For generations, the leaves and young twigs of the minty Thyme herb (Thymus vulgaris) have found use in cooking, aromatherapy, ointments, and elixirs. However, the plant is also known for its potent essential oil, which has numerous health benefits.
Thyme essential oil has strong antiseptic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and hypertensive properties, all which make it useful in treating a wide variety of illnesses and infections. It’s also one of the strongest natural antioxidants and has been used in medical practices to boost the immune system, promote joint and muscle health, and inspire respiratory wellness.
Thyme essential oil in history
The Thyme plant is a small, bushy, woody, perennial shrub characterized by tiny pale-green leaves and clusters of pink or purple flowers. The leaves and flowers are highly aromatic, emanating a strong, herbaceous, hot and penetrating scent. It is native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy.
According to early records, the use of Thyme dates back to the Middle Ages, when knights and warriors supposedly used it to boost courage before going into battle. Concurrently, the herb was often placed beneath pillows to induce a peaceful sleep and ward off nightmares. It was also believed that laying the plant on coffins during funerals provided safe passage into the next life.
Today, Thyme grows wildly all over the world and is cultivated in many environments, climates, and soils. Thyme essential oil is obtained from unwilted thyme leaves and flowers through steam distillation. Freshly extracted oil typically has a pale-yellow color and a captivating, medicinal aroma.
Thyme oil uses
Over the years, extensive study has been done on Thyme to establish its high value in promoting physical, mental, and emotional health.
Below are some of the benefits that come with using Thyme essential oil.
Respiratory issues ranging from the common cold to chronic bronchitis are caused by a variety of air-borne viruses. Thyme oil’s ability to kill viruses and empower the immune system makes it the perfect natural remedy for respiratory problems.
Moreover, because of Thyme’s minty characteristics, the essential oil is an efficient expectorant. Adding a few drops into hot water and using the solution for steam inhalation works fast to clear blocked airways. You can also inhale the aroma of Thyme oil to alleviate nasal congestion.
Inhibits bacterial infections
In addition to Thymol, Thyme essential oil contains other natural antiseptic compounds, including camphene, carvacrol, and caryophyllene. When used on fresh wounds and cuts, Thyme oil stops bacterial growth and prevents infections. Internally, the oil can treat bacterial infections in the digestive and respiratory systems, reducing the risk of health complications.
Because of its antibacterial properties, the use of Thyme oil in mouthwashes and toothpaste kills germs in the mouth and prevents tooth decay, plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath. Since Thyme oil contains thymol, it is used as a dental varnish that protects the teeth from decay.
Increasing blood circulation
Because of its stimulating effect, thyme essential oil can increase the heart rate of people with hypotension. Smooth movement of blood relaxes the arteries and veins, reducing stress on the heart. It also minimizes the risk of blocked circulation, which could lead to conditions like arthritis and stroke.
As a tonic, thyme also helps to keep the circulatory system and cardiac muscles in peak condition for the seamless flow of blood.
Thyme essential oil has been linked to the increased production of important hormones in the body.
For instance, recent studies show that thyme is among essential oils with the highest estradiol and progesterone binding. Low levels of these hormones have been associated with infertility, depression, and other hormonal disorders. Furthermore, progesterone is known to inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells.
Using Thyme oil is, therefore, an excellent way to get your hormones balanced naturally, as opposed to synthetic treatments like prescription drugs and hormone replacement therapy. By stimulating hormones, thyme oil can also relieve the psychological symptoms that come with menopause and menses, such as mood swings, hot flashes, and insomnia.
Besides, Thyme oil is useful in the treatment of Fibroids, which is normally associated with high levels of estrogen and heavy periods in women. The oil increases progesterone levels in the body, which naturally treats fibroids. Just rub two drops of thyme oil on the abdomen twice daily to treat fibroids.
Promotes healthy skin
When applied topically, the antiseptic and antibacterial benefits of Thyme help to protect the skin from harmful bacteria and fungi, making it a home remedy for acne and other microbial skin infections. Additionally, Thyme helps in healing scars, sores, and spots resulting from accidental injuries, pox, measles, and surgical operations.
Thyme oil can also be used to treat disorders that are not directly related to bacteria on the skin. Eczema, for example, is a common skin condition that causes dry, red and itchy skin that, in severe circumstances, can blister or crack.
The cause of Eczema can be due to poor digestion, toxins, immune deficiency or medicinal side effects. By promoting a healthy digestive system and boosting immunity, thyme is the perfect natural Eczema treatment. It also stimulates the elimination of toxins through sweating and urination; and, consequently, maintains the good health of the skin.
Reduces stress and anxiety
A few drops of Thyme oil in bath water, a diffuser or body lotion can go a long way to maintaining a relaxed body and a peaceful, focused mind. Thyme allows your lungs, blood vessels, and mind to open while keeping your heart rate steady to ensure your body is functioning properly.
By balancing the hormones, thyme can help alleviate the effects of anxiety, such as high blood pressure, panic attacks, and insomnia.
In addition to the applications above, Thyme oil’s carminative and antispasmodic properties make it effective in handling and removing excessive gasses in the stomach and intestines. It also reduces cellulite, prevents hair loss, and serves as a bug repellent.
Women seeking menstrual relief can also benefit from Thyme’s strength as an emmenagogue, which helps to regulate uterine contractions and open obstructed menses.
As a mental stimulant, Thyme oil is known to boost memory, heighten visual senses and increase concentration.
When taken as prescribed medication for short periods or consumed in reasonable food amounts, Thyme is safe for both adults and children. However, unregulated internal use can cause digestive disruptions such as the excessive passing of gas and diarrhea.
Moderated doses of thyme oil are considered safe in the early stages of pregnancy, but later on, it’s advisable to seek expert advice.
Because thyme increases blood circulation, anyone suffering from a bleeding disorder should avoid this essential oil. Thyme, especially when used in large amounts, will slow down blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding out.
Thyme is mostly safe when used topically. However, perform a patch test to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the oil’s chemical ingredients
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.