During a recent bout of seasonal allergies, I decided to try a thyme tea blend I’d recently purchased on Etsy. Having read about thyme tea benefits, I was intrigued to see if thyme tea really was as wonderful as I’d read for easing cough and congestion and soothing allergy, cold and flu symptoms. Not only did thyme tea help me deal with an unbearably stuffy nose (without having to break out the less pleasant fire cider vinegar) it also tasted great with a bit of honey. In fact, thyme tea offers a number of additional health benefits I wasn’t aware until now. As it’s also a lesser used herb in cooking, I wanted to take the time to share some of the health benefits of thyme tea with you, along with some simple thyme tea recipes you easily make at home.
Few things are more relaxing than brewing a cup of tea and sipping it while you read a good book. In the evenings, I brew a cup of herbal tea and curl up on the couch with my dachshund and a good book. I have several herbs and tea blends, so I use a blend for the benefits that my body needs that day, or I make my own custom herbal tea blend.
Different teas have different flavors and benefits. I include thyme in my tea blends often because thyme tea benefits are numerous for my body. I’ve had plain thyme tea, and I feel that it helps me. However, I prefer to make my own blend with thyme for taste. Keep reading to learn about thyme tea benefits and how to make thyme tea at home.
What is Thyme Tea?
You probably use thyme for chicken or pork chops and other savory dishes, but have you heard of drinking thyme tea? Thyme is a shrub that grows in Asia and Europe. It has tiny greenish gray leaves that have a distinct aroma. These leaves are what we use to make thyme tea.
Thyme has been used for thousands of years. The ancient Romans and Greek used it in their holy temples as well as to flavor foods. Roman soldiers were said to inhale the scent from the dried herb before a battle for courage.
Today, it’s often used as a herb for flavoring food. It also makes an easy tea recipe that is said to have many health benefits.
Thyme Tea Health Benefits
Thyme has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of all edible herbs. Antioxidants work to combat free radicals in the body. These free radicals can lead to signs of aging and even cancer. However, antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals to reduce oxidation in the body.
Although there haven’t been any studies on drinking thyme tea and losing weight, some people say that it helps. If you make thyme tea without a sweetener, then it could have about 5 calories per cup. If you drink it instead of soda or juice, then you will consume fewer calories.
Cough, Colds and Congestion
Perhaps the most common reason for drinking thyme tea is for congestion. In one study, those who drank ivy and thyme tea had a decrease in the frequency and severity of their coughs. The belief is that the thyme tea cough remedy can reduce inflammation and relax the muscles in the throat. Therefore I always make sure I have thyme on hand for cold and flu relief.
Thyme is a powerful natural antiviral substance. It’s been proven effective on the Herpes virus, and it may offer some protection against colds and flu because it can kill some viruses.
In addition to cold and flu symptom relief, another one of the main reasons I drink so much thyme tea is for fibromyalgia. Along with natural supplements and lifestyle changes, thyme tea may offer some natural support for fibromyalgia symptom relief.
Thyme tea is said to be anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory. This hasn’t been proven, however, but I still drink it with a bit of ginger to reduce my symptoms.
High Blood Pressure
Studies show that thyme is an effective supplement for high blood pressure. It can lower blood pressure most likely due to its antioxidant properties.
Be sure to talk to a doctor before using thyme tea for high blood pressure because it can affect any medications that you are taking.
Thyme Tea Risks and Side Effects
Even though it’s natural, thyme tea can still have side effects. Do not drink thyme tea if you are allergic to thyme or oregano, which is a similar plant.
Thyme may slow your body’s ability to clot blood, which could increase your risk of bleeding. Talk to your doctor before surgery or if you are taking blood thinners.
People with conditions that can be affected by hormones, such as some types of cancer, should not drink thyme tea.
Pregnant women should not drink thyme tea without consulting a doctor or midwife.
Buying Thyme for Making Tea
You can use fresh sprigs of thyme from your garden or a farmer’s market. Fresh thyme has more flavor than dried thyme, but you can also use a dried herb to make a thyme tea recipe.
