Thyme for colds and respiratory infections
Thyme is not only a much used spice in the kitchen, but has been used for centuries for its antibacterial and expectorant properties in colds. Thymus vulgaris, common thyme is used medicinally and belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae, which is native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy. Thyme contains essential oils (thymol and carvacrol), which are absorbed quickly and arrive directly at the gland cells of the bronchi, where they stimulate the activity of the cilia and thus allow that the mucus is discharged more easily. It has a relaxing effect on muscles in the bronchi and helps to relieve asthma, whooping cough, laryngitis, bronchitis and dry coughs. Thyme also acts as a cough suppressant and is therefore included in many cough mixtures, especially for children. Thymol is contained in the essential oil and has antibacterial properties, which makes it one of the popular remedies for bad breath as it helps fight bacteria and infection in your mouth. An increase in bacteria in the mouth is responsible for causing bad breath. Thyme is also used as an ingredient in antiseptic mouthwashes and toothpaste which helps to cure mouth ulcers and gingivitis.
The next time you have a cough or cold, try a cup of thyme tea. For adults, add 2 teaspoons (about 2 g) of thyme with a cup of hot water just off the boil. Infuse the herb for five to ten minutes. Drink 2-3 times a day for colds, gargle regularly for mouth ulcers. The recommended daily dose for adults is 10 grams of thyme. Combinations with other medicinal plants, such as ivy leaves or marshmallow roots, which also help with colds, makes sense. The dosage for children depends on the age. For a cup of thyme tea: 0.5 – 1 g (children up to one year), 1 – 1.5 g (one to four years), 1.5 – 2 g (four to twelve years), 2 g (from twelve years onwards). Drinking the tea a few times a day can relieve cold symptoms. Combined also with the palatable primrose root, it has a helpful and healing effect.
Thyme can also be used for bathing in the event of a cold. However, only when there is no fever, hypertension, heart disease or skin disease. Then please consult your doctor.
Thyme oil can induce reflex apnoea and laryngospasm (glottis) in infants and small children up to two years and can subsequently lead to a dangerous respiratory standstill. Please avoid using it.
Thymol found in thyme oil has strong antiseptic and antibacterial properties and is used for gastrointestinal complaints, since thymol acts actively against pathogenic germs and fungi.