Thyme is a common herb that is regularly used to season fish and meat, but a tea made from the leaves of this plant can be surprisingly beneficial. This herb was used by the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians as a medicine, and modern science has shown that the ancients were right to use thyme as a medical treatment. Research into the health advantages of thyme tea has shown that it can lessen symptoms for people with fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain in the muscles and skeleton, constant exhaustion, mood swings, and difficulty remembering things. It seems to be caused by a combination of genetics, physical trauma, and infections, which result in the brain having an abnormally high response to pain signals from the nerves. Thyme’s ability to reduce fibromyalgia risks is due to its powerful antimicrobial properties. Thyme has high levels of thymol, a chemical compound that fights off bacteria and infections. According to a 2011 Polish study published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, thyme can even fight off dangerous bacteria such as staphylococcus. When thyme tea fights off bacteria, it is preventing infections that could otherwise cause or worsen fibromyalgia.
Hashimoto’s is a disease that happens when the immune system overreacts and begins to attack the thyroid gland. When the thyroid is not working properly, people experience fatigue, weight gain, muscle aches, joint pain, stiff joints, and even depression. Many scientists believe that the overreaction of the immune system happens when a virus or bacteria triggers the immune system to produce antibodies that hurt the thyroid. The antimicrobial properties of thyme tea can therefore be very beneficial, because it helps the immune system to fight off bad bacteria instead of focusing on the innocent thyroid.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes damage to the joints, skin, eyes, heart, and blood vessels.
It happens when the immune system gets confused and accidentally attacks the tissues of the joints and other parts of the body. Environmental factors, such as smoking or exposure to silica dust, can cause rheumatoid arthritis, and women over the age of 40 are more likely to develop the inflammation that causes condition. A natural compound found in thyme, carvacrol, was shown to suppress inflammation in a 2010 study published in The Journal of Lipid Research, so ingesting carvacrol through thyme tea can halt the inflammation that damages joints when a person has rheumatoid arthritis.
Like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus is also an anti-inflammatory disease. It happens when tissues and organs are inflamed due to an overactive immune system. Common lupus symptoms include a rash across the cheeks, fevers, fatigue, joint pain, difficulty breathing, and headaches. Lupus attacks are most commonly triggered by infections, sunlight exposure, and certain medications. Thyme can help to alleviate lupus symptoms in two ways. First of all, the antibacterial effects of thyme prevent the infections that often make lupus symptoms worse, so lupus patients can avoid lupus attacks. Secondly, the anti-inflammatory carvacrol in thyme may help to ease some of the inflammation that harms the body when a person has lupus.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that results in the protective coating around nerve fibers being mistakenly attacked by the immune system. These damaged nerves can no longer pass signals effectively, and people with multiple sclerosis may suffer from an inability to walk, weak muscles, vision loss, tremors, slurred speech, dizziness, and fatigue. It seems to be caused by both genetics and environmental factors, including infections, smoking, and temperate climates. Thyme is beneficial to people with multiple sclerosis because studies have shown that people who eat thyme are better able to absorb omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are very useful for reducing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, so thyme tea can be a great way to ensure that the body actually absorbs these beneficial fats.
How to Make Thyme Tea
Fortunately, it is very easy to make thyme tea and get the benefits of this herb, and either fresh or dried thyme can be used. Add a small handful of fresh thyme leaves or a tablespoon of dried thyme to a bowl. Then pour freshly boiled water over the leaves and let it steep for five minutes. Strain the tea into a mug and drink it immediately. If desired, you can stir in a teaspoon of honey to improve the taste of the tea.
Because of its powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds, thyme tea can be extremely helpful in the fight against autoimmune conditions, including but not limited to the ones listed above.