viral infections, boost the immune system, and work as flu natural remedies, but they have a number of other health benefits, such as cardiovascular, digestive and anti-inflammatory support.(A, C)

>  **Thyme is able to treat symptoms of the candida infections, whether they occur as yeast infections, skin rashes, or thrush in your mouth.

> ***Fresh thyme herb has one of the highest antioxidant levels among herbs, a total ORAC value of 27,426-µmol TE/100 g.

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) values. It is an analysis that measures the antioxidant levels of food and other chemical substances. If a food has a high ORAC score, then it means the food is high in antioxidants.  The antioxidant’s strength is its ability to eliminate oxygen free radicals. With the ORAC, a higher score means the food is better at helping us fight diseases such as heart disease and cancer.


Thyme’s leaves are one of the richest sources of Vitamin K, potassium,(K) and selenium(Se) as well.

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 essential for red blood cell formation.


  • Throat gargling with tepid thyme water or drinking few sips of thyme tea may help relieve coughs, sore throat, and bronchitis symptoms. Thyme offers strong antibacterial, antispasmodic, and healing properties, which fight bronchial infections.(A)
  • It helps relieve bronchitis symptoms, break down mucus, and soothe the coughs. Drinking a few cups of warm thyme tea daily to treat bronchitis, relieve a cough, and ease your breathing.
  • In the pharmacy, thyme based formulations have been used as an anti-septic mouthwash in the treatment of caries and gingivitis.

NOTE: Avoid this tasty herb if you take blood clotting medications, and stop taking it 2 weeks before surgery. In some people, it can also cause allergies, and it can cause an estrogen-like effect, so avoid it if you are at risk of hormone-sensitive conditions like ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer, or endometriosis.


Breath Easier(Se) 

The medical term for shortness of breath is dyspnea. Despite being common, it can be uncomfortable and distressing to experience.  Helped people keep their respiratory system healthy for centuries.  From viruses to allergies—here are several herbal tools that can help you breathe easier. We all know that when we are uptight or stressed our breathing is constricted.  It’s excellent for whooping cough, bronchitis, and asthma. It also soothes a sore throat, so is a great option when hit with a respiratory infection. Put it in an infusion (tea) or inhale the vapors.  We all know that when we are uptight or stressed our breathing is constricted.

Thyme destroys mold spores, and prevents their disastrous effects, like asthma, lung infections, allergies, and blocked airways.

You can make a homemade anti-mold spray, by adding 25 drops of thyme oil to a 16-oz. spray bottle with white vinegar or 3% hydrogen peroxide. Then, spray all over surfaces affected by mold, leave to act for 20 minutes, and wipe with a damp cloth.

Boosts Mood(B2, B6, C) 

Thyme contains carvacrol, a monoterpenoid phenol which acts as a memory booster and an antidepressant.  It has been tested in lab animal models. [1] If mood-modulating neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the prefrontal cortex of the animal’s increases, it may hold true for people, then ingesting thyme tea in moderation (2 to 3 cups or so daily) should have a positive effect on feelings of well-being. (2013 study published in the journal Molecules) [2] This compound was found to have positive effects on improving mood if consumed consistently for just 7 days. It does this by increasing levels of both serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters involved with regulating motivation, drive and overall mood.

Thyme also appears to have a protective effect of important fats such as omega-3, known to preserve mental wellbeing and our cognitive function well into old age.

Relaxation(B6, E, Ca, Mg, Fe)

Thyme helps minimize stress.

Thyme helps you to relax.

Supports Respiratory Health(A)

Due to its expectorant properties and antibiotic and antiseptic compounds, thyme can provide relief from respiratory conditions like cold, cough and sore throat.[3]

Thyme tea is an incredibly powerful natural remedy in the treatment of respiratory infections. It naturally treats colds and the flu and is effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Thyme suppresses coughs, and since it is a natural expectorant, it breaks up mucus and helps its elimination.  It helps reduce congestion, by making mucus thinner and easier to eliminate.

It helps soothe irritated airways, fights infection in the lungs, and prevents bronchial spasms.[4]

Thyme promotes fungal balance.  It is also helpful as a part of a comprehensive strategy for dealing with some types of organisms that are particularly aggressive. Thymol and carvacrol which are resistant to harmful organisms.  Most people with respiratory issues obtain relief from a few cups of warm thyme tea.  Thyme Tea Destroys Strep Throat, Flu Virus, And Fights Respiratory Infections.

