This plant is part of the mint family and comes from the Mediterranean basin. We talk about thymus vulgaris, more known as thyme.
The chemical compounds in the oil distilled from this plant show variations depending on the region where it grows.
Thyme has so powerful microbial properties that some oils are even not safe to use in different situations. The best and safest oil to start using it is Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool. You can use it in baths, on skin, and it’s safe for both, children and adults.
Avoid chemo types like thymus vulgaris ct. thymol, thymus vulgaris ct. thujanol, and thymus vulgaris c.t carvacrol, as they should be used only by qualified aromatherapists. Make sure you always use thyme oil carefully, and in moderation.
This plant has potent bactericidal, antiviral, antibiotic, fungicidal, antispasmodic, diuretic, antiseptic, and expectorant properties, which is why it’s great to have it around, especially during the cold and flu season.
Besides the ability to destroy microbes, thyme stimulates the formation of white blood cells thus improving the immune system. It also helps the body flush out toxins, and improves resistance to invading organisms.
It has powerful and penetrating, yet warm and herbaceous aroma, which explains the Greek meaning of the word ‘thymos’– ‘to perfume’.
Thyme Health Benefits
Thyme has many other traditional uses, including treating respiratory infections. It is a great pulmonary disinfectant so it helps treating colds, flues, asthma, sore throats, coughs, whooping coughs, catarrh, bronchitis, and laryngitis. Inhalation is the best way to use it for throat, nose, and chest infections. When it comes to gingivitis, thrush, and other mouth and gum infections, use it in gargle/mouthwash or toothpaste.
Experts say even.1% solution is effective. German researchers say cough medicines are effective due to the expiration (or escalation) of the local action of the essential oil on the respiratory tract. One large study has proven that thyme oil, along with other essential oils, is effective expectorant which increases the secretion of mucus, thus relieving dry coughs.
They concluded inhalation in small amounts is the best way to obtain these benefits of thyme oil, especially when treating chronic infections which last longer in the sinuses. But, if the inhalation is too strong, it might cause opposite effects.
Thyme has long been used as a way to treat psychological and physical weakness. It helps regain strength after illness, depression, or chronic fatigue, and it’s also useful in case of insomnia.
It helps concentrate, boosts circulation, increases blood pressure that is too low, and boosts memory and even intelligence. It strengthens, balances, and revives both, body and mind.
Thyme essential oil acts on the bacteria’s enzymes due to its strong antibacterial properties. Being strong antibacterial agent and a stronger antiseptic than most used in hospitals, it has been used for disinfecting hands before surgery as a soapy solution.
It is able to kill staph at a dilution of a thousand times. A French study proved thyme used in vaporizer can destroy 90% of microbes within 3 hours. Besides deodorizing the air, it also purifies it from staphylococcus, proteus, cryptococcal, and streptococcus.
DIY: Honey Thyme Cough Syrup
Take one teaspoon of this homemade cough syrup as needed to relieve a cough or sore throat. Keeps well for about 2 months.
Serves: 3 cups
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons organic fresh or dried thyme*
- 1 cup organic raw honey
- Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat.
- Add the thyme, cover and let sit for 10 minutes or until cooled.
- Strain the mixture and whisk in the honey until dissolved. Store in a glass jar.
- The cough syrup with keep refrigerated for 2 months.
- To use, take 1-2 teaspoons, as needed.
*Note: I didn’t remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs for sake of easiness, but you certainly can do that.
- Treats urinary tract and bladder infections, and it’s a great diuretic
- Helpful in cases of vaginitis and candida
- Destroys nail fungus
- Used in production of natural hand sanitizers
- It relieves rheumatic pain, sports injuries, muscle aches and pains, sciatica, sprains, gout, and arthritis. To get these benefits, just add it to a hot compress.
- Use diluted thyme oil or crushed dried thyme as a first aid on stings and insect bites
- Undiluted thyme oil can help treat athlete’s foot. Just apply it on the affected area, but make sure you protect the skin using some fatty cream.
- Treats acne or warts used as a face wash
- Used as a hair tonic
- Stimulates menstruation so it’s great for those with irregular periods. For this purpose, use it in a sitz bath or massage.
- Destroys parasites
- Speeds up the healing process of skin injuries, thanks to the present chemical compound thymol
- It increases the amount of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA in kidney, brain, and heart cell membranes
- Keeps insects at bay
- Treats alopecia areata when combined with cedarwood, lavender and rosemary in a mixture of jojoba and grapeseed carrier oils. Use this mixture to massage your scalp every day for few months
- To prevent irritation, use it in blends with grapefruit, bergamot, lavender, pine, lemon, and rosemary