Thyme Herb Medicinal Uses

While you are probably familiar with the culinary uses of the Thyme herb, you
may be surprised to learn that Thyme has medicinal properties as well.
Used since ancient times as a remedy for respiratory disorders, it also offers
anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antioxidant and disinfectant

While Thyme has long been used by natural health practitioners, it hasn't been
until recent years that science has began to study its many health benefits.
In a 2007 German study, scientists tested a syrup made of extracts of Thyme
herb and ivy on children and adolescents with acute bronchitis. Their study
concluded that a ten-day treatment of the syrup clearly improved symptoms
and, in some cases, cured the illness. Coughing decreased an average of 81.3%
by the tenth day of treatment. Of the 1,234 subjects in the study, only two
exhibited side effects, both of which were mild and temporary.

It's a common remedy for viruses. While traditionally used against the flu virus,
science has begun to explore other antiviral uses for the herb. There have been
several promising studies on the potential uses of Thyme against the Herpes
Simplex Virus.
Thyme Herb Medicinal Uses

Thymol, one of the compounds found in Thyme, is responsible for its antiseptic
properties. Now commonly found as the main ingredient in Listerine mouthwash,
it has long been used a natural antibiotic when bandaging wounds. When boiled
in water and cooled, it makes an effective gargle for treatment of sore throats.
Thyme herb is a potent anti-fungal medication. Its essential oil is often used for
this purpose. An anti-fungal rinse can be made by boiling Thyme in water and
allowing to cool before applying to the affected area. In a study, published in an
April 2009 issue of the Journal of Applied Microbiology, Thyme inhibited germ-
ination of a common plant fungus by approximately 94%.

When Turkish researchers studied the effects of essential oils against common
bacterias and yeast, Thyme was one of the essential oils tested. The study,
published in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease in April 2009, concluded that
Thyme was one of the most effective against bacteria and yeast, including E. coli,
Salmonella, and Candida.

Thyme herb is filled with flavenoids, including apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and
thymonin. These flavenoids, in combination with the vitamins and minerals also
found in Thyme, make it a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants have been linked to
cellular health and rejuvenation.

After an illness has passed, you may wish to disinfect your home to prevent a return
of sickness. Because store-bought disinfectants are full of harmful chemicals you
might want to try a simple yet safe disinfectant made by filling a pot with water, the
juice of one lemon and a small handful of Thyme leaves. Boil for at least ten minutes,
allow to cool and then strain.

Tinctures, syrups, capsules, and essential oils can be purchased in most health food
stores. Teas can easily be concocted by simply boiling thyme and allowing to steep
ten minutes. While fresh or dried Thyme herb can be used in teas, for optimal benefits,
the fresh herb is best.

For educational purposes only, not intended as medical advice.
Check with your health care provider before adding any herbal supplement to your diet.

Tibetan Herbal Medicine

Tibet has long been viewed as a source of ancient wisdom. Tibetan herbal medicine fits snugly into that category, with various herbs and roots having been used as medicine in Tibet for thousands of years.

As with Chinese herbal medicine, in Tibet they have traditionally focused on healing diseases through the use of plants with particular healing properties, rather than performing surgery. This is one of the most difficult things for people in the developed world to understand when learning about alternative medical traditions.

Differences Between Tibetan Herbal Medicine and Western Medicine

Surgery is quite a Western obsession, and while it can save many lives there's no reason to believe many of the health problems we rush to treat surgically in Western countries can't be treated equally well using time-tested herbal medicines from countries like Tibet. After all, medicines don't stay in use for thousands of years unless they really do some good.

Tibetan herbal traditions have had many influences from outside Tibet. Over the centuries, elements of herbal medicines used in India and China have become part of the Tibetan tradition.
Sowa Rigpa is the traditional name for the Tibetan science of medicine. It's a system based on balancing elements and energies within the human body. Disorders are explained in terms of an upset in the natural balance of the body. This is a far cry from the approach of Western medicine, which focuses purely on biology and physical processes.
Tibetan Herbal Medicine

But many Western doctors are now starting to 'click' that there's a lot we can learn from alternative medical traditions such as that of Tibet. That said, many Western doctors are still resistant to medicines coming out of Tibet, claiming they have no scientific basis – but in many cases the resistance is due to the ways herbal remedies threaten the profits of big drug companies, rather than the fact that the herbal remedies aren't effective.

While traditional remedies may not adhere to the Western idea of science, they are certainly based on observing what works and what doesn't.

What Kinds of Tibetan Herbal Medicine Is Out There?

Most of the Tibetan herbal supplements available on the market today consist of a combination of ingredients (some Tibetan medicinal recipes call for up to 70 herbs and plants mixed together in the right quantities).

This is partly why Western doctors have a hard time accepting Tibetan medicine – it's difficult to understand exactly why a medicine works when it contains dozens of plant ingredients, each of which contains dozens or hundreds of chemical compounds that may have an effect on the body.
The uniqueness of some of the herbs used in traditional Tibetan medicines is due to the fact that Tibet is such a unique country in terms of its geography – most of the country is at a high elevation, so herbs grow there which grow in few other places around the world.

One of the staples of Tibetan medicine which has gained popularity in the Western world is ginseng. Although it has become something of a 'fad' ingredient in modern energy drinks, traditionally it has many practical medical uses, including being used to help rebalance patients with sexual dysfunctions.