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.

[recipe title=”Wild Rice and Thyme Soup” servings=”6″ time=”15 minutes active; 45 minutes inactive” difficulty=”Easy”]

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.

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Quinoa Artichoke Essential Oil Bites

These Quinoa Artichoke Bites make a tasty snack or side dish. With the addition of essential oils, they pack even more flavor and health benefits. They go perfectly with our Essential Oil Marinara Sauce (recipe below), or you can mix up your own favorite dipping sauce. Give them a shot; you’re sure to love them!

[recipe title=”Quinoa Artichoke Essential Oil Bites” servings=”24″ time=”20 minutes active;  30 minutes inactive” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (185 g) cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup (100 g) shredded cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. (13 g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts
  • 4 oz. (115 g) frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil
  • 1 toothpick oregano essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Drain and chop the artichoke hearts, and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Squeeze the spinach with paper towels or a kitchen towel until completely dry.
  4. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly.
  5. Using a mini muffin tin, divide the mixture into 24 cups, and press down to pack the mixture in firmly.
  6. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Let the bites cool for a few minutes before removing from the tins.
  8. Serve with a marinara dipping sauce (recipe below).

Cheeses that work great for this recipe are monterey jack, mozzarella, and cheddar. Try one, or a combination of all three!

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[recipe title=”Essential Oil Marinara Sauce” servings=”8″ time=”15 minutes” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (9 g) salt
  • 2 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place the olive oil and chopped onion in a saucepan, and sauté over medium heat until the onions are tender.
  2. Add the garlic in with the onions, and continue cooking for an additional minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the salt and crushed tomatoes to the saucepan. Stir everything in the saucepan together, and continue cooking until warmed through.
  4. Turn off the heat, and stir in the essential oils.
  5. Serve over your choice of noodles or with our Quinoa Artichoke Essential Oil Bites (recipe above).

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Artichoke Portobello Soup

This creamy vegetarian soup is packed with nutrients and flavor! In fact, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven—it’s that good! It got rave reviews from the many people who tested this recipe in preparation for this post. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
[recipe title=”Artichoke Portobello Soup” servings=”4–6″ time=”20–25 minutes active; 15–20 minutes inactive” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) onion, diced (or green onions)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, chopped (or 6 crimini mushrooms)
  • 3 Tbsp. (23 g) flour
  • 4 cups (1 liter) chicken broth
  • 1 jar (4–6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp. (220 mg) cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and allow it to melt a little. Add onion, carrots, and celery; sauté until the vegetables start to caramelize.
  2. Add chopped mushrooms, sauté 3–4 more minutes, and then sprinkle with flour and stir for 1–2 minutes to allow the flour to cook in the butter. Add broth, artichokes, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 15–20 minutes.
  3. Scoop soup into a blender, and pulse 5–10 times (this step can be skipped if you like larger chunks in your soup).
  4. Pour the soup back into the large saucepan, and stir in the heavy cream, salt, and essential oils. Cook 3–5 minutes, or until slightly thickened and heated through.

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Essential Oil Ravioli Hearts

These noodles are so cute and fun to make, and they make a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner! The recipe is a little complicated, but this ravioli is to die for, making it worth every minute! It’s so fun that all the kids will want to join in and help you cut out the noodles! The hardest part will be sharing these tasty raviolis with the rest of the family.

[recipe title=”Homemade Ravioli” servings=”4″ time=”45 minutes active; 1 hour inactive” difficulty=”Difficult”]

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • 1–2 Tbsp. (15–30 ml) water (as needed)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water
  • Cheese mixture (recipe below)
  • Marinara sauce (recipe below)
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions:

  1. Combine flour, 2 eggs, and salt in a food processor, and process until well mixed.
  2. If necessary, slowly add water until the mixture forms a firm dough.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. Check the dough by cutting it with a knife. Once there are no air bubbles in the middle, and the outside is smooth, the dough is ready.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 4 portions, and roll out to about 1/16″  (1.5 mm) thickness using a rolling pin or pasta machine.
  6. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts into the dough. Or cut the dough into 2″ (5 cm) squares using a knife.
  7. Combine 1 lightly beaten egg and 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water in a bowl, and brush the dough pieces lightly with the mixture.
  8. Place a small spoonful of the cheese mixture (recipe below) in the middle of the dough, leaving enough space around the edges to seal the dough.
  9. Lay the second piece of dough on top, and use your fingers to press the edges down around the cheese so they stick together.
  10. Bring a pot of saltwater to boil, and gently drop the ravioli into the boiling water. Cook 1/4 of the ravioli at a time to avoid the noodles sticking together. Cook for 5–10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the noodles), or until tender.
  11. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ravioli from the water, and place on a serving dish.
  12. Top with marinara sauce (recipe below) and parmesan cheese.

