Another member of the labiatae, or mint, family, thyme is an herb native to the Mediterranean basin and comes in many varieties. There is only one plant, thymus vulgaris, but the composition of the oil distilled from the plant shows variations in chemical components based on the location or region the plant grows in, despite being botanically identical.
The microbial power of thyme is so powerful that some oils are safe to use in all situations, and some are not.
Thymus vularis ct. linalol is the best oil for beginners to use and it is the safest to use on the skin, in baths, and on children and the elderly. Other chemotypes (ct) such as thymus vulgaris ct. thujanol, thymus vulgaris ct. thymol, and thymus vulgaris c.t carvacrol should be left to qualified aromatherapists. Thyme is one of the most used and most useful oils in aromatherapy, but always use thyme oil with care, in moderation.
Thyme has remarkable antiviral, bactericidal, fungicidal, antibiotic, diuretic, antispasmodic, expectorant, and antiseptic properties that make it wonderful to have around during cold and flu season. In addition to killing microbes, thyme helps the body to eliminate toxins and boosts the immune system by supporting the formation of white blood cells, increasing resistance to invading organisms. Its familiar, warm, herbaceous aroma is powerful and penetrating, and the origin of its name, which comes from the Greek word ‘thymos’ meaning ‘to perfume.’
Other traditional uses of thyme include the treatment of respiratory infections. An excellent pulmonary disinfectant, thyme is useful against flus, colds, sore throats, asthma, catarrh, coughs, laryngitis, whooping cough, and bronchitis. Inhale for nose, throat, and chest infections; for mouth and gum infections (such as thrush, gingivitis), use in toothpaste or mouthwash/gargle.
As little as a .1 percent solution is effective. After a study in Germany, many researchers believe the effectiveness of cough medicines is due to the exhalation (after swallowing) of the local action of the essential oil on the respiratory tract.
Extensive research has shown the effectiveness of essential oils, including thyme, as expectorants and to increase mucus secretions to relieve dry coughs. Inhalation in small amounts worked best; too strong has the opposite effect. Inhaled treatments are especially effective when treating chronic infections that linger in the sinuses. (Click to Article)