If I had to choose my favorite aromatic herbs, thyme would rank right beside rosemary. The scent reminds me of milder oregano and if I could, I’d use it on almost any beef dish that passes through my kitchen. And like rosemary, there are also several proven benefits and uses of thyme essential oil, making it beneficial beyond flavoring food.
Recommended Thyme Based Products:
Thyme vs. White Thyme Essential Oil?
Thyme oil and white thyme oil are steam distilled from the same herb, Thymus vulgaris. The first collection of concentrated oil is sometimes called red thyme and is a much more potent form of the phenols that give thyme its medicinal properties. This oil is generally used for topical applications, in very small amounts.
White thyme is a further distillation of red thyme oil and is lighter in color. Both oils contain the same properties and constituents, but white thyme is a little weaker. It has a milder fragrance and a lighter color as well.
6 Major Benefits and Uses of Thyme Essential Oil
1. Treat Infections
Minor cuts and abrasions are just a part of life, whether you are preparing dinner or just happen to take a fall. However, breaks in the skin are opportunities for germs to enter your body. This can cause redness and swelling, along with further pain from the injury. It can also slow healing time if allowed to fester untreated. Thyme oil has been shown to be effective against many common types of bacteria, from those which are commonly found on the skin to those caused by food. (1)
Add 1-2 drops of thyme oil to a carrier oil to apply directly to a cut or to drop onto a sterile bandage. This will help prevent infection and aid in healing time.
2. Oral Care
Before the advent of modern dentistry, people relied on natural treatments to keep their teeth and mouth healthy. Essential oils have even been used to prevent infections after a tooth is removed. Thyme is used in many oral care products such as mouthwashes and kinds of toothpaste due to its proven ability to prevent infections and impede the growth of fungus like yeast and prevent conditions like oral thrush. It also has painkilling properties that can help manage overall oral or facial pain that originates in the mouth or jaw. (2)
Add thyme oil to warm water and swish daily to prevent the growth of bacteria on your teeth. Remember to spit out the mixture rather than swallow.
Parasites are organisms that live inside another organism, often causing a decline in health by using needed nutrients or spreading infectious diseases. Thousands of people and animals around the world are affected by parasitic infections like malaria and hookworm. Thyme essential oil has been proven to impede the growth of the parasite, which causes malaria (4) as well as the hookworm in cattle that causes a high mortality rate. (3) This is especially important in countries without access to most modern medicines and prevents the spread of infected meat.
4. Ease Respiratory Distress
There are many different types of respiratory conditions, from bacterial infections such as pneumonia to chronic ailments like asthma and even cough caused by the common cold. These conditions are accompanied by bouts of coughing, sneezing, and overproduction of mucus that can make it hard to breathe. Thyme essential oil is a proven antispasmodic, which means that it can soothe coughing and even loosen phlegm to produce more productive coughs. Being antimicrobial, it may even help prescription medicines clear infections faster, allowing you to heal sooner. (5)
Diffuse thyme oil throughout the house while you have a cough to help it enter your lungs and ease the symptoms of respiratory distress. It may also kill any molds or bacteria in the air, preventing further complications.
5. Protect Brain Function
As we age, our brain function begins to be affected, resulting in poor memory or even behavioral changes. This has led to an increase of diagnoses of dementia or other diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Though there is no one single cause for these conditions, there is research on how to prevent them from occurring. Thyme oil has been part of this research and has been shown to prevent the decline of important hormones and chemicals in the brain that are required for healthy functioning. This is likely due to a high concentration of antioxidant chemicals that prevent cell damage from free oxygen radicals in the environment. This helps cells repair themselves as well as preventing further damage. (6)
Diffuse thyme throughout the house allow your body to absorb the antioxidant benefits.
6. Treat Vaginal Infections
Every woman suffers from a vaginal infection at least once in her lifetime. Unfortunately, it may be several times, which means several courses of different types of medicine to try and control either bacteria or fungi like candida. This can lead to the development of resistant types, especially if you suffer from chronic conditions. Research shows that a combination of garlic and thyme essential oil is just as effective as a commonly used over the counter treatment for yeast infections. This may mean relief without medication and even prevention of further infections. (7)
Apply a mix of thyme oil and a carrier oil to your abdomen to help with the regulation of hormones and impede the growth of yeast in the body.
My Favorite Use Of Thyme Essential Oil
The ability to have children comes with its own issues, such as a monthly menstrual cycle, PMS, and hormonal changes that are oftentimes unpredictable. Before having children, I was also taking birth control, which really didn’t improve that hormone situation at all. My body began to stage a painful revolt that I wasn’t quite sure how to handle.
It began with itching that just got worse as time went on. This was followed by the common symptoms of vaginosis and, at the time, I felt my doctor was my only recourse for such a problem. I didn’t have nearly the level of information about women’s health that I now have with years of experience.
I was a regular at my doctor’s office for about two years as I traded off yeast infections, urinary infections, and bacterial vaginosis. It was a terribly painful cycle. I used antibiotics to get rid of the vaginosis, which in turn cause an overgrowth of candida. I used tons of creams to get rid of the yeast infection only to have to go back to the doctor the next month with another bout of vaginosis. I had a standing appointment the last week of every month.
Diagnose. Treat. Repeat.
I began researching natural supplements since, obviously, my doctor’s method of medicating wasn’t entirely effective. I found a mix of garlic, tea tree oil, and thyme essential oil had been shown to prevent and treat conditions like yeast infections and vaginosis. I began using it just as my cycle began and was able to decrease the severity of the infection each month until it was gone. Along with a change in medication, I finally found relief from the constant cycle of pain and itching, naturally.
Recommended Thyme Based Products
1. Starwest Botanicals Organic Thyme Leaf Cut
- Latin/Botanical Name - Thymus vulgaris
- Certified Organic by QAI - In accordance with the USDA National...
- Kosher Certified
Using the cut and dried herb still allows you to enjoy the benefits found with thyme essential oil, at a much-lowered concentration. You could make your own daily tea by steeping the dried leaves in hot water. Loose leaf thyme may also be enjoyed in a warm bath in combination with other herbs or essential oils. This may be particularly helpful if you are treating skin for bacterial infections such as acne vulgaris.
2. LATHER Mint and Thyme Hair Wash
- SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOO: Scented with thyme and peppermint essential...
- NATURAL HAIR PRODUCTS: LATHER shampoo and conditioner are crafted...
- LATHER IS AROMATHERAPY: Committed to sharing unique botanical...
As with many natural products, this shampoo is made from fewer chemicals and includes a number of essential oils, including rosemary and thyme, that have been shown to be particularly good for hair and scalp healthy. Thyme may treat the causes of thinning hair such as scalp infections and stimulate blood flow to non-functioning follicles. This shampoo may not only clean your hair but help it remain thick and healthy.
Caution of Thyme Essential Oil
- Always choose quality thyme essential oil from reputable suppliers.
- If you are allergic to oregano or other plants of the Lamiaceae family, do not use thyme essential oil.
- Thyme may affect blood clotting. Do not use if you are already taking prescribed blood thinners.
- Stop using thyme before surgery to prevent any possible effects on blood pressure or ability to form clots.
- Thyme may act in a way similar to estrogen. Do not use if you have a condition such as reproductive cancers or fibroids.
- Thyme may cause burns or rash if applied directly to the skin. Always dilute with water or a carrier oil before applying to the body.
I hope you enjoyed learning about the different benefits of thyme essential oil. Please be sure to share with anyone who may be looking for natural alternatives for infections like candida as well as preventing any future health issues. Thyme can be a powerful addition to your essential oil collection.