Thyme has a powerful rich, warm, and slightly spicy herbal aroma.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil is distilled from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the common thyme bush.
Also Known As: Common Thyme, French Thyme, Red Thyme, White Thyme
Variations of Thyme Oil
There are many variations (chemotypes) of the Thymus vulgaris species. Although all have similar aromas, each has its own chemical makeup and therapeutic properties. The "thymol" and "carvacrol" chemotypes are considered more warming and activating, but also more potentially irritating and toxic. The "thujanol" chemotype is particularly helpful as an antiviral and is generally considered safe. The "linalool" and "citral" types have a sweeter aroma and are considered mild and nonirritating.
Thyme oil is often sold as either Red Thyme or White Thyme. These are not different species, but rather different methods of extraction. Red Thyme oil is produced by the first distillation of the plant and is red or brown and cloudy. White Thyme oil is further refined and is a clear, pale yellow liquid with a sweeter, milder aroma.
Benefits of Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme is a versatile essential oil with many therapeutic uses. It has strong antimicrobial properties and thus is recommended in the treatment of skin infections, acne, burns and cuts. Its antibiotic actions also make it useful around the home as an addition to cleaning and disinfectant mixtures.
Thyme is an immune system stimulant and is helpful for fighting coughs, colds and flu. It is also a general tonic and stimulant of proper circulation and thus can be useful for muscle aches and pains, arthritis, and fatigue.
Psychologically, thyme has a fortifying quality, helping to bolster energy and enliven the spirit. It was used in ancient times by Roman soldiers who bathed in it before going to battle, and is today recognized as a helpful oil for instilling feelings of courage.
Therapeutic Properties of Thyme Essential Oil
Research on Thyme Essential Oil
A study conducted on sufferers of minor skin problems in Ethiopia found that a cream containing 3% essential oil of thyme was significantly better than a placebo in healing fungal infections of the skin.
Precautions When Using Thyme Essential Oil
Observe the standard safety guidelines when using Thyme essential oil.
Thyme can be irritating to skin and mucous membranes. It should only be applied topically in low concentrations, and should be used with caution on sensitive skin. It is recommended that thyme oil not be inhaled, as it may irritate the respiratory system.
There are several variations (called chemotypes) of thyme oil, and some are contraindicated for children, the elderly, and/or people with certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Because you may not always know the chemotype of the thyme oil you are using, exercise caution when using this oil. If possible, choose the "linalool" or "geraniol" chemotype, as these are less irritating and toxic.
Buying Thyme Essential Oil
Typically, Thyme essential oil sells for around $15 per ounce.
Thyme Blends Well With...
Essential Oil Safety
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils
Essential Oils: A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice
Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit
Aromatherapy and the Mind
The Aromatherapy Workbook