I come from a family of physicians and nurses, which is probably the reason why my family members rush to the doctor’s office whenever they have a slightly elevated temperature or a cough that lasts for a couple of days, then they demand a prescription for an antibiotic “just in case”.
Now, I am very grateful for the achievements of modern medicine, including antibiotics, but I do believe that we should resort to taking them very cautiously and only when it is highly necessary.
The last time I had to take them was a couple of years ago, when I suffered from a complicated form of pneumonia. I was given very strong antibiotics both in the form of pills and intravenously. After more than a month, I was luckily cured of pneumonia but my immune system was immensely weakened and it took me a couple of more weeks to recover completely. We know that antibiotics fight against the bad bacteria but they also kill the beneficial bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract, which is hugely responsible for the proper functioning of our immune system.
Respiratory infections are very common among children and adults. There are great natural remedies that can offer relief from the common symptoms related to throat and lung problems. Honey and thyme are wonderful natural products that offer relief from symptoms caused by respiratory problems. Allow me to remind you why honey and thyme are beneficial for the lungs and for our overall health, before I share a recipe for a healthy and effective natural remedy made from thyme and honey.
Benefits of Thyme for Lung Health
Thyme, or Thymus vulgaris, has been used for centuries for its healing properties and for other purposes. Ancient Egyptians used it as an embalming agent, the Greeks as an incense in the temples, and the Romans used it to add aroma to their alcoholic drinks.
The father of modern medicine, Hypocrates, also mentioned thyme as a natural remedy for respiratory problems and as an amazing culinary herb that people can grow in their gardens.
Renowned herbalists, Maria Treven and Maude Grieve, have recommended thyme as a remedy for pneumonia, asthma and whooping cough, apart from other serious diseases that it can also help cure according to them.
Thyme possesses powerful antispasmodic abilities. It means that it relieves and prevents involuntary spasms in the organs, which cause aches, cramps and coughs. It soothes persistent coughs and stops violent ones, while calming the nervous system and promoting good sleep.
Thyme owes its antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties to its substances Thymol, carvacrol, Caryophyllene and Camphene. They effectively fight against bacteria and viruses.
Thyme essential oil can also be applied to sores and wounds to prevent infections.
Thyme is also an expectorant, meaning that it promotes the secretion of phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract and it clears the lungs and frees the airways naturally.
Thyme fights against inflammation and it is a natural antihistamine, so it alleviates the symptoms of asthma and coughs caused by allergies.
It also boosts the immune system being an excellent source of vitamin C, A, iron, manganese and fiber.
The effects of honey on promoting lung health and overall well-being
Did you know that 60 000 bees have to travel approximately 55, 000 miles and collect pollen from 2 million flowers to produce enough nectar for only one pound of honey?
Honey is one of the greatest natural healing products, as well as the most delicious. This product of bees’ labor has been regarded as a symbol of richness and blessing since ancient times.
The list of its immense health benefits is very long, but I will mention the ones that are relevant for our topic.
Honey forms a protective layer in the mouth and throat, which eases irritation.
Children are very susceptible to respiratory infections, especially in the upper part or the tract. Symptoms of the infection usually worsen during the night, causing terrible breathing problems and not allowing children to fall asleep. I have personally experienced this with my daughter. Studies have shown that honey is as powerful as a cough medication in its ability to soothe coughing and calm the mucous membranes.
As it is stated in a 2012 study from the journal Pediatrics, two teaspoons of honey can remedy a stubborn cough. When this amount of honey was given to children aged 1- 5, who suffered from persistent cough 30 minutes before bedtime, coughing was reduced.
The content of ethereal oil and alcohol in honey helps clear mucus in our throat.
Honey has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties, so it fights against infections and prevents asthma attacks caused by allergies.
Honey energizes and refreshes our body when we are ill, fatigued and during physical strenuous activities due to its glucose content, which is absorbed quickly in our bloodstream.
Honey is rich in precious minerals selenium, manganese, magnesium, as well as in amino acids and antioxidants. It immensely boosts our immune system and protects us from the damaging effects of free radicals, which can cause numerous diseases. It is also anti-bacterial and antifungal, protecting us from bacterial and fungal infections.
Here is a simple recipe for a thyme and honey home remedy for respiratory infections.
- 20 grams of dried thyme
- ¼ jar of honey
How to prepare it:
Mix the dried thyme into the jar of honey, stir the mixture well and put it in a warm location for 2 weeks. If the mixture seems to be overly thick, you can add 50 milliliters of distilled water into the jar. You need to stir the elixir once every day. The remedy should be strained after 2 weeks with the help of a tea strainer or gauze. Take ½ tablespoon from the remedy twice a day to reduce problems caused by respiratory infections.