Thyme, scientific name Thymus vulgaris, is a plant known and appreciated for centuries for its properties. For the ancient Greeks the scent of thyme was considered the breath of Zeus and thyme was revered as a sacred plant. Today we can buy the essence of thyme contained in small bottles and obtained by steam distillation of the herb. From thyme, however, two types of essential oils can be obtained, the essential oil of red thyme, very powerful, and the essential oil of white thyme, obtained from a second distillation process, with a more delicate action but also the essence commonly found on the market. Today we are talking about the properties and uses of white thyme essential oil.
Essential oil of white thyme, properties
The essential oil of white thyme is antibacterial and antiseptic thanks to its active ingredient, thymol, thus proving to be useful in fighting skin diseases such as acne and eczema, infections around the nails known as paronychia, but also oral problems such as gingivitis, caries, canker sores, stomatitis and plaque formation (Shin et al, Biomolecules, 2019). Not only that, white thyme is an antioxidant, antitussive and antispasmodic remedy, useful to treat cough and bronchitis. Finally, the thymus has also been shown to be useful in the case of alopecia areata, a type of alopecia in which hair loss occurs in patches (Basch et al, Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, 2004).
White thyme essential oil, warnings and applications
White thyme essential oil should preferably be used for rinsing and gargling or for topical applications, but should not be ingested. In fact, its oral use may cause nausea but also respiratory problems. Thyme essential oil can cause contact allergies, so before using it on large areas of skin, it is always good to test it on a small portion of the skin by applying a drop of essential oil diluted in jojoba oil or other carrier oil and see if reactions are present. After these warnings, let's see how to use white thyme essential oil. If you want to rinse the mouth, you can add 3-4 drops of thyme essential oil to a glass of water. In case of alopecia areata, it is recommended (Basch et al, Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, 2004) to apply a mixture of jojoba or grape seed oil and 2-3 drops of thyme and cedar wood essential oil on the scalp. In case of acne, irritation, insect bites or eczema you can prepare an antiseptic and soothing serum oil by mixing 50 ml of jojoba oil and 5-6 drops of white thyme essential oil into a glass jar. Apply a drop of this lotion on your damp face in the evening. Alternatively, you can add a drop of white thyme essential oil to a pinch of your face cream and apply to your face, always in the evening. Then, if you have a cough, you can spread a couple of drops of thyme essential oil into the air using an essence burner, or you can pour 1-2 drops of essential oil into a saucepan filled with hot water and breathe in the vapors by covering your head with a towel. Inhaling the scent of thyme is not only healthy and balsamic for the respiratory tract, but it is also beneficial for the mood. Indeed, this essence helps relieve and fight stress, fears and nervousness!