Thyme isn’t just another herb you throw into a pot of soup or spaghetti but something you can throw on yourself for a variety of healing properties.
In this article, we will visit some of the most helpful ways thyme oil (referred to sometimes as Thymol) is used, primary benefits, and the different varieties of thyme.
With healing properties such as being an excellent analgesic, stimulant, and expectorant as well as a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent, you may be willing to smell a little like dinner if it means healing!
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Thyme Essential Oil?
- 2 Thyme essential oil uses
- 3 Other Benefits and Uses with Thyme
- 4 Best thyme essential oils
- 5 Related Questions
- 6 Does thyme have any side effects?
- 7 Thyme to Go!
What is Thyme Essential Oil?
Thyme is a fragrant herb originating from the Mediterranean. It is a common plant found all over North America, and it is easy to grow at home. It has been used for centuries for everything from embalming to antibacterial uses as well as reducing blood pressure. We will get more into benefits and uses in just a bit.
Thyme oil is also referred to as “oil of thyme” or Thymol. Thymol is one of the naturally occurring classes of compounds known as biocides. These are substances that can destroy harmful organisms, such as infectious bacteria.
Thyme is a perennial plant and part of the mint family. The thyme plant has relatively tiny, green leaves on thin, flexible stems. When planted in a pot, as it grows, the stems will spill over the edges giving it the look of a ground covering type of plant. Thyme usually gets between six and twelve inches big depending of course on how much you use and how well you tend to the plant.
Once the plants have been harvested, the leaves are then dried. Once the leaves are dry, they are beaten off the stem. Thymol or oil of thyme comes from the dried leaves of the plant through steam distillation.
According to Medical News Today, “The ancient Egyptians used thyme as an embalming fluid. In ancient Greece, they used thyme as incense in temples and added it to bathwater. Hippocrates, who lived around 460 BCE to 370 BCE and is known today as “the father of Western medicine,” recommended thyme for respiratory diseases and conditions. People grew thyme in gardens and gathered it in the countryside.”
Fun fact: People put thyme in between their mattress and sheets as well as other linens to keep bugs away.
Thyme essential oil uses
No One Has Thyme for Acne
Whether you are a teenager in the throes of adolescence, dealing with food allergies or diet issues or if you’re a woman combating her monthly cycle, most of us get acne to some degree. When looking for a solution outside of the harsh chemicals at the drug store, thyme is your go-to oil for acne.
Thyme is known to have intense antibacterial and circulatory properties. Not only that, but it also helps balance hormones. These facts make thyme an excellent treatment for a variety of skin conditions, particularly in preventing, treating, and healing from acne.
Thyme is also packed with antioxidants. By aiding in releasing free radicals in the cellular structure of skin along with its stimulant properties, thyme can be a significant player in healing a variety of skin conditions.
In my research, I came across many different types of skin ailments that thyme can be useful for. Overall, the most popular skin conditions thyme is used for are eczema, minor rashes, and irritations as well as treating minor burns.
Kills Bacteria in No Thyme
Thyme oil contains antiseptic components, caryophyllene, and camphene that help control and kill bacteria.
A 2011 study from the Medical University of Lodzin Poland tested thyme oil’s response to 120 strains of bacteria. The results show that thyme oil was extremely resistant to the strains of bacteria. Thyme oil even demonstrated a good efficacy against antibiotic-resistant strains.
What does this all mean? Bacteria over the years has become resistant to many of our modern-day antibiotics. Thyme oils showing positive efficacy against antibiotic-resistant strains means the resistant bacteria aren’t resistant against thyme oil.
This finding is promising news in the medical field in treating bacterial infections that no longer respond to standard antibacterial courses of treatment.
While we’re still on the topic of bacteria, let’s talk about our mouth. According to the National Library of Medicine, those who practice oral hygiene have about 700 different strains of bacteria that have been detected in the oral cavity.
Yes, this made me shiver a bit as well, but there’s good news in all of this! One, there is plenty of good bacteria in your soul’s megaphone protecting our bodies from whatever it is we put in our mouth. But sometimes our mouths need a little help from us.
With thyme oil’s super antiseptic and antibacterial properties, it is a super partner to have in your tool bag to help alleviate bad breath, help heal gum disease, and even address tooth decay. It’s worth a conversation with your doctor to see if adding thyme oil to your daily oral hygiene regimen would be beneficial for you.
Colds Don’t Have to Take Up All of Your Thyme
In addition to thyme being an antiseptic as well as antibacterial, it is also an expectorant.
A cold is caused when the bronchial tubes or bronchi of the lungs become inflamed. When this occurs, our body’s immune system kicks in and starts the production of all that mucus. As the mucus builds so does our urge to cough.
Since thyme acts as an antispasmodic, meaning it calms spasms of the muscles, it is excellent in calming down a cough. It is also an expectorant meaning it thins the mucus making it less congestive and more comfortable to expel either through coughing or blowing your nose.