Notes:
If your noodles are thick, they will take longer to cook.
If you have leftover cheese filling, it makes a great topper for the finished pasta for an added cheesy kick.

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[recipe title=”Basil and Oregano Cheese Filling” servings=”Yield=2 cups (500 ml)” time=”5 minutes” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (125 g) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) shredded gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp. (125 mg) dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 toothpick oregano essential oil
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine cheeses, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  2. Dip a toothpick in the oregano and basil oils, and run the toothpicks through the cheese mixture to combine.
  3. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, and/or essential oil as needed.

The taste may be a little strong, but once the noodles are boiled, the flavor will be much milder.
You can use just about any kind of cheese in this recipe, not just the ones listed. If you have other cheeses, experiment to find out which ones give the best flavor for you!

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[recipe title=”Marinara Sauce” servings=”8″ time=”15 minutes” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (9 g) salt
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz. each)
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place the olive oil and chopped onion in a saucepan, and sauté over medium heat until the onions are tender.
  2. Add the garlic in with the onions, and continue cooking for an additional minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the salt and crushed tomatoes to the saucepan. Stir everything in the saucepan together, and continue cooking until warmed through.
  4. Turn off the heat, and stir in the oregano, rosemary, and thyme essential oils.
  5. Serve over your choice of noodles.

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Cold Fighter Diffuser Blend

It’s that time of year again—cold and flu season—and it seems like everyone is getting sick. But don’t worry, we have you covered with this awesome diffuser blend! This sweet, fresh scent will not only help fight off a cold but will also leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

This blend can also double as a throat salve! Add 5 drops lemon and 5 drops thyme to 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) jojoba oil, and apply to the throat, forehead, chest, and back of neck 2–3 times per day.

Safety Note: Thyme may irritate the skin and mucous membranes and use should be avoided during pregnancy. Caution should also be taken when using thyme if you have hypertension.

Need a diffuser? Check out this wide range of diffusers; you’re sure to find one that fits your needs perfectly!

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition

Turkey Rub with Essential Oils

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without a turkey. We’ve come up with this delicious turkey rub recipe so you can benefit from the wonderful properties and flavors of essential oils this Thanksgiving.
[recipe title=”Turkey Rub with Essential Oils” time=”5 minutes” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2–4 Tbsp. (25–50 g) brown sugar or organic cane sugar (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp. (57 g) butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. (4 g) kosher salt or Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. (1.5 g) garlic powder
  • 2–3 drops cassia essential oil
  • 3–5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 3–5 drops thyme essential oil
  • 2–3 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 1 toothpick–1 drop ginger essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a glass bowl. Mix together using a hand mixer or fork.
  2. Rub onto the turkey (and inside the turkey) prior to cooking for a more subtle flavor or after cooking for stronger flavor (use a spoon or pastry brush to spread it around if the turkey is hot).

Note: If you are rubbing it onto an uncooked turkey, use the maximum number of essential oil drops. If you are rubbing it on a cooked turkey, use fewer essential oil drops unless you want a strong flavor.
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Although you can use this turkey rub recipe no matter how you cook your turkey, we tested it on a frozen turkey breast that we cooked in an electric pressure cooker. It turned out delicious, so we want to share this recipe with you as well. [recipe title=”Pressure-Cooked Essential Oil Turkey Breast” servings=”6–8″ time=”15 minutes active; 1 1/2 hours inactive” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 3.5 lbs. (1.5 kg) frozen turkey breast
  • Essential Oil Turkey Rub (recipe above..use the max number of essential oil drops)
  • 2 Tbsp. (28 g) butter (can take some from the turkey rub)
  • 1 apple, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) allspice berries
  • 2 stalks celery (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. (4 g) kosher salt or Himalayan sea salt
  • Fresh sage leaves (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Using your hand, spread the Essential Oil Turkey Rub over the entire turkey breast.
  2. In the pressure cooker, sauté the butter, apple, onion, allspice berries,
    and celery until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken broth to the pressure cooker.
  3. Place a trivet in the pressure cooker on top of the apple/onion mixture. Place the frozen turkey breast on the trivet. Sprinkle salt over turkey and lay sage leaves on top, if desired.
  4. Lock and seal the lid. Cook on high pressure for 45–50 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally before opening the lid.
  5. If you want the skin crispy, place the turkey breast along with some of the broth in a baking dish or roasting pan, and broil for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Extra Ideas:

