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.

Wild Rice and Thyme Soup

Cold weather puts everyone in the mood for a nice, hearty soup. This one is sure to keep you warm and satisfied! Essential oils add subtle seasoning and health benefits.

Wild Rice and Thyme Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast, raw*
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. uncooked wild rice
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 c. chicken broth* or chicken bone broth*
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • Thyme essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place the chicken breast, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, wild rice, mushrooms, broth, and salt in your Instant Pot.** Seal the lid and set the controls to 45 minutes on manual, high pressure.
  2. When the time is up, slowly release the pressure, making sure that soup doesn’t start spraying through the valve.
  3. While the pressure is releasing, melt the butter in a small saucepan on the stove.
  4. Whisk the flour in with the butter, and cook on low heat for 1–2 minutes.
  5. Slowly whisk the milk into the saucepan, stirring until the mixture begins to thicken and forms a thick, creamy white sauce.
  6. Dip a toothpick into a bottle of thyme essential oil and another toothpick into rosemary essential oil. Stir the oils throughout the white sauce with the toothpicks.
  7. Pull the chicken breast out of the Instant Pot, shred it, and return the pieces to the soup.
  8. Stir the white sauce into the Instant Pot mixture, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the warm soup with fresh bread for wintertime comfort.

*For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken breast and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

**If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can also cook this soup in a slow cooker for 6–7 hours on low, following the same instructions.

Easy Herbed Dinner Rolls

This recipe provides an easy way to add a subtle hint of essential oils to your freshly baked dinner rolls. Everything is better with a little essential oil!

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Herbed Parmesan Chicken

Impress your friends and family with this classy and delicious dinner. The essentials oils provide a wonderful herb flavor that won’t disappoint.

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Thanksgiving Gravy with Thyme Essential Oil

Incorporate the benefits of pure thyme essential oil into your holiday cooking this year with this delicious poultry gravy! The fresh herb flavor will leave your guests asking for the recipe––and for a second helping!

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