Thyme, familiar to most as a common seasoning for cooking, produces and essential oil that has valuable cleansing and purifying properties. It is also notable for its broad-spectrum activity for winter health.
Thymus vulgaris (common thyme) is a flowering plant in the Lamiaceae (mint) family. It is native to southern Europe, from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy.
Thymus vulgarisis a generally upright, bushy, woody-based perennial, primarily grown as a culinary herb in herb gardens. Growing from ½ to 1 foot tall, and about the same in width, its stems are clothed with tiny, linear to elliptic, pointed, gray-green leaves which are distinctively revolute, with small, highly aromatic, grey-green leaves and, in early summer, clusters of showy purple or pink flowers.
The leaves of the Thymus vulgaris are frequently used — fresh or dried — as a seasoning in a variety of culinary applications, including soups, stews, sauces, meat and fish dishes.
Thought to impart courage to its bearer, ladies of the Middle Ages would give thyme to knights and warriors, before they went into battle. During this same period, it was often placed beneath pillows, to help promote a peaceful sleep and to ward off nightmares. The ancient Greeks used thyme in their baths, and burned it as an incense in their temples, while the Egyptians used it in their embalming rites.
Thyme oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the Thymus vulgaris plant, yielding an oil with a warm, herbaceous, floral, powdery aroma, high in the chemical compound of thymol.
Thyme oil, like the fresh or dried herb, is excellent in cooking; but the oil also provides cleansing and clarifying effects for the skin; however, due to its high phenol content, thyme should always be diluted with carrier oil, before application.
Thyme oil is composed of specific chemical compounds that produce broad-spectrum activity, in promoting winter-time health. Including thyme essential oil in food dishes, or consuming one to two drops a day, will promote a healthy immune system, when seasonal threats are high.
Primary benefits of thyme oil
- Provides cleansing and purifying effects for the skin
- Broad-spectrum activity in promoting winter-time health
Uses for thyme 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.
How to use
Thyme oil is intended for aromatic, topical or dietary use. However, due to its high phenol content, dilution is required.
- Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
- Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl oz of liquid.
- Topical use: Dilute one to two drops with carrier oil, then apply to desired area. See additional precautions below.
Cautions: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears and sensitive areas.