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Thyme for Spring: This Delicate Herb Packs a Punch Fighting Germs and Infection

Thyme sprigs, fruits, and vegetables.

I've been using quite a bit of thyme (Thymus vulgaris) lately and wanted to highlight what a wonderful essential oil it is. Thyme is a herb you've most likely seen in the grocery store or in herb gardens. Its wonderful in cooking and has medicinal properties that make it useful in fighting colds, coughs, and sore throats. Its delicate flowers and leaves are distilled to produce the essential oil which has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.

Thyme comes in quite a few chemotypes including phenol rich thyme ct. thymol which is a germ fighting powerhouse, thyme ct. linalool which is a gentler version that contains a significant amount of linalool and terpinin-4-ol, the same aromatic compounds found in lavender and tea tree respectively and benchmark thyme (Thymus zygis Loefl L.) which combines the therapeutic properties of several thyme species -- it contains good amounts of phenols, monoterpenes, and monoterpenols and is quite useful in fighting infections and has been shown to be effective against MRSA. (1) Thyme is also helpful in reducing muscles spasms and soothing soreness.

When using thyme you do need to be cognizant that some chemotypes can be irritating to the skin and mucus membranes while others are gentler and therefore safer for the skin. Thyme ct. thymol is quite strong and suggested use is 1% along with skin nourishing oils (so 5-6 drops thyme ct. thymol per ounce and include oils such as lavender or frankincense for example). Benchmark thyme however has no known safety concerns and thyme ct. linalool is also very gentle and both can be used safely on the skin and thus are excellent choices for fighting topical infection without irritation.

How to use:

I like adding thyme ct. linalool to hair care products and lotions. It can provide an immune system boost and can offer support for achy muscles or irritated skin without being as aggressive as thyme ct. thymol. Benchmark thyme is excellent in sprays for infection and I use thyme ct. thymol in low amounts when fighting colds and flu.

Here are a few ideas:

Thyme- Citrus Hair Conditioner:

8 oz unscented conditioner base

8-10 drops thyme ct. linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool)

24-28 drops orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis)

16-18 drops grapefruit essential oil (Citrus paradisi)

Add oils to conditioner and mix well. This combination will smell great and assist in boosting immune system, and the aromatic compounds will soothe and calm the scalp.

Spray for Infections, Cuts, and Scrapes

Using essential oil containing sprays to clean cuts and scrapes can go a long way towards fighting germs. Adding Benchmark thyme spray to a MRSA care can complement and assist the effects of antibiotics and other germ fighters.

1 oz of aloe vera gel or a 50:50 combination of distilled water and aloe

5 drops benchmark thyme essential oil

5 drops thyme ct. thymol essential oil

5 drops manuka essential oil

5 drops lavender essential oil

5 drops orange essential oil

solubol or other dispursent (optional)

Combine essential oils and aloe vera gel (or aloe:water mixture and solubol if using). Spray as needed on cuts, scrapes or infected areas several times per day.

So yes this delicate little herb packs quite a punch and is useful in skin and hair care, for sore muscles, fighting germs, cleaning, and clearing the air.

If you have questions about thyme, essential oils, or aromatherapy contact Tricia or schedule an appointment. If you'd like to make you own thyme essential oil containing products visit the webstore for handcrafted bases.

Aromatic blessing!


1. Tisserand, M. Aromatherapy versus MRSA

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