Treating Colds Naturally With Thyme

It is that time of year where colds seem to abound. Before you reach for cold medicine though, there are actually several natural remedies that you can try. When we get a cold, we use thyme, garlic, fenugreek, and elderberry syrup to clear it up quickly. My whole family uses these when we get sick rather than using expensive cold medicines from the store. We are trying to use more natural items, and these are really easy to use. In this post, I will discuss using thyme to treat colds, and over the next several days, I will go over each of the other natural treatments that you can use.

How To Use Thyme To Treat Colds:

Thyme is a great herb that actually grows year round in the south where I live. I grow thyme right outside in my front flower bed, where it is easy to harvest when needed. For years and years people have used thyme when they have cold symptoms. Thyme is an anti-microbial and expectorant. So, it helps to fight off your cold infection and helps keep mucous from settling in your lungs. There are several different ways to take thyme. Thyme actually used to be placed inside of bandages to keep people from getting infections.  I think that it is pretty neat that many people naturally eat more thyme in the winter. Winter is when many people eat soups which are often flavored with thyme.

If you are pregnant, I would not use thyme since it is a uterine stimulant.

Here is how our family takes thyme:

1. I actually really like the taste of thyme. I just go outside, pick a few sprigs, pull the leaves off & literally eat a couple of tablespoons every 2 hours while I am awake. (No one else in my family does this, so I doubt that this method will appeal to many of you.)
2. Drink it as a tea. Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Turn the eye of your stove off and throw your thyme into the pot. Make sure to put a lid on your pot after placing your thyme into the water. Let your tea sit for about 20 minutes with a lid on, then strain and drink. You can add honey to help coat a sore throat and to improve the taste. (My daughters enjoy taking their thyme like this.) My kids drink 3 cups of this while they are sick during the day.
3. My husband doesn’t like tea or eating thyme. So, I actually have empty capsules that I bought with my Swagbucks off of Amazon, and his thyme is placed into capsules for him to swallow every couple of hours.

Our cold symptoms are usually gone within 2-3 days using these herbs, so this is not a regimen that we keep up for days on end, however, it works quickly to eliminate your cold symptoms.

You can also use thyme tea as a gargle for inflamed and painful throats. Just make the tea as shown above, and gargle with it several times a day once it has cooled.

Thyme Baths For Colds:

One of our daughters was born prematurely and has asthma. I always want to ensure that her lungs stay clear and are not inflamed. So, I really want her to get over her cold symptoms quickly. Thyme baths are another way to help cold symptoms. I give my children a couple of thyme baths each day when they have cold symptoms. I bring water to a simmer on the stove and add a big handful of thyme to the water. Then I turn the water off, and place a lid on the pot. I let the thyme sit for at least 20 minutes, but sometimes for up to an hour. Then, I draw the kids a bath, and pour the thyme water directly into the bath water over a strainer. Once I make sure the water is not too warm, my kids get in and take a bath. They stay in the water for at least 20 minutes so that the thyme can be adequately absorbed. I also add several drops of lavender essential oil to the water since it is a relaxant and can help with their cold symptoms.

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Just a common sense note – I am not a doctor. These are just methods that have been used for years, and I have learned from research, personal experience and have been passed down for generations. If you are concerned about something with your health and think that you should see a doctor, then by all means do & take his or her advice.


  1. Tan says:

    A blog reader of mine just introduced me to thyme for fighting a cold. It’s so far worked wonderfully but there’s just a bit of that cold left. Can’t wait to try a thyme bath tonight!

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  3. [...] It’s not only a “kitchen” herb. Thyme is a obvious expectorant and is anti-microbial. This means it works to disencumber overload while fighting infection. When [...]

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