Thyme is a perennial herb with small lilac, pink, or white flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region and belongs to the mint family of plants. Interestingly, there are about 350 species of thyme since they hybridize very easily.
In fact, there is only one herb, thymus vulgaris that should be used for maximum benefits. However, the composition of the oil distilled from the herb has different chemical components based on the region or location thyme grows in, no matter if they are botanically identical.
Common thyme, also known as Thymus vularis, is the ideal type of oil for beginners since it is the safest type of oil to use in baths, on elderly and children, and on the skin. Thyme is among the most effective and commonly used essential oils in aromatherapy. But, you should use thyme essential oil with care, in moderate amounts.
Therapeutic Effect of Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil has impressive antiseptic, antibiotic, bactericidal, antiviral, expectorant, diuretic, antispasmodic, and fungicidal properties that make it an excellent herbal remedy to keep in your own natural medicine cabinet during cold and flu season. Moreover, thyme not only kills microbes, but it can also help your body remove toxins and strengthen your immune system. In addition, it can induce white blood cell formation and elevate resistance to invading organisms.
One of the most popular and long-standing uses for thyme in alternative medicine is as a respiratory natural remedy. It acts as an amazing pulmonary disinfectant, so it can be used in the treatment of sore throats, colds, flu, coughs, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma, seasonal allergies, congestion, blocked sinuses, catarrh, etc. Furthermore, it also serves as an anti-inflammatory and expectorant agent that has an ability to eliminate mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tract. Thyme can also reduce inflammation to fight breathing difficulties, and prevent the development of microbes that can result in illnesses.
The oil has potent antibacterial properties that can kill bad bacteria. Also, it has extremely powerful antiseptic properties. As a result of this, the oil has been used in soapy solutions to disinfect hands before surgery. Thyme can also kill staphylococcus. Additionally, a group of French researchers found that thyme is among a few essential oils that can kill 90% of microbes in 3 hours, if used in a vaporizer.
It has also been used as a natural remedy for both psychological and physical weakness. Thyme can help you regain strength after any illness, fight depression, chronic fatigue, and insomnia. Furthermore, it can also boost circulation, improve concentration, increase low blood pressure, and enhance memory.
How to Use Thyme for Maximum Benefits:
In case of any respiratory ailments, you should brew thyme leaves into an excellent tea to alleviate the symptoms.
You can also inhale it to relieve the symptoms of chest, throat, and nose infections; gum and mouth infections like gingivitis and thrush. Plus, you can also use it gargle or mouthwash or toothpaste. Just a .1 percent solution seems to be effective. However, keep in mind that inhalation in small amounts offers maximum benefits because great amounts may have the opposite effect.
Other Thyme Uses Include:
- Thyme has incredible diuretic properties and helps in the treatment of bladder and urinary tract infections;
- It also helps in the treatment of vaginitis and Candida;
- Thyme essential oil possesses thymol, i.e., a chemical constituent that has been found to elevate blood-flow to the skin, thus promoting healing. This ingredient can also protect as well as increase the number of healthy fats present in cell membranes;
- It has an ability to fight nail fungus;
- Thyme is often used in natural hand sanitizers;
- Apply a bit of the oil neat on athlete’s foot, boils, or animal bites. However, make sure you protect your skin with a bit of fatty cream;
- Use it to destroy parasites;
- Crush some fresh thyme or apply diluted oil on insect stings and bites;
- Add some thyme to a hot compress to provide relief from sprains, sports injuries, muscle aches and pains, arthritis, rheumatic pain, gout, and sciatica;
- Use some of the oil as in a face wash or a hair tonic. Also, use it in the treatment of skin issues such as acne and warts;
- Prepare a natural antibacterial wash for fresh fruits and veggies by using one percent solution;
- Thyme can keep insects at bay;
- Fight alopecia areata by using a mixture of some jojoba and grape seed carrier oils and thyme, cedar wood lavender, and rosemary essential oils. All you need to do is massage the mixture into the scalp every day for a few months.
- Add thyme to a sitz bath or massage to induce menstruation for weak or missing periods;
- The consumption of thyme has been found to increase the amount of DHA, i.e., an omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid, in kidney, brain, and heart cell membranes;
Note: As thyme essential oil is too strong, you should dilute it in a bit of rosemary, lavender, lemon, grapefruit, or bergamot essential oil to prevent irritation.