Common Name: Thyme
Scientific Name: Thymus vulgaris
Family: Lamiaceae or Labiatae
Origin: Iran, Mediterranean regions and southern Europe
Synonyms: T. aestivus, t. ilerdensis, t. webbianus, t. valentianus, french thyme, garden thyme, Red thyme
Essential Oil Properties and Characteristics
Red thyme oil is a brownish-red, orange-red coloured liquid with an intense warm herbaceous odour that is somewhat spicy and distinctly aromatic.
Blends well with: Bergamot, Lemon, Rosemary, Lavender and Marjoram.
Origin and History
There are more than 300 different varieties of thyme. The most common species is T. vulgaris, known as garden Thyme.
Thymus is a perennial low aromatic shrub with much-branched woody stems forming dense tufts from which arise tiny, paired opposite leaves on short stalks, each with two minute leaflets at the base. The leaves are 6-8mm long, the underside covered with fine hairs. The flowers are arranged in whorls in the axils of the upper leaves, and are of a typical labiate appearance, pink to lilac in colour.
The plant is indigenous to Mediterranean regions and southern Europe, but is widely cultivated throughout the world, where it thrives in temperate climates, particularly on waste ground
The Romans used thyme to impart an aromatic flavour to cheese and liqueurs. In ancient Athens thyme honey was prized. The herb was mentioned in the Capitularies of Charlemagne, where detailed instructions regarding the plants to be grown in monastery gardens.
Thymol is a popular ingredient of mouthwashes and toothpastes and is one of the components of several herbal liniments used for muscular and severe joint ailments. It can also be used to kill mosquito larvae.
Method of Extraction
The flowering branches are collected between June and August and the leaves stripped off. Essential oil is extracted by steam or water distillation from the fresh or partially dried leaves and flowering tops.
Complex mixture of natural organic aromatic materials including; mono-terpenes, linalol, thymol & carvacrol.
Precautions During Use (Contraindications)
Thymus and thyme oil should be avoided during pregnancy because the herb is a uterine stimulant. As thyme oil can irritate the mucous membranes, it should always be well diluted. Can irritate mucous membranes, cause dermal irritation and may cause sensitisation in some individuals.
The therapeutic properties of Thyme essential oil include: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, reviving, fortifying and emotionally uplifting.