and Uses at Home
by Jeanne Rose
The therapeutic properties of Thyme herb and oil often result from
the chemical carvacrol and can include: analgesic in that it eases
pain including arthritic pain; it is antiseptic and can be used in
products to combat bacteria; it is calming when inhaled – this fits
more with the Marjoram (Thymus mastichina) however and it is
bactericidal, bechic (relieves cough), carminative, expectorant,
insecticide, stimulant tonic and even a vermifuge when large
quantities of the herb are eaten or small quantities of the oil are
used. These properties can be studied by obtaining a good quality
oil, usually in a
kit with other oils or taking an
where you can learn about the different oils and how they are used.
Origin of Thyme Oil
It is an ancient herb used in medicine by the Greeks, the Egyptians
and the Romans and is an evergreen perennial shrub that grows up to
45 cm (18 inches) high, with a woody root system, much-branched
stem, small elliptical greenish gray aromatic leaves and pale purple
or white flowers.
The name is derived from the Greek word 'thymos' that means 'perfume'
and was used as incense in Greek temples. The Egyptians used it in
During the Middle Ages it was given to jousting knights for courage,
and a sprig of the herb was carried into courtrooms to ward off
see Herbs & Things.
Several other unrelated plants with high amounts of carvacrol also
have local common names of Oregano. "Mexican Oregano" usually refers
to a tall, tender plant in the verbena family (Verbenaceae),
Lippia graveolens, has a similar but somewhat stronger Oregano
flavor, but may also refer to other plants in different parts of
Mexico. In Spain Thymus nummularius is sold and used in place
Thyme Oil Organoleptic
It has a strong herbaceous and green and vegetative odor that is
somewhat sweet. The color can be pale yellow to reddish-brown to
Extraction and Yields
It is extracted from the fresh or partly dried flowering tops and
leaves of the plant by water or steam distillation and the yield is
0.7 -1.0 %.
The main chemical components are a-thujone, a-pinene, camphene, b-pinene,
p-cymene, a-terpinene, linalool, borneol, b-caryophyllene, thymol
and carvacrol. For some of the chemotypes of Thyme, of which there
are many, please read Thyme Essential Oil Profile in the
articles section of the
Aromatic Plant Project.
Thyme oil strengthens the nerves, aids memory and concentration, can
help with the feeling of exhaustion and combats depression, while it
cleanses and strengthens the lungs and helps with colds, coughs,
asthma, laryngitis, sinusitis, catarrh, whooping cough, sore throats
and tonsillitis. Thyme herb and oil is a beneficial addition in
foods or supplements to boost the immune system and can help fight
colds, flu, infectious diseases and chills. If taken in small
amounts internally it will act as a urinary antiseptic, it is very
helpful for cystitis and urethritis.
The warming effect of this oil can help in cases of poor
circulation, as well as for arthritis, rheumatism, gout, muscular
aches and pains, sprains and sport injuries. It is also helpful in
blends used externally for cellulite, obesity and edema and for some
the use of the herb has been helpful in cases of scanty periods,
leucorrhoea, and to speed up birth and to expel afterbirth.
Thyme oil can assist with nervous complaints, respiratory problems,
poor circulation and problems of the digestive system and the
This essential oil can cause skin irritation, yet when inhaled helps
with concentration and to focus on particular situations, it is as
well an excellent stimulant for the respiratory system for use in
bronchitis, coughs, colds, asthma and the like. It is warming and
these qualities are great as an application for rheumatism,
sciatica, arthritis and gout. Blend with gentle essential oils and
then dilute with a carrier before use.
Hydrosol Uses and Therapeutics
The hydrosol can be a powerful germicide and can be used as a mouth
wash, to flavor foods, as awash or disinfectant and antiseptic for
It is a very potent oil and should not be used during pregnancy or
in cases of high blood pressure. Because of the phenols (carvacrol
and thymol), which can irritate mucus membranes and cause skin
irritation, it should not be used for skin care products, and in
general should be used in low concentrations.
When it is used in massage therapy, it would be a good idea to do a
skin patch test to determine if the person is sensitive to it.
Aromatic Travel and
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All rights reserved 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. No part of this article may
be used without prior permission from Jeanne Rose.
© Authors Copyright Jeanne Rose,