5 Household Uses for Thyme

Reader Contribution by Ashley Houk
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Herbs have been household staples throughout the centuries due to their culinary and medicinal uses. Today, most herbs have been relegated to the kitchen and thyme (thymus vulgaris) is no exception. Although this herb does add delicious flavor to meats and stews, it has plenty more to offer.

Recent studies have shown that thyme oil is among the most effective essential oils for battling E. coliand other harmful food-borne bacteria. In addition, it has been used through the ages to treat muscle spasms, cough and infection. Take thyme out of the spice rack and boost the health of your family with this simple household uses.

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1. Cough Eliminator: Thyme can be infused into a tea or tincture to help relieve respiratory ailments such as cough and sore throat. Traditionally used to treat whooping cough, it’s also safe for babies and small children. To use: Add 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried thyme to 1 cup of hot water and steep for 10-15 minutes for best results.

2. Tummy Soother: In The Herbal Apothecary, author JJ Pursell shares that thyme can also be used to relax muscles in the digestive and reproductive systems which may relieve stomach or menstrual cramps.

3. Healthy Mouth: Thyme was traditionally used to treat cavities, due to its antioxidant and antibacterial properties that make it useful in combating infections. Add thyme to natural, homemade mouth rinses to give them an extra boost of antimicrobial action.

4. Kitchen Disinfectant: Due to the new studies that have demonstrated thyme oil’s efficacy in killing food-borne bacteria, keep thyme essential oil on hand for cleaning countertops and other surfaces that frequently come in contact with foodstuffs. To use: Combine 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1/2 cup water and 10 drops of thyme essential oil to a spray bottle. Spray the solution on countertops, tables or sinks to keep bacteria at bay.

5. Erase Acne: With antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, thyme can help reduce the appearance and occurrence of blemishes. Add a few drops of thyme to a carrier oil that suits your skin type and use as a facial cleanser or moisturizer. Thyme can also be added to a facial steam to help balance skin.