Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) is a herb commonly used for culinary, and medicinal purposes. The flowers, and leaves of this plant, as well as the oil extracted from the same, are used in the management of a range of disorders such as diarrhea, colic, flatulence, and pain in the abdomen. It can also be used to treat arthritis. Respiratory diseases such as a sore throat, bronchitis, and cough can be managed well by using this herb. It is used as a natural diuretic to increase the secretion of urine in the patients suffering from kidney diseases.
HOW IT WORKS
Thymus works in the management of renal diseases by acting as a diuretic. It supports the renal functions and increases the production of urine. This action of Thyme is beneficial for the patients suffering from kidney failure and renal stones. It helps in the expulsion of the kidney stone and prevents edema and water retention caused due to kidney failure.
Thyme also possesses antioxidant properties. It protects the healthy tissues and cells against the damage caused due to the free radicals that are released as by-products of metabolic activities. It destroys the free radicals and prevents oxidative damage to the organs.
Thyme also acts as an antibacterial agent. Hence, it is commonly used for treating bacterial infections. It can destroy or suppress the growth of microorganisms, thus clearing the infections completely. Hence, it is recommended for the treatment of infections in the urinary system.
One of the constituents of Thyme, thymol, possesses anti-inflammatory properties. This action of Thyme is beneficial in the management of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, nephritis, and urinary tract infections.
THINGS TO KNOW
Thyme has been used by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks for improving their health. The beneficial medicinal properties of this herb were known to them. This herb was also used by the Romans as a flavoring agent and for treating psychological disorders that were characterized by melancholic behavior. The use of Thyme was also recommended by Hippocrates for treating respiratory conditions.
INDICATIONS & USES
- Renal failure
- Kidney stones
- Urinary tract infections
The dose of Thyme can be calculated based on the age of the patients and the conditions to be treated. The dose may have to be altered depending on the severity of the symptoms.
BENEFITS & EFFECTIVENESS
Thyme is commonly used for the treatment and prevention of kidney diseases. It is also used to treat arthritis. It can relieve the symptoms of these diseases and prevent the complications.
Thyme is effective in the treatment of several kidney diseases like renal stones, and urinary tract infections. It contributes to the disintegration of the renal stones and helps in their easier expulsion from the body. This action of Thyme is supported by the diuretic property of the herb. It stimulates diuresis and increases the amount of urine secreted in the kidneys. This promotes the removal of the stone from the kidneys by exerting a greater force during urination. (1)
The diuretic effect of Thyme is also effective in the elimination of harmful toxic substances from the body and cleansing the blood.
Thyme also regulates the balance of some minerals and crystalloids in the blood thereby reducing the number of substances such as calcium and oxalic acid that are responsible for the formation of kidney stones. This helps to prevent the recurrence of stones in the future.
Thyme also produces powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions, which help in the treatment and prevention of infections in the urinary tract. It relieves the symptoms of infections like painful urination, fever, burning urination, and cloudy urine. It exerts a bactericidal action against a broad range of pathogens and clears the infections.
Thyme contains naturally-occurring antimicrobial compounds called biocides, which can destroy the harmful organisms. Biocides, along with the other compounds such as carvacrol, produce a strong antimicrobial action and help to eliminate the infection-causing organisms. Thyme can also reduce the bacterial resistance to common antibiotic drugs like penicillin. (2)
Thyme is commonly used for treating joint disorders such as arthritis. It can be used to reduce pain and swelling in the joints. It can also provide relief from muscle stiffness. It is commonly recommended for the patients suffering from chronic degenerative diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, sciatica, and gout.
It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces pain in the joints. It also protects the joints against wear and tear thus slowing down the progress of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The analgesic action of this medication can reduce joint pains and ease the movements. It also acts as an antioxidant and prevents damage to the joint tissues thus improving their health and longevity. It can prevent the progress of arthritis and enable pain-free movements thus improving the quality of patients’ life. (3)
SAFETY & TOXICOLOGY
Thyme is not known to cause serious side effects. However, since very few studies have been conducted to evaluate the safety of Thyme, patients are advised to avoid using it in a very high dose or for a prolonged duration.
Some patients may experience mild side effects such as stomach upset. This herb possesses anti-clotting properties. Hence, patients suffering from bleeding disorders should avoid using it. Also, the use of Thyme must be stopped at least two weeks prior to any surgery to avoid the risk of excessive bleeding.
The effects of Thyme on the fetus or the breastfed baby, when it is used by the pregnant or breastfeeding women, are not fully known. Hence, women should avoid using it during these phases.