Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) is a popular variety of the evergreen herb from the mint family. They are commonly native to southern Europe and Mediterranean regions. Thyme herb is used in the culinary world as a seasoning in a variety of dishes. It has a beautiful aroma and an intense flavour. Another popular variety is lemon thyme (Thymus Citriodorus)
Thyme essential oil contains 20–54% thymol. Thymol is an antiseptic with anti-fungal characteristics and is commonly used in various commercial products like mouthwashes and some natural hand sanitisers. Thymol helps increase the percentage of healthy fats e.g. omega-3 fatty acid in cells and its antimicrobial properties help kill off bacteria and fungi. In aromatherapy it is used for mood lifting pain relief. Adding thyme essential oil to baths can help relieve stress, joint pains and aches. The other volatile oils in thyme include carvacrol, borneol, and geraniol.
Thyme herb is a rich source of minerals and vitamins essential for promoting wellness and preventing diseases. It is one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. It contains vitamin-A, vitamin-K, vitamin-E, vitamin-C, B-complex and folic acid. Of all the herbs fresh thyme herb has one of the highest antioxidant levels. Its anti-inflammatory property is found to be the most potent. It has been known to reduce cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymes which promote inflammation, swelling, and pain in the body by as much as 75%. It been known to help with throat infections and sores.
Anti fungal antiseptic: The thymol in thyme oil has been shown to be effective against toenail fungus infections and soothe Athlete’s foot as well as skin itching and irritation. According to research report in the International Journal of Dermatology 66.5% of the treated subjects suffering from eczema-like lesions had complete healing when treated with 3% thyme essential oil antifungal cream and 10% chamomile extract cream.
Acne: The NHS news mentions the research carried out by Leeds Metropolitan University which states that thyme tinctures could kill the bacteria that cause acne and prove to be more effective than the chemical benzoyl peroxide used in anti-acne creams. Thyme provides a natural herbal alternative treatment for acne.
Free radical protections: Thyme’s powerful antioxidants can help protect skin from free radical damage causing premature aging.
Anti inflammatory: Thyme contains carvacrol which provides its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities, hence it can sooth and reduce skin irritation. This is good for preventing and relieving razor irritation and burn from freshly shaven skin.
Natural fragrance: The potent aroma of thyme provides a natural warm fragrance and scent for cosmetic products, house fresheners, potpourri: an alternative from chemical fragrances which may cause irritation.