Thyme is an evergreen shrub that has been used in medicinal and culinary applications for thousands of years. The most common form has the scientific name Thymus vulgaris. This herb is native to the Mediterranean region and certain parts of Africa, and its use dates back to the Egyptian empire.
Researchers at the University of Belgrade, in Serbia, found that an aqueous extract obtained from wild thyme reduced blood pressure in tests on rats. Rats tend to have similar responses to humans when they have hypertension, so the findings could have implications for humans.
Thyme is often used with olive oil to preserve olives. As reported that thyme oil, even at low concentrations, showed potential as a natural preservative of food products against several common foodborne bacteria that cause human illness.
A study carried out in Lisbon, Portugal, found that extracts of mastic thyme may protect from colon cancers.
Researchers in Turkey looked at the effect of wild thyme on breast cancer activity, and specifically how it affected apoptosis, or cell death, and epigenetic events in breast cancer cells.
Skin problems are common worldwide. In some countries, herbal preparations are an important form of medicines made from oils of thyme.