  • The juices make a delicious turkey gravy! Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the apple/onion mixture. Melt 4 Tbsp. (57 g) butter in a saucepan. Whisk in 1/4 cup (30 g) flour. Let cook for a couple minutes, then slowly add the turkey broth while continuing to whisk. Keep stirring for a couple more minutes until the gravy thickens.
  • If turkey is not frozen, cook on high pressure for 25–30 minutes with a natural pressure release.

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Try these other Thanksgiving recipes & ideas:

Harvest Turkey Sloppy Joes

These Harvest Turkey Sloppy Joes put a fun autumn twist on the average sloppy joe. You’ll love the rich flavor, and your body will thank you for the healthier ingredients! Everyone who tried this recipe gave it a big thumbs up!
[recipe title=”Harvest Turkey Sloppy Joes” servings=”6–8″ time=”30–40 minutes active” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. (450 g) ground turkey (for a vegan option, substitute this with 1 cup [190 g] dried green lentils)
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (210 g) diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) paprika
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (245 g) canned pumpkin puree
  • 3–4 Tbsp. (45–60 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) salt
  • 1–2 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 2 drops cumin essential oil
  • 1–2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil

Instructions:

  1. If using lentils: Add the lentils and 2 cups (480 ml) of water to a pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 8 minutes. Add in the cubed butternut squash, and simmer until both the squash and lentils are tender, about 7–12 more minutes. Drain any excess water, and set aside.
  2. If using ground turkey: In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add in the ground turkey, onion, and butternut squash, and cook until the turkey is cooked through and the butternut squash is soft (about 7–10 minutes).
  3. Add in the garlic, tomato paste, mustard powder, cumin, and paprika. Sauté for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add in the tomato sauce, pumpkin puree, and maple syrup. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add in the apple cider vinegar, salt, and essential oils. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat, and serve with buns or flatbread, over potatoes, on a salad, or as desired. We enjoyed our sloppy joes with onion slices, lettuce, and avocado on a Kaiser roll.

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Essential Oil Spice Mixes for Savory Dishes

Essential oils can add a lot of flavor to cooking, but sometimes even a drop is too much for the dish. These spice mixes are an easy way to add a hint of additional flavor to your cooking with the help of essential oils! You may even enjoy adding a little to your plate if you like to salt your food.

AromaTools sells empty spice jars that are perfect for these spice mixes in 2 sizes: 1 oz. glass and 4 oz. plastic. Most of these recipes include ingredient lists for both sizes, so you can make these recipes in either jar. If you would like to try them out before making a larger batch, just follow the 1 oz. recipe. We also designed some labels that you can print onto our blank label sheets (large blank label sheet or small blank label sheet):
Large Labels (fit the larger jars)
Small Labels (fit either jar size)

One important thing to remember when using these spices—use them like you would salt. If you want more of the essential oil flavor, add more oils to the salt mixture, or add a toothpick or a drop of essential oil to the dish after cooking it.

Another tip: Make sure to use a slightly coarse salt (kosher salt and Himalayan sea salt are recommended). Do not use table salt—it will make these taste too salty. Also avoid the really coarse salt if you plan on adding more to your dish just before eating (unless you happen to like biting into large chunks of salt full of essential oil flavor . . . which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

With Father’s Day just around the corner, try making these as a gift for the man who loves to cook!
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Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year with a hearty Irish Beef Stew! You can now enjoy the comforting flavors of this dish along with the health benefits of the essential oils. Try pairing this beef stew with our Rosemary Artisan Sourdough Bread for an easy make-ahead meal.

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