Thyme Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions
Thyme essential oil (Thymus vulgaris CT thymol) is derived from the steam distillation of the leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant. It has a fresh, herbaceous aroma to it...yes, it smells like thyme. Historically, it's said to be that thyme was used in embalming, as well as for religious ceremonies, or funeral rites. More contemporary uses emphasize the therapeutic uses of thyme, based on its chemical components, such as phenols and terpenes.
Many studies have been done on thyme to shown it may be used to support the immune system, muscular health, joint support, respiratory wellness, and emotional support, especially with things such as infections. It can also be used in cleaning because of its purifying qualities.
- Cleansing and purifying effect for the skin
- Broad-spectrum activity in promoting winter-time health
- Use in flavoring
For emotional and spiritual uses, Thyme essential oil has been used for everything from courage and warding off nightmares, to energizing and revitalizing the soul, aiding focus and mental clarity, and uplifting moods. It's said to be the "oil of releasing and forgiveness", since it's a powerful cleanser and is thought to help a person "cleanse" blocked or stuck emotions. In this way it might help with the emotions that apply (anger, resentment, etc).
How to Use Thyme Essential Oil
Traditionally, thyme essential oil uses these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:
Precautions of Thyme Essential Oil
Considered a "hot" oil. Undiluted thyme essential oil will irritate skin. Avoid during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you have high blood pressure. Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use and use on the feet when possible. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose. Not all oils are created equal, so test brands carefully, and never use an oil in a way not recommended by its maker.
Popular Uses of Thyme Essential Oil
- Use 1–2 drops in meat and entrée dishes to add a fresh herbal flavor.
- Dilute with fractionated coconut oil then apply to targeted areas on the skin to purify and promote healthy skin.
- Add 2 drops to veggie capsules and take during winter time to promote immunity.
- Apply 1 diluted drop over the heart up to a few times a day for resentment.
- To stop snoring, apply one drop (possibly diluted) to the big toe before bed each night.
Inspiration for Using Thyme Essential Oil
Easy Hummus Dip: Add 1 drop Thyme and 1 drop Lemon to your store-bought or homemade hummus.
Shampoo for Thin Hair: Combine 1/2 cup castile soap, 1/2 cup water or coconut milk, and stir. Then add in 16 drops Thyme and 8 drops Melaleuca essential oils.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON QUALITY
Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).
A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:
- Proper plant varieties
- Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
- Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
- Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
- Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
- Third-party testing of every batch
- Stand behind the internal use of their oils