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Flu Season? - Thyme to Try Something New

“Ahhhh…. Flu season!” - Said no one EVER!

That’s right! It’s THAT "thyme" of the year when there are many sick days being used as children and adults are down with the flu and other related illnesses. 

Wash those hands, cover those sneezes, reach for that hand sanitizer and drink some thyme tea? Wait, what? That’s right. This year as you stock up on winter essentials, you may want to give a certain herb a second look. Thyme can help to aid in recovery from colds. It’s an impressive herb that has been used since ancient times for all sorts of purposes. It has been used for everything from embalming corpses, giving good luck, being an antidote for poison, to being used as an antiseptic, in tincture balms - and of course, cooking delicious food!

Although thyme is native to Southern Europe and the Western Mediterranean, this delectably fragrant herb is used in cuisines in many parts of the world and is endeared for its earthy and peppery undertones. It is a perennial from the mint family of plants and grows in mostly dryer and warmer climates.

It has multiple properties that can aid in boosting immunity and reducing the severity and duration of colds. It can even help to prevent it altogether! These are the top reasons why thyme is your best friend this flu season (and beyond!):

Give Me a C - Vitamin C, that is!

This multipurpose herb is packed with vitamins A, E, K and C, as well as many other essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus. Vitamin C must be taken in our diets, as our bodies do not naturally produce vitamin C. Taking at least 200 mg of this vitamin every day can reduce the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 14% for children, and 8% for adults. This translates to about one less day of illness. Adding some thyme herbal tea to your routine throughout the colder months can give your immunity and overall health the boost that it needs. 

Antimicrobial, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral

Thyme is known for its antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral properties. This can help to prevent illnesses and reduce the severity and duration as well. It’s spasmolytic and calms muscle spasms. These properties together can help to relieve respiratory issues and alleviate symptoms of bronchitis and colds by subduing coughs. Thyme is also an exceptional expectorant and will aid the body to rid itself of all the excess mucous that builds up with a cold. For this reason, cough drops and syrups brands, such as Ricola often will have thyme added.

The leaves of the thyme plant are enriched with essential compounds including thymol, oleanolic acid, flavonoids, and caffeic acid among others. Thymol is an antimicrobial agent and is often used in oral care products such as toothpastes, mouthwashes and gargling solutions.

My Tea Thyme

Sitti Soap’s Co-Founder Noora Sharrab was kind enough to provide me some of her premium Jordanian Thyme Tea for review. I’ll be honest, I was a bit hesitant to try it out as I usually prefer fruity herbal teas. In the spirit of trying something new though, I did give it a try.

The first cup that I brewed, I completely ignored the instructions at the back and assumed it was like any herbal tea with some basic instructions: boil the water, throw in a bunch of leaves, steep and serve. I enlisted my unsuspecting mother, an herbal tea lover, as a scapegoat for my little experimental tea sipping. I added a bunch of leaves, let them sit, took some pictures, and then we both sat down to drink it. My mother, too sweet to say anything, silently acquiesced to my requests and drank it without complaint. It wasn’t until I tasted the ill-prepared tea myself, that I realized what a grave error I had made! Brewing this special tea for too long causes it to become extremely bitter! Not only that, I had added too many leaves!

The next cup that I brewed was well-prepared. I first brought the water to boil, I added just a small teaspoon of tea leaves, and brewed no longer than about a minute or so. When it came time to drink the tea, I debated adding some honey or sugar in it just to sweeten it up because I like sweet, hot beverages. I took a plunge anyway and decided to try it without any sweetness so that I could experience the flavours of the tea itself and write a more authentic review that would focus on the taste of the tea itself; without any additions.

The flavour, unlike the first time around, was not overpowering at all. It was light, but aromatic at the same time. I definitely felt undertones of mint (they are from the same family after all!). It also reminded me a bit of carom seeds and oregano in terms of the flavour - but in best way possible. Not offensively in-your-face at all. I didn’t carefully strain out the leaves in the cup and there were small leaf particles left behind. I drank it pretty quick, but I did notice that the tea got slightly bitter near the end because I didn’t strain thoroughly. It still was way better than my first attempt and I actually enjoyed it. I think I could definitely get used to this! As I sit here putting the finishing touches in this blog, I’m sipping on Sitti Soap’s Jordanian Thyme Tea (for inspiration!) with just a bit of honey to add in some extra health benefits to help prevent my toddler’s cough from getting me down.

This flu season, if you’re looking for a natural remedy to ward off illness or to reduce the severity of your colds, be sure to reach for thyme to aid in improving your immunity. You can pair it with peppermint tea and top with some raw honey for a bit of sweetness and to give it an extra power boost or simply enjoy it alone.

If you’re looking to pick up some thyme tea, look no further than Sitti Soap is a social enterprise that is committed to providing high quality products that are handmade by skilled refugees at the Jerash Refugee camp in Jordan. When you purchase from Sitti Soap, you are choosing to make a conscious effort to support to support Palestinian refugee women and communities in the Jerash Camp. Sitti Soap uses a portion of their profits to foster educational and skill-development programs that empower women by making them independent so that they can support themselves and their families. Pick up a pack of Premium Dried Jordanian Thyme Herbal Tea Leaves today!

Does your family have traditions and protocols for the flu season that help you get to spring while maintaining your health and well-being? Let us know in the comments!

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