Several natural cold remedies and cough drops contain high levels of thyme. Ricola and Celebration Herbals cough drops contain thyme most of the time, which is a great way to get your thyme in!
Additionally, when you’re sick, diffusing thyme oil in either your nebulizing diffuser or ultrasonic diffuser is an excellent way to expose your respiratory system to the healing properties of thyme!
You can also take your own thyme, dry the leaves, put them in a loose-leaf tea bag, submerge in a bit of hot water to make your own thyme tea at home. Most of us have dried thyme in our spice cabinet, and as long as it isn’t super old, then you should be good to use that if you need the tea sooner than it will dry.
Once you’ve steeped your thyme leaves, consider adding a drop of peppermint oil to help open up your sinuses. Adding lemon for additional immune support as well as honey for a bit of sweetness makes a great addition to your tea.
Start with thyme and hot water as your base and add one ingredient at a time to see what appeals to your senses the best.
Other Benefits and Uses with Thyme
In researching thyme, there are several other benefits to using thyme. There is not a great deal of scientific research, but plenty of testimonials, evidence, and continued use of thyme that I believe make them noteworthy and are listed below.
use alone or with citronella and vanilla oil using equal drops diluted in eight ounces of water in a spray bottle to keep bugs off your skin.
Treating anxiety and depression
Diffusing five to ten drops of thyme oil. This will depend on your personal preference.
Add 15 to 20 drops of thyme oil to one-half cup of the shampoo of your choice. Use it 2-3 times a week to moisturize your scalp and reduce itchiness. Another method is to add a few drops of tea tree oil to some coconut oil and massage it into your scalp.
Please make sure to do a patch test to make sure you are not allergic to either essential oil.
You can make a balancing-hormone serum. Here are the instructions:
One ounce of evening primrose oil, 30 drops of clary sage oil, 30 drops thyme oil, and 30 drops ylang-ylang oil. Mix all ingredients in a 2-ounce bottle. Put into a glass vial with a dropper. Rub five drops onto the neck two times daily.
Treating yeast infection
Mix one to two drops of thyme essential oil in eight ounces of water or two teaspoons of honey.
Best thyme essential oils
If you have been following and reading my articles, you know I am a fan of doTerra oils as well as Young Living. They are both equally high in quality as far as oils go but also are on the more expensive end of the spectrum. DoTerra is a bit less costly than Young Living, but the price difference with thyme is about five dollars.
With that said, I will occasionally deviate from the brands mentioned above and head to Amazon for my essential oil needs.
What is the difference between red thyme and white thyme?
The main difference is concentration.
Both red thyme and white thyme are extracted and distilled from the same plant. Red thyme is what is extracted first containing a higher concentration of all the thyme components. White thyme is a further distillation of red thyme, creating a thinner and less concentrated product.
There is a general consensus on which thyme to use but it really comes down to personal preference.
Red thyme is best used for more intensive treatments like treating an acute cold or applying directly to the skin for antibacterial use in healing a wound.
It is suggested to use white thyme for more everyday use and general diffusing. When purchasing thyme oil, not all companies differentiate whether it is red or white thyme. Be sure to read the fine print or reach out to the manufacturer and ask.
Does thyme have any side effects?
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies thyme essential oils as “generally recognized as safe for their intended use.”
If you have read other essential oil websites or are doing research, you will find a variety of cautions. Spanning from one side of the pendulum saying it’s entirely safe to the other side that says humans should never ingest any essential oil.
The first place to start is with your common sense.
Do you have any known allergies that you are aware of?
Are you on any medications?
Do you have any side effects that occur when you take something new?
Are you pregnant or nursing?
Do you have high blood pressure or a heart condition?
Do you want to use oils on a child?
If you are unsure or uneasy about ingesting essential oils, always check with your medical health care professional. Please note that essential oils aren’t designed to take the place of any of your prescription medications. Essential oils should still be used with caution.
Personally, I have checked with my doctor, taking essential oils outside of grapefruit essential oil is safe for me. I diffuse them, make rubs with them, ingest them, and use them with my son.
The only solid medical warning I could find for thyme is the standard issuance warning of how not to use if you are nursing, pregnant, or suffer from high blood pressure or a heart condition.
In short, thyme is really a safe oil to use unless you have an allergy.
Thyme to Go!
Thyme is an underrated oil not because of its lack of potency, but mostly because of the scent. It is a delightful oil, with earthy notes reminiscent of wood along with hints of citrus.
Personally, I use thyme when we are sick because I can only handle the smell for concentrated periods of thyme..hahaha, get it, time/thyme?!
And that cheesy pun wraps up this concentrated article on all things thyme and taking all of the pun headings along with it!
I hope you have found the information helpful and are inspired once again to dive into the beautiful world of essential oils.