Lowers Blood Pressure(K, Se)

Thyme’s high antioxidant content, effectively lowers blood pressure and heart rate, as well as LDL cholesterol, which has been linked to heart disease.  Its active compound, aqueous methanolic extract of aerial parts of Thymus linearis Benth, is possibly responsible for the observed antihypertensive activity. The extract also exhibited a reduction in cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL levels[5]  Carvacrol has demonstrated protective effects for LDL against copper-induced oxidation. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol leads to accumulation along the artery walls.

Thyme contains lots of potassium, which is integral to maintaining normal blood pressure.[6] Use thyme as a substitute for salt in your cooking to help lower your blood pressure.

Complements Antimicrobial Activity of the Immune System(A, C, Fe, Se)

Prevents oxidative damage to DNA in human lymphocytes (white blood cells).[7]

Effective against antibiotic-resistant strains of Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia and pseudomonas bacteria. (2011 bench study journal Medicinal Chemistry)[8]

Improves Oral Health(A, C, Ca)

Thymol is used in dental care products because of its effectiveness against Streptococcus mutans bacterial contribution as a natural ability to prevent tooth decay and gum problems.  (A 2017 study in the German journal Fitoterapia)[9]

It has the power to eliminate oral pathogenic bacteria and other microorganisms, alleviating oral problems like gum inflammation and mouth sores. Rinse your mouth with thyme tea a few times a day.

Bad breath is often caused by bacteria and sometimes fungi in the mouth because of its antibacterial and antifungal action.

1)Boil 1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes.

2)Strain and allow the liquid to cool to room temperature.

3)Bottle and use it for gargling, 2 or 3 times a day.

Treats Acne and Other Skin Problems(A, C)

Thyme compounds thymol and carvacrol have fungicidal properties, so they destroy fungal pathogens that cause tuberculosis or other pulmonary infections, and the essential oil eliminates the Candida albicans yeast that can infect the gastrointestinal tract.

Thyme is effective in battling the bacteria that cause acne.

Thyme was more effective in treating the acne model than marigold or myrrh (as well as plain alcohol), and also produced better results than benzoyl peroxide at standard concentrations used in over-the-counter acne products for Propionibacterium acnes. (2012 a group of Leeds Metropolitan University researchers at the Society for General Microbiology) Thyme effectively fights acne, by killing off the Propionibacterium acnes strain of bacteria, which also lead to whiteheads, pimples, pustules, and acne cysts.

Thyme has yeast-inhibiting and yeast killing properties.  (2018 journal Molecules)

Thyme essential oil to treat acne breakouts, by adding 10-12 drops of it for every 1 ounce (30 ml) of carrier oil, and apply to the affected area.

Dip a cotton ball in thyme tea, and apply it on the acne. You can also mix this tea with tea tree oil and use it as a facial cleanser to prevent acne breakouts.

1)In the case of vagi*al yeast infections, soak a tampon in a mixture of 3 drops of thyme oil and a tablespoon of liquefied virgin coconut oil

2)Leave it in the vagi*a for an hour.

3)Repeat daily.

Here is a simple way to create a thyme-based skin treatment gel at home:

1)Add 2 or 3 drops of thyme essential oil to 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel.

2)Apply to the skin and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.

3)Do this once daily for a few days to treat acne and fungal outbreaks.  The oil is gentle, so it is usually safe for use for all skin types.

Works as a Natural Mosquito Repellent(B2, C)

Thyme oil repels insect pests such as mosquitoes, fleas, and lice. A 5 percent thyme oil provided a 91 percent protection rate from mosquitoes when applied to the skin of hairless mice.  (2006 study published in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association)

A thyme-based insect repellent spray. Here is how: In a 2-ounce empty spray bottle, add

1)1½ tablespoons of distilled water

2)1 teaspoon of carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil,

3)1 teaspoon of witch hazel,

4)15-25 drops of thyme essential oil.

