Thyme “Banajwain in Hindi”, though a Mediterranean herb, has been Indianised over the decades, due to its numerous dietary, ornamental uses and medicinal health benefits.
Scientifically known as Thymus vulgaris, it is also referred to as Common thyme, French thyme, Garden thyme or Rubbed thyme and is an evergreen herb belonging to the mint family. Thyme has tiny, sage-green leaves; small pink, white, and purple flowers and thin but woody stalks.
Thyme is a savoury herb that is used in cooking as a flavouring agent. It can be used either in the fresh form or dried form. This flavouring agent is available in different varieties such as French or Common Thyme, Red Creeping Thyme, Lemon Thyme and Caraway Thyme.
Thyme contains no calories. A single serving of thyme is approximately 1-2 tablespoons where there is less than one calorie in one serving. The calories in thyme are obtained mainly from fibre. It contains a range of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. It also contains phenols such as carvacrol, thymol, and eugenol.
One tablespoon of fresh thyme contains 0.1 gm of proteins, 0.3 gm of fibre, 10 mg of calcium, 0.01 mg of copper, 0.04 mg of manganese, 4 mg of magnesium, 0,.4 mg of iron, 15 mg of phosphorus, 5 mg of potassium, 0.04 mg of zinc, 0.03 mg of vitamin A, 0.1 mg of thiamine, and 3.8 mg of vitamin C.
Potential Health Benefits of Thyme…
1/6. Helps fight cancer
1. Certain components of thyme, such as lutein, oleanolic acid, beta-sitosterol, and ursolic acid prevents cancer particularly cancer of the colon.
2. Thyme is also effective in breast cancer as thyme increases cancer cell death in breast cancer.
3. Carvacrol, another constituent of thyme helps prevent cancer by inhibiting the proliferation and migration of cancer cell lines.
2/6. Boosts mood
1. Carvacrol, a content of thyme produces a positive effect on mood. It accelerates the levels of serotonin and dopamine, the neurotransmitters that control mood and motivation.
2. Regular intake of this herb promotes feelings of well-being and relaxation.
3/6. Promotes digestive health
1. One of the active contents of thyme, thymol activates the peristaltic muscle movements ensuring that food is not held in the stomach for a longer duration.
2. The antispasmodic property of thyme relieves intestinal cramping and decreases bloating from malabsorption.
3. The carminative properties of Thyme restrict the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract and also eliminates excess gas which relieves flatulence.
4/6. Heals wounds
The antiseptic compounds such as caryophyllene, thymol, and camphene present in Thyme protects wounds against infections and also hastens healing.
5/6. Improves vision
1. The high content of vitamin A and the antioxidant content of thyme helps promotes healthy vision.
2. Thyme may also prevent other vision-related complaints including macular degeneration.
6/6. Other possible benefits…
Thyme produces numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as improves heart health, treats inflammation, boosts immunity, aids in the treatment of dyspraxia, treats respiratory complaints, relieves menstrual complaints, enhances oral health.
It also helps relieve headaches, improve skin health, beneficial for hair, lower blood pressure, treat acne, possess anxiety-reducing properties, cure a cold, prevent hair loss, improve bone health, resists harmful organisms and act as a natural diuretic.
Thyme “Banajwain in Hindi”, though a Mediterranean herb, has been Indianised over the decades, due to its dietary, ornamental uses and medicinal health benefits.
How to use Thyme in Cooking?
Thyme can be used either in the fresh or dried form. There are various ways of using thyme, some of them are as follows:
- As thyme oil.
- In preparing teas.
- Added to omelettes.
- For making tinctures.
- For seasoning the dishes.
- Used in preparing pasta, garlic bread, and sauces.
- For decorating desserts, like soufflés and custards.
How to prepare Honey-Mustard Glazed Salmon with Thyme?
Take ¼ cup of Dijon mustard, ¼ cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1 ½ teaspoon of freshly chopped thyme, whisk all together in a bowl.
Preheat a grill pan and oil it. Take 4 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets and brush it with the oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Over moderate heat, grill the salmon fillets on both sides, for around 3 minutes.
Brush both sides of the salmon with the honey mustard mixture and grill it again for around one minute.
Transfer it to a plate and serve hot.