Thyme Essential Oil Uses — When, How, and Which One?
By Caryn Gehlmann
Many of us are familiar with thyme since it’s a popular herb that grows in our gardens or is a favorite in our spice drawer. Thyme essential oil comes from this same plant and has properties that provide a variety of physical and emotional benefits. If you’re exploring aromatherapy, you may wonder what thyme essential oil uses will fit your needs and which varieties are best?
First, let’s do a short science lesson so you understand a little about the organic components of thyme essential oil. You may have noticed that at e3 we carry two different kinds of thyme. (This is true for several of our essential oils, which is why we always share with you how they’re similar and how they’re different).
So what about thyme essential oils…are they really that different? Can you use them interchangeably?
The answer has to do with their chemotype. The word chemotype indicates visually identical plants that have different, perhaps significantly different, chemical components resulting in different therapeutic properties. Chemotypes occur naturally in plants grown in the wild, with some species having many chemical variations.
Although all thyme essential oil comes from the same genus and species, Thymus vulgaris, they are distinguished from one another by their chemical constituents, having, for example, a larger proportion of certain compounds such as geraniol or thujanol.
e3 carries two of our favorite varieties of thyme — Thyme, ct. thymol and Thyme, ct. Linalol.
Now you understand when you see ct. it stands for chemotype! Let’s explore the similarities and differences and how you can use them in your health and wellness routine.
How are Thyme, ct. thymol and Thyme, ct. linalol similar?
- They both have herbaceous aromas
- They both are highly anti-infectious and good immune stimulants
How are Thyme, ct. thymol and Thyme, ct. linalol different?
Thyme, ct. thymol is known for:
- Sharp, woody-spicy, warm aroma.
- Since it is stronger and more stimulating, care must be taken with its use. Should be avoided during pregnancy, by small children, and those with high blood pressure.
- Strongly antiseptic and aggressive to the skin owing to the presence of the phenol thymol. If using on skin, should be highly diluted to 1-5%.
Thyme, ct. linalol is known for:
- Fresh, spicy, slightly sweet aroma.
- It is gentler and the best choice for use on the skin
- Unlike the aggressive effect of the red thymes (thymol and carvacrol), this variety can be used safely on children, sensitive skin, and mucous surfaces.
Learn more about the properties of each of these chemotypes and the physical, skincare, psychological, and subtle uses for each one on our product pages — Thyme, ct. thymol and Thyme, ct. Linalol. You’ll be amazed at what a long list it is!
Here are 3 of my favorite thyme essential oil uses…
1. Respiratory Issues
If you’re struggling with congestion, a chronic cough, respiratory infections, this chest rub can provide a great deal of relief and help give your immune system a boost.
Thyme Essential Oil Chest Rub
Mix 5-15 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil or fragrance-free, natural lotion, apply to the upper chest and upper back. Either variety can be used, however, as mentioned above, those with sensitive skin, pregnant, small children, or with high blood pressure should opt for the gentler Thyme, ct. Linalol.
2. Skin Issues
Thyme, ct. Linalol can be used to treat minor skin infections (bacterial, viral, fungal), oily skin, blemishes, warts, small wounds, dandruff, scalp tonic. Here’s one application method, but find more on our product page:
Thyme Essential Oil Scalp Oil
Mix 12-24 drops of Thyme, ct. Linalol essential oil in 2 ounces of Fractionated Coconut Oil or Jojoba, or a blend of both. Store in a glass bottle with a cap. Use approximately 1 teaspoon to massage into scalp at night. Shampoo in the morning.
Thyme essential oil is considered to be a middle scent note so it’s a nice addition to balance your fragrance for your own perfume or body oil.
Thyme for Me Aromatherapy Blend
1 Tablespoon (300 drops) of Fractionated Coconut Oil
10 drops of Thyme, ct. thymol OR Thyme, ct. Linalol essential oil
15 drops of Pine essential oil
5 drops of Cinnamon essential oil
1 drop of Jasmine essential oil
Mix together and store in a small, glass bottle with a cap. Apply a drop to pulse points, such as the inner elbows, behind the knees, behind the ears, or on the underside of wrists.
Do you still have questions about thyme essential oil uses? Our clinical aromatherapists are here to help you, please contact e3 with any questions. And if you’d like to learn more about how to create your own blends of essential oils, download our free guide and we’ll walk you through it.