Chef Kristen shares 5 benefits of thyme that go beyond the standard uses like extra flavoring for chicken or garnish on a plate. These benefits span from medicinal purposes to skin care, including easing respiratory infections and coughs (take that COVID-19!). Read on for all of the benefits...
Thymol, the most prevalent terpene in thyme oil, has antimicrobial properties. One study found that thyme oil was effective in treating bacterial infections, especially staphylococcus strains and treatment-resistant strains like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). Thyme essential oil has also been shown to be effective against bacterial strains Enterococcus and Escherichia.
2. Insect Repellent
Thyme oil has been found to be quite an effective mosquito repellent. One study found that thyme oil, applied to the skin, repelled mosquitos for 1-3 hours in a lab setting. With mosquito-borne illnesses like EEE becoming increasingly common in the U.S., thyme oil could be a reliable alternative to DEET-based insect repellents. Some essential oils can cause dermatitis when applied topically, so it’s important to always use a small amount blended well with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, before application.
3. Skin Conditions
Thyme oil has been used to successfully relieve symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis, known commonly as eczema, is a common skin issue characterized by itchy, scaly patches on the skin.
4. Respiratory Infections and Coughs
The terpene thymol may also work as an anti-spasmodic to help reduce coughs. One study showed that when used in conjunction with primrose, it was effective in reducing coughing associated with respiratory tract infections.
5. Alopecia/Hair Loss
Thyme essential oil, when combined with a carrier oil and massaged into the scalp, can help reverse the effects of alopecia and encourage new hair growth.
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