Thymus vulgaris L.
Thyme has been used as both food and medicine in ancient times. It was believed in Ancient Greek that Thymes is a source of power and courage (Thumus). The word “Thumus” in Greek means “courage”. It is told that Thymes was widespread in Europe thanks to Romans who used it for cleaning their rooms and aromatizing their drinks. They also believed that adding Thymes to water gives energy to it. This plant has been used as food and disinfectant for centuries.
1. Improving Digestive System Function
Based on what Sherli and Lin Price, experts of medicinal plants, have mentioned in their book named “Aromatherapy for professionals”, the volatile oils in Thymes make it an anti-flatulent plant. Thymes is an anti-bacterial plant, acting against harmful bacteria growth in digestive system. It is anti-bacterial as it contains Caryophyllene and Camphene. Carvacrol and Thymol in Thymes improve the digestive system function due to their anti-spasm effects.
2. Calming Anxiety and Stress
A research in 2016 has shown that Thymes extract decreases anxiety in laboratory rats. Researchers have believed that anxiety is increased since reactive oxygen spices level and oxidative-stress are increased. Based on a research published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Thymol and Carvacrol of Thymes decrease anxiety by lowering oxidative stress. In another research investigating the effects of Thymol on decrease of anxiety published in the Journal of Acute Disease, findings have shown that using Thymol (one of the main components of Thymes) results in anxiety decrease in rats. Researchers have suggested that GABA receptors cause relaxation.
3. Regulating Blood Cholesterol Levels
In a research published in the International Journal of Life Science, the effect of Thymes on rat’s cholesterol has been studied. The research has shown that consumption of Thymes extract decreases the cholesterol, triglyceride as well as Malondialdehyde in rats. Researchers have considered that the phenolic compounds are responsible for the positive effect of Thymes on cholesterol.
4. Regulating Blood Pressure
Based on a research on laboratory rats published in the Journal of Medical Plants Research, extract of Thymes can decrease blood pressure. Mechanism of this effect is still unknown but it may be associated to the effect of this plant on the smooth muscles. Moreover, researchers have concluded that Thymes prevents dilation in vessels in response to Renin Angiotensin aldosterone System (a hormonal system regulating blood pressure) so it decreases systolic blood pressure.
In a study published in Anticancer Research Journal, the toxicity effect of Thymes essential oil on squamous cells of oral cavity carcinoma has been studied. In this study, the toxicity of Thymes essential oil on UMSCC1 cell line (human’s head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)) has been studied. Results have shown that the essential Thymes oil inhibits human squamous cells of head and neck (HNSCC) (UMSCC1 cell line). Based on pharmacological approaches, there are new perspectives about anticancer activity of Thymes molecular state.
6. Relieving Menstrual Pain
A study published in the Caspian Journal of Internal Medicine in 2014, the effect of Thymes extract and Ibuprofen tablets on decreasing Primary dysmenorrhea has been studied, showing that both treatments are effective on pain relief. Thymes extract has the same effect of Ibuprofen medicine in pain relief.
The active compound of thyme is volatile oil, which contains the major component thymol and less amounts of carvacrol, 1, 8-cineole, methyl ether and alpha-pinene. However, the flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, thymonin) and polyphenolic acids (labiatic, rosmarinic and caffeic acids) have a role in anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of thyme.
Thyme relieves respiratory system’s pain, having a positive effect on mucus clearance. It has an antibacterial effect and is useful for treatment of cough and bronchitis. The studies have shown that Thymes helps treat asthma, laryngitis, chronic gastritis and indigestion.