8 Incredible Benefits of Thyme Tea

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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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.

What is Thyme Tea?

Scientifically known as Thymus vulgaristhis 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.

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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, 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 have 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.


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.

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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 metabolism, which can help in fat burning and weight loss efforts.


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.

A white cup of thyme tea with sugar cubes and thyme herb on a wooden background

Thyme tea helps relieve stress. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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.


Early research shows that thyme 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.


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!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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