Thyme, or Thymus vulgaris, is a culinary herb that also has value as a remedy for common ailments -- especially respiratory ailments. The leaves of the thyme plant are used in relieving cough, sore throat, flu symptoms, sinus and lung congestion, and acute bronchitis. It is also useful in relieving intestinal gas and may have antimicrobial qualities that protect against food poisoning, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Brewing Up Relief
To make an infusion of thyme tea, simply pour a pint of boiling water over an ounce of dried thyme leaves and steep the leaves in a covered container for between 10 and 20 minutes, advises Michael Tierra, author of "The Way of Herbs." Do not boil the leaves. Add a teaspoon of honey for taste, if you wish, and drink the tea while it is still warm, once a day, to relieve symptoms.
Thyme can thin the blood and increase bleeding, according to UMMC, so don't use thyme if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are on blood-thinning medication. Do not use thyme tea more than once a day, and do not take thyme oil orally at all -- it is toxic when ingested. Before using thyme tea or any natural remedy for an illness, consult with your physician and ask about any possible side effects or interactions with prescribed or over-the-counter medication.