Thyme Tea- Benefits, How To Make & Side Effects
Some of the key benefits of thyme tea include relieving menstrual cramps, soothing indigestion, promoting cognitive strength, aiding sleep, preventing infections, boosting the immune system, protecting against chronic disease and healing respiratory conditions. As far as side effects are concerned, thyme tea should be avoided by anyone allergic to plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Also, excessive consumption of thyme tea can lead to nausea or vomiting, as well as skin rash, and a slowed heart rate. However, when this healthy tea is consumed in normal, moderated amounts, its positive health effects should far outweigh the negative ones!
Scientifically known as Thymus vulgaris, this herb is a common garden herb, is quite easy to grow, and is widely used in culinary applications due to its unique flavor and aroma when cooked. It has also been a part of medicinal traditions for thousands of years, and has a number of potent active ingredients that make it a powerful herbal remedy. The active ingredient, thymol, is a powerful antioxidant, and the tea also boasts a few other unique compounds that give it such an impressive range of effects.
Health Benefits of Thyme Tea
Thyme tea delivers quite a few benefits for people suffering from chronic disease, respiratory infections, obesity, muscle strain, menstrual cramps, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, upset stomachs and constipation, among many others. This is due to the high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, carvacrol, pyridoxine, and numerous potent antioxidant compounds.
Antioxidant Properties: The active ingredients in thyme tea has been linked to preventing or mitigating many diseases, including vertigo, multiple sclerosis, tinnitus, hepatitis and shingles, and reducing overall oxidative stress in the body. This is due to the antioxidants found in thyme oil, including thymol, luteolin and others.
Coughs: For respiratory issues, few herbal teas are better than this one, with both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that it can help not only soothe coughs and congestion, but also attack the underlying pathogen to help you get better faster.
Weight Loss: Commonly praised as a weight loss tea, this herbal remedy can suppress the appetite, yet still boost energy and deliver valuable nutrients, leading to less overeating and snacking between meals. The compounds found in this tea can also optimize the metabolism, which can help in fat burning and weight loss efforts.
Pregnancy: While it is not recommended that pregnant women drink thyme tea early in their pregnancy, for fear of possible miscarriages due to stimulated menstruation, some traditional medicine approaches use this tea to induce labor. However, using herbal teas during pregnancy should be discussed with your individual doctor, based on your specific case.
Menstrual Cramps: Thyme tea is very effective at eliminating menstrual cramps due to the anti-spasmodic effects of certain active compounds. This tea can also help eliminate the pain and discomfort of menstruation, and even improve other side effects, such as mood swings.
Immune System: The high vitamin C content and antioxidants found in thyme tea make it an ideal boost to the immune system, helping to relieve cold and flu symptoms quickly. Vitamin C can stimulate the production of white blood cells, while powerful antioxidants like thymol and apigenin help relieve oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals produced by the body. The natural antibacterial and antiseptic nature of this tea will also help eliminate infections and pathogens.
Cognition: Early research into the connection between thyme tea and Alzheimer’s disease shows that this herbal tea can help improve memory and focus, and slow down beta amyloid deposition in the brain. Thymol can also help increase omega-3 levels in the brain, which can further sharpen cognition and prevent age-related problems with cognition.
Digestion: If you are suffering from an upset stomach, nausea, constipation, bloating or cramping, thyme tea may be the perfect remedy. Its natural anti-inflammatory properties and soothing nature, as well as antibacterial effects, can help get rid of stomach bugs and promote proper digestion, while also normalizing bowel movements.
Side Effects of Thyme Tea
Despite the many health benefits, there are some potential side effects of thyme tea that should be considered before adding this delicious drink to your health regimen.
- Nausea – Drinking too much thyme tea can result in nausea, dizziness, headaches, vomiting and stomach pains. This tea contains some very powerful chemicals and active ingredients, so there is no need to overdo it. 1-2 cups per day is more than enough to enjoy the effects.
- Allergies – As with any other type of herb, some people will have allergic reactions to thyme, particularly if a person is also allergic to other plants within the Lamiaceae family, including rosemary, mint and oregano. This allergic reaction can cause shortness of breath, a skin rash, chest pain and other relatively serious symptoms. If you experience anything like this, stop using thyme and seek medical attention.
- Pregnancy – Although research is somewhat limited, most experts say that thyme tea should be avoided while pregnant, as it can stimulate menstruation, which could result in a miscarriage early in the pregnancy. Similarly, breastfeeding women are not recommended to drink this potent herbal tea either, unless under the strict permission of their medical practitioner.
- Heart Issues – Studies have shown that people with prior heart conditions may experience negative side effects if they drink an excess of thyme tea. As a general rule, you should always speak to your doctor before adding a new herbal tea to your daily or weekly routine.
How to Make Thyme Tea
You can make your own batch of thyme tea at home with nothing more than lemon, honey and a handful of thyme. If you have grown your own thyme in your home garden, you will need to dry it before preparing thyme tea. Cut the stalks and wash them thoroughly, dry them, and then tie them in a small bundle and hang them upside down. The thyme will take about 2 weeks to completely dry. At that point, it will be easy to remove the dry thyme leaves; you can crush them into a fine tea powder, or leave them whole to be used in your brew.
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
- 2 cups of water (filtered)
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 lemon slice
Step 1 – Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer.
Step 2 – Add the dried thyme leaves and cover the pot.
Step 3 – Allow the mixture to steep for roughly 5 minutes.
Step 4 – Remove from heat, allow to cool for 1-2 minutes.
Step 5 – Strain the tea into a cup, add the honey and lemon slice (if desired) and enjoy!