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The Benefits of Rosemary, Thyme, and Mint for Your Garden and Health

By Angela Myers 7 months agoNo Comments
Home  /  Nature Therapy  /  The Benefits of Rosemary, Thyme, and Mint for Your Garden and Health
The Health Benefits of Popular Herbs

You’ve probably heard of mint, rosemary, and thyme, but you might not be aware of all the health benefits these popular herbs provide. They can be used in medicinal and regenerative ways that supercharge your health, making them a great addition to your plate and garden.

Mint

There’s nothing like a mug full of fresh mint tea. Mint is well-known for some of its medicinal purposes, like mitigating nausea, but did you know studies have found that it’s also antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, antitumor, and even antiallergenic?

Peppermint and stomach aches go hand in hand, as anyone who’s ever had a cup of mint tea to settle their stomach will know. One double blind placebo-controlled randomized trial from 2006 looked at how peppermint affected its participants with irritable bowel syndrome; it found that 75% of the patients in the peppermint oil group showed a greater than 50% reduction of symptoms score, compared to just 38% in the placebo group.

Mint

Spearmint, a close cousin of peppermint, has its own set of benefits. A randomized controlled study from 2016 found that spearmint extract improved working memory in both men and women with age-associated memory impairment. Folks who received 900 mg/day of spearmint extract saw a 15% increase in the quality of working memory and spatial working memory accuracy, compared to the placebo group. The peppermint group also reported improvement in their ability to fall asleep, their vigor-activity, their total mood disturbance, and their alertness and behavior following wakefulness, relative to the placebo group.

Thyme

Thyme is a delicious, earthy herb you’ll find in various cuisines, particularly Mediterranean ones as the plant thrives in a hot climate. But did you know that thyme also has considerable antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antifungal effects—and might even be an effective anti-cancer weapon?

A 2010 study from the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that thymol—the active ingredient in thyme—can reduce bacterial resistance to common drugs, including penicillin, increasing the antibiotic susceptibility of drug-resistant bacteria. And a fascinating 2012 study looked at the effect of wild thyme on human breast cancer cells and found that the extract was “a promising candidate in the development of novel therapeutic drugs for breast cancer treatment,” while a study from the same year focusing on colon cancer found similar results indicating that thyme extract “may have a protective effect against colon cancers.”

Thyme

According to a controlled trial from 2018, thyme honey mouth rinse has efficacy against mucositis caused by radiation, and a thyme honey nasal spray against chronic rhinosinusitis resulted in fewer bloody noses and adhesions than a placebo spray.

Thyme is a delicious, earthy herb you’ll find in various cuisines, particularly Mediterranean ones as the plant thrives in a hot climate. But did you know that thyme also has considerable antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antifungal effects—and might even be an effective anti-cancer weapon?

A 2010 study from the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that thymol—the active ingredient in thyme—can reduce bacterial resistance to common drugs, including penicillin, increasing the antibiotic susceptibility of drug-resistant bacteria. And a fascinating 2012 study looked at the effect of wild thyme on human breast cancer cells and found that the extract was “a promising candidate in the development of novel therapeutic drugs for breast cancer treatment,” while a study from the same year focusing on colon cancer found similar results indicating that thyme extract “may have a protective effect against colon cancers.”

According to a controlled trial from 2018, thyme honey mouth rinse has efficacy against mucositis caused by radiation, and a thyme honey nasal spray against chronic rhinosinusitis resulted in fewer bloody noses and adhesions than a placebo spray.

Rosemary

Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) is a fragrant herb that has many practical uses and medicinal benefits. In botanical medicine, rosemary has been used to reduce inflammation, boost mental focus, and help lower stress. In the garden, growing rosemary can help to keep away deer and rodents. In the kitchen, rosemary is well known for lending a warm, bitter flavor and aroma to a wide variety of foods.

Rosemary

Rosemary contains antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds that are thought to help boost the immune system and improve circulation. Among the nutrients found in rosemary are vitamins A, C, B6, iron, and calcium.

When used medicinally, dried rosemary leaves can be made into powder for use in capsules or tea. Rosemary can also be extracted to create an essential oil or a liquid extract (tincture). Some of the many uses of rosemary for health enhancement include:

  • Aromatherapy with rosemary essential oil is useful for enhancing mood, memory, and focus.
  • Essential oil of rosemary is useful to stimulate the scalp to help reduce dandruff. *(Not the same as rosemary-infused cooking oil).
  • Rosemary in both tea and capsule form have been used to alleviate digestive distress such as heartburn, gas, and constipation.
  • Tinctures prepared with rosemary have been used to combat bacterial infections, including staph infections. In lab analysis, the antioxidants in rosemary have been shown to protect cells from damage that is caused by free radicals (the byproducts of molecular processes in the body that are linked to many chronic illnesses).

There is ongoing research to better understand the extent of the beneficial effects that rosemary has on health. Though generally considered safe for most people to use, there are a few precautions to take with rosemary–particularly the oil which should only be used topically and must be diluted. If you take other medicines, rosemary can interact and change the way those medicines work in your body. Check with your holistic health practitioner before using rosemary for a medical condition or health concern.

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  Nature Therapy

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