Thyme is widely used herb in Mediterranean cuisine that belongs to the family Lamiaceae, and it is found in many varieties. Its name comes from the Greek “thumon” which means “perfume”, which reveals its powerful aroma.
This plant produces powerful thyme essential oils which reveal potent antibacterial properties. It is a fact that there is only one thyme plant, thymus vulgaris, but in the case of the distilled essential oil there is no universal composition of it as according to the location where this plant is grown there is a difference in the content of the chemical components.
Not all thyme essential oils are safe for use and the one that is considered the safest is for sure the thinalol thyme essential oil. It can be used for your children and for the elderly, hence safely apply it on the skin and in baths. There are several chemical variants of essential oil of thyme like thymus vulgaris thujanol, thymus vulgaris thymol and thymus vulgaris carvacrol, which should be used solely by qualified aroma therapists.
Health Benefits of Thyme
Thyme is a powerful plant health wise due to the content of anti-viral, bactericidal, fungicidal, antibiotic, diuretic, antispasmodic, expectorant and antiseptic features. These properties are highly beneficial in the fight against cold and flu.
Thanks to its powerful aroma and acting as a pulmonary disinfectant it is widely used in the treatment of respiratory issues. Plus, it is great remedy for asthma, sore throat, cough, flu, colds, laryngitis, and bronchitis.
Thyme leaves in combination with ivy can be very helpful in coughs and other symptoms of acute bronchitis. This was confirmed by researchers in Munich, Germany, who conducted a study on this issue.
At the Society for General Microbiology’s spring conference in Edinburgh, Scotland; it was presented that essential oils can be as powerful as the pharmaceutical antibiotics in the fight against resistant bacteria. For instance, thyme and cinnamon essential oils are powerful and effective antibacterial agents against strains of Staphylococcus species which can easily cause infection in people with low immunity.
According to an Indian study released in International Journal of Drug Development and Research in 2014, the use of thyme essential oil can be very effective against Streptococcus bacteria.
Health Issues That Thyme can Treat
- Flu or influenza
As per performed study at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in the United States, the use of thyme, hyssop and ginger essential oils can successfully suppress the influenza virus.
Thyme linalol, from France, is considered the safest and most effective thyme against influenza.
A Polish study demonstrated that tea tree and thyme essential oils have the ability to change the morphology and metabolism of yeast enzymes. As a result of that these essential oils can influence the pathogenicity of Candida albicans. This means that the Candida cannot fight these oils.
- Common skin issues
According to a performed study by the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, lesions that are similar to eczema can be successfully treated by a cream based on 10% chamomile extract and 3% of thyme essential oil. The researchers of this study reported 66.5% efficacy of complete healing in people who used this antifungal cream. People who were treated with placebo or cream with chamomile extract showed only 28.5% efficacy.
The use of thyme essential oil and also several other plant essential oils can be very beneficial in the treatment of herpes simplex virus type 2 due to their antiviral effect as per a 2007 study by the German University of Heidelberg. The researchers of this study found out that thyme essential oil was substantially effective in deactivating the virus that causes herpes. Thyme oil shows powerful antiviral activity before the entry of the virus into the cells.
Prior using any of the essential oils, make sure to dilute them. Have in mind that even diluted thyme essential oil can cause allergic reactions. It may cause dermatitis or inflammation of the skin.
People who are already allergic to rosemary or mint oils should not use thyme or its essential oils.
Prior use of any natural alternative, make sure to seek for an advice from your doctor, especially if you are on a drug treatment.