For fresh thyme, look for leaves that have a vibrant greenish gray color. There shouldn’t be any yellow spots or dark spots.
I don’t recommend buying dried herbs and spices at the grocery store unless you shop at a higher end store. The herbs and spices on the shelf may not be high quality or fresh, which will affect the taste. When shopping, look for organic thyme from a trusted supplier. I buy my herbs and spices in bulk. I don’t pay much more per ounce, but they have a lot more flavor for teas and cooking.
Store fresh thyme wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel in the fridge. Dried thyme can be stored in a sealed glass jar for about six months. For best results, store it in a dark and dry place.
If you prefer to order dried herbs online, I highly recommend shopping at Mountain Rose Herbs. They’re a small company I’ve trusted for the purchase of my organic products for over a decade now.
How to Make Thyme Tea
You can make a basic tea with just thyme, or you can create a blend with thyme and other herbs or teas. Both will give you thyme tea benefits.
Since thyme tea will likely be a loose tea or herb, you will need a tea infuser. You can make a hot thyme tea or a cold thyme tea. The hot method is quicker, but I think the cold infusion has more flavor.
Hot Thyme Tea Recipe
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups hot water
Fresh squeezed lemon juice or honey (optional)
Boil two cups of water. Place fresh or dried thyme in a mug. If using dried thyme, place it in a tea infuser.
Pour hot water over the thyme. Let steep for 15 minutes.
Remove the fresh thyme or tea infuser. Add raw honey and lemon juice as desired for taste.
Cold Brew Thyme Tea Recipe
2 teaspoons dried thyme
32 ounces water
Berries, cucumber slices, or mint (optional)
Let sit on the counter overnight to infuse. Remove thyme the next day and store in the fridge for two to three days.
Thyme Tea Variations
I enjoy the thyme tea health benefits, but I don’t care much for the taste of it on its own. Try one of these thyme tea variations. Follow the same instructions as above for the hot brew and use the same amount of water (2 cup).
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme and 5 peppermint leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme and ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon whole coriander seeds and ¼ teaspoon whole fennel seeds
Mullein and Thyme Tea Recipe
I also enjoy this mullein and thyme tea recipe. Formulated using equal parts dried thyme, mullein and horehound, this thyme tea recipe is wonderful for cold and flu relief as well as asthma symptoms. It helps to soothe cough as well as clear mucus and phlegm from the lungs.
Combine the dried herbs in a large press and brew tea bag. Then, boil two cups of water.
Pour the hot water over the thyme tea blend and let steep for 15 minutes.
Remove the tea bag and squeeze out any excess. Then simply add raw honey and lemon juice as desired for taste.
To relieve cold and flu symptoms, drink this mullein and thyme tea recipe two to three times a day for up to six days, or until your chest clears, whichever comes first.
Where to Buy Thyme Tea Blends
I have a lot of herbs and spices because I use them for cooking and for making DIY beauty recipes. If you don’t have a lot of ingredients in your pantry, you can save money buying premixed thyme tea. Try one of these handmade blends:
- Lung Tea – This blend helps settle coughs and thin mucus. It was also the first tyme tea blend I tried. I love that it contains hibiscus for a powerful punch of vitamin C and anti-inflammatory ginger.
- Relaxing Herbal Tea – This has thyme, raspberry leaf, and mint for a delicious relaxing blend.
- Migraine Blend – This herbal blend can promote headache and migraine relief.
- Digestive Blend – This blend has several herbs that promote digestive health.
If you’re looking for more herbal tea recipes, you can learn how to make custom herbal tea recipes here to use as natural home remedies for common ailments. Discover the basics of tea making, explore various herbs to use as a base for your teas, plus learn how to customize your own unique herbal tea recipes to help aid in digestion, ease the symptoms of cold and flu and more. Or, for more ways to help ease cold and flu symptoms, try my quick and easy herbal tea recipe for a cold remedy drink with honey, lemon and ginger.
If you’d like to learn more about herbalism, and the health benefits of other herbs, consider an educational course on herbalism from The Herbal Academy.
This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience or research and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.