Thyme vs Oregano – Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, Side Effects


Thyme (scientifical name – Thymus vulgaris) is an herb that belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It has been used in medicinal and culinary applications for millennia.

For instance, ancient Greeks used it as incense, while ancient Egyptians used it in their embalming practices. Also, it was used by the Romans to “purify” their rooms.

The leaves, flowers, and oil of this herb are presently used to treat diarrhea, bedwetting (unintentional passage of urine during sleep), arthritis, stomachache, sore throat, colic, cough, flatulence, bronchitis (an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes), and as a diuretic, to increase urination.

Currently, it is grown in southern Europe, including Spain, France, and Portugal.

Nutrition Facts

It is an important source of calcium, dietary fiber, zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

Moreover, it contains thymol, which gives it its antiseptic properties. Other volatile include – borneol, carvacrol, and geraniol.

Health Benefits

Vitamin K

This herb is a remarkable source of vitamin K, with 2 tsp supplying about 48.01 mcg, or 60% of the daily recommended intake, which is important for normal blood clotting.

Vitamin K is also one of the four fat-soluble vitamins in the human body, and alongside vitamin D and magnesium, it works to support bone structure and integrity.

Furthermore, after surgery, this vitamin is used to reduce swelling and bruising as well as to speed up skin healing.


More than 16 million Americans aged 18 or older have at least one major depressive episode per year.

When consumed over a week, carvacrol (one compound found in this herb) positively affects serotonin and dopamine status, two naturally occurring chemicals in the brain.

High Blood Pressure

hypertension high blood pressureApproximately 75 million people in the United States have hypertension — which’s 1 of every 3 adults. Having this serious condition puts you at higher risk for stroke and heart disease, which are the main causes of death in the US.

This herb contains a chemical that can reduce blood pressure in these cases.

Side Effects

Because it can cause irritation, use this herb with caution (as an essential oil) on the skin while it’s in a concentrated form.

It is safe to use an essential oil made from this herb during pregnancy, however, it is recommended to avoid high dosages because it is a uterine stimulant.


Oregano (botanical name – Origanum vulgare) is a perennial that grows up to two feet. This herb is used extensively in Mediterranean meals and sauces, Italian, Greek, Mexican, as well as in South of France foods.

It is closely related to mint, basil, sage, marjoram, and lavender. The name ”oregano” is Greek for the ”delight of the mountains.”

Though this herb could be used both dried and fresh, the majority of people prefer using it in the dried form since it has a stronger flavor.

Nutrition Facts

It is a good source of calcium, magnesium, thiamin, vitamin E, omega-3s, riboflavin, iron, manganese, potassium, vitamin K, phosphorus, iron, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and folate.

Health Benefits

Anti-inflammatory Effects

About 54.4 million people in the US are affected by some form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form in the US and more than 66 percent of obese adults will develop knee osteoarthritis.

Because of its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious properties, this herb can be useful in the treatment of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid.

Antioxidant Properties

This herb is a good source of antioxidants, that actually improve the body’s capacity to fight infection as well as help protect cells against the negative effects of free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable, highly reactive molecules that are generated both outside the body and within the body. According to recent studies, free radicals are behind most diseases, including – cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and Parkinson’s.


More than 15 million new cases of cancer occurred worldwide in 2016. Lung cancer was the most common type of cancer in the world contributing to about 13 percent of the total number of new cases diagnosed.

One study that treated human colon cancer cells with an extract from this herb concluded that it stopped the growth of cancer cells.

Fights Harmful Bacteria

According to research, an essential oil produced from this herb helped block the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. coli, two strains of harmful bacteria that can cause infection.

While many of us associate Escherichia coli with food poisoning, you can also get breathing problems, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections from these bacteria. Pregnant women, individuals with weakened immune systems, young children, and seniors are at higher risk of developing these conditions.

Side Effects

Anyone allergic to members of the mint family should avoid this herb. Furthermore, it is essential to check with a healthcare professional before using this herb (and its essential oil) during pregnancy or breastfeeding since there are no conclusive studies regarding its safe use.

Thyme vs OreganoWhich Has A Better Nutritional Profile?

They are both members of the mint family and staple herbs in Mediterranean cooking.

Regarding their nutrition content, these amazing spices have a similar nutritional profile and both should be included in a regular diet.

Images credit – Shutterstock

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