Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thyme, What is it good for?

I figured since I named my blog after this herb, I should give you all a brief education on why this herb is so great. In addition to having a versatile flavor that goes well with anything from breads to soups to salads, it also plays a role in protecting your health.  

Thyme is an herb rich in phenols, especially thymol and carvacrol, which display antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. As such, thyme is an herbal remedy commonly used for internal and topical infections. However, according to the book “Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine,“ carvacrol has stimulatory effects on the pancreas by increasing the secretions of digestive enzymes, which is of benefit for digestive disorders, but can further aggravate pancreatitis. Due to this stimulating effect, thyme is usually contraindicated for acute and chronic forms of pancreatitis, gastritis and enteritis. 
In addition to being a good antiseptic and able to fight disease-causing fungus and bacteria, thyme also aids in digestion because thymol and carvacol relax the smooth muscle tissue of the gastrointestinal tract, according to the “PDR for Herbal Medicine." Thyme is also used to help relieve menstrual cramps, reduce coughing, sooth sore throats and deter gingivitis. (Original Source)
I am a huge fan of using herbs. You can take a pretty simple meal and make it taste outstanding with the addition of a few herbs (and spices). So don't get hung up on not being a world renown chef. Just use more herbs and spices when you cook!

What is your favorite herb?

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