5)Shake well before spraying on your skin.[19]

Relieves Muscle Spasms(B6, Fe, Mg, Se)

The plant itself is a good source of magnesium which both prevents and eliminates cramps thanks to its normalizing effect on the function of both muscle and nerves. B6 is important to several chemical reactions in the body, including releasing glucose to muscles.

Polyphenolic compounds, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

Thyme tea is often recommended for treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as well as menstrual cramps. Most people find relief by consuming 1 to 4 cups of thyme tea a day.

You can also mix 2 or 3 drops of thyme oil with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil or olive oil, and use the oil blend to massage the affected area to help ease spasms.

Prevents Cancer(A, C, E, Se)

Thyme, of the mint family, doubles up as a natural cancer fighter. As one study found, thyme essential oil was toxic to lung carcinoma, prostate carcinoma (2012 Long island University study), ovarian, brain, mouth, and breast cancer cells (2010 study). Carvacrol, a prominent compound in thyme, may be responsible for this anticancer activity. Carvacrol is demonstrating some excellent early signs of potential and has piqued the interest of the scientific community more than many other natural remedies have managed.

Reduces Inflammation And Pain(C)

When we suffer an injury of some sort, it needs to be mediated by chemical compounds in order for our brains to perceive this pain. One of the main chemical mediators is an enzyme named cyclooxygenase that facilitates localized inflammation in an attempt to quarantine the area of origin.

Thyme is also able to suppress the level of this enzyme (abbreviated as COX) by as much as 80%, greatly reducing the pain and tenderness we feel.

Thyme can either be consumed or made in a topical application and used on the area where you are feeling the pain. This concoction may also be useful for everyday aches and pains, such as muscular and joint pain.
Inflammation and infection can be fought with a poultice of thyme.

1)Use dried thyme and water to make a thick paste.

2)Spread it on a small fabric and apply the herb directly to the affected area.

3)Hold or tie in place.

Digestive Tract Wellbeing

It reduces bloating from malabsorption, can relieve pain, and uncomfortable stomach cramps. Carvacrol can benefit your health is its powerful effect against harmful bacteria. Carvacrol is able to destroy or at least inhibit the growth of numerous known pathogens that can produce dangerous toxins in the stomach. It has the ability to damage the integrity of the bacterial cell membrane which inhibits the effectiveness of the bacteria and prevents it from growing.

Carvacrol helps to balance one’s digestive system is strong and a healthy digestive system is linked to overall well-being and also better immunity. Studies have found that carvacrol was effective in inhibiting between 97 and 100% of harmful pathogens while its effect on probiotic bacteria was only around a 3 to 5% inhibition.

Eat more of it in your daily foods or try a drop or two of Thyme essential oil.

Food Poisoning Protection

Thyme can even take food that is about to go bad and actively kills the bacteria that begins to fester and can cause food poisoning. Thyme, inhibits the growth of Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus two of three common food-poisoning bacteria that have negative effects.  So reasonably, food prepared with thyme has been observed to take longer to go bad.

Did you know that Carvacrol cleans as effectively as Chlorine?  The carvacrol in Thyme interestingly achieved significant reductions in Salmonella, more than chlorine when cleaning raw, uncooked food such as salad veggies contaminated with Salmonella. You can either rinse the raw foods in a thyme solution or include it as part of your mix.

Thyme oil remedy. It is because thyme oil contains antiparasitic and antimicrobial properties which make it highly effective in treating foodborne illness…. In the Home!

How to use?

  • Add a drop of thyme essential oil to a glass of water
  • Mix the contents and drink
  • Consume the mixture one to two times daily to resolve your trouble

In summary, an inclusion and regular use of small amounts of thyme in meals, prevents the development of diseases and conditions such as cold and fungus, diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, gastritis, pneumonia, cancer, cholesterol, rheumatism, tumor, anemia in children, Alzheimer, mood, and offers pain relief.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.  It shows your interest in health or at least your curiosity.  I am truly enjoying learning more about the powerful benefits of the Herbs and Spices we use in our kitchens.  If you enjoyed this post and learning about Thyme, please press the follow button, like it, and share how it helped you.  If you know someone who could be helped by this information please pass it on.  People are destroyed from a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)  I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread the word so that more people can live their best life now free and to the fullest.


Dr. Axe

Nutrition & You


Natural Food Series


Healthy Focus

Healthy Food House


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