Essential Oil Spotlight: Thyme

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris CT Thymol) essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant. The oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, and antiseptic health properties.

Anciently, thyme was used by the Egyptians for embalming and by the Greeks for fighting infectious diseases. It was also used to help with respiratory problems and digestive complaints.

Today, this essential oil is used primarily to help with asthma, bacterial infections, bites/stings, blood clots, brain (aging), bronchitis, colds (common), croup, dermatitis, eczema, fatigue, fungal infections, hair (greasy/oily), hair (fragile), hair (loss), mold, MRSA, parasites, pleurisy, pneumonia, prostatitis, psoriasis, radiation wounds, sciatica, and tuberculosis.

Thyme may be used as a general tonic for the nerves and stomach. It may also help with circulation, depression, digestion, dysmenorrhea, physical weakness after illness, flu, headaches, insomnia, and wounds.

Application and Safety Data

Topical: Thyme essential oil should be diluted 1:4 (1 drop essential oil to at least 4 drops carrier oil) when used topically. Use a greater dilution for children and for those with sensitive skin. Apply directly to the area of concern or to reflex points.

Aromatic: Diffuse or inhale the aroma directly. Aromatically, this essential oil helps energize in times of physical weakness and stress. It is also thought to aid concentration. Thyme is uplifting and eases symptoms of depression.

Internal: Thyme is recognized as safe for human consumption by the FDA. Dilute 1 drop oil in 2 tsp. (10 ml) honey or in 1 c. (250 ml) of beverage. Greater dilution may be necessary because of this oil’s potential for irritating mucous membranes.

Safety Data: This oil should not be taken internally by children under 6 years old. It should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children 6 years and older. This type of thyme oil may be somewhat irritating to the mucous membranes and skin. Avoid this oil during pregnancy. Use with caution for people with high blood pressure.

Ways to Use Thyme Essential Oil

Cooking: Thyme is used in many recipes, and the essential oil is a great alternative to the fresh or dried herb. Start by dipping a toothpick in the oil and running that through the food mixture, adding a bit more strength as desired. Here are a few of our favorite recipes with thyme essential oil!

Shingles: Blend 3 drops lavender, 3 drops melaleuca, and 3 drops thyme with 1 tsp. (5 ml) fractionated coconut oil. Apply on feet and on affected areas.

Hair Care: Thyme is great for oily hair, fragile hair, and even hair loss. We’ve written a post about how to make custom shampoo and conditioner to perfectly match your hair type and current condition. Check out the post to start making your own hair care products today!

Diffuser Blends: Because thyme is energizing and uplifting, it makes a great addition to diffuser blends. Here are a few combinations to get you going!

Colds: Blend 5 drops lemon and 5 drops thyme in 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) jojoba oil. Apply a small amount of the mixture to the throat, forehead, chest, and back of neck 2–3 times a day.

Source: Modern Essentials®: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 10th Edition, pp. 124–125.

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