Thyme essential oil uses and benefits
Thyme essential oil is produced by steam distillation of the leaves of the thyme plant. The oil can be used in cooking, aromatherapy and potpourri; it is often added to mouthwashes and it is used as an ingredient in ointments. Thyme oil has many therapeutic properties including antispasmodic, antibacterial and expectorant, as well as its ability to have a calming effect on the mind, but it also has some potential side effects too. Here are just some of the uses and benefits of this potent essential oil, along with some of the side effects that can be associated with the use of thyme essential oil.
1. Cold remedy
Thyme essential oil acts as a natural decongestant and it will loosen mucus and ease congestion when you have a cold. It is also said to have the ability to strengthen the immune system, so it will help you fight cold and flu viruses too. To help ease the symptom of a cold, add a few drops of thyme essential oil to a bowl of steaming hot water and inhale the vapour.
2. Skin care
Thyme essential oil has very strong antibacterial properties, so it can be useful to use as a treatment for skin infections, such as acne, but it should always be mixed with a carrier oil or a lotion. The oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. It will reduce redness and swelling caused by acne as well.
Thyme essential oil is also a very effective insect repellent and insecticide. You can apply it diluted on your skin to keep away mosquitoes and other biting insects and it is also used to protect clothes and grain from insects, like moths and beetles.
Studies have suggested that thyme essential oil might be a way to fight resistant bacteria, such as MRSA. Use it diluted in water to wipe down food preparation surfaces, for example, and it will kill most bacteria and germs as effectively, as a commercial disinfectant. A study presented at the Society for General Microbiology in Edinburgh, suggested that essential oils could be an affordable alternative to other forms of antibiotics.
Used in aromatherapy, thyme essential oil has a calming effect on the mind and it is said to sharpen the mind and improve memory too. It is also used to treat anxiety and depression, but it should never be used as a replacement for prescribed medication. Many people also report that a few drops of thyme oil in a diffuser is a great hangover cure too!
6. Promotes the growth of new healthy hair
You can also use thyme essential oil in your hair. You can add a few drops to your shampoo or to a carrier oil for use in a hot oil treatment, and it will increase the blood circulation to the hair follicles, which encourages the growth of new, healthy hair. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of the oil will help to clear up dandruff.
7. Increases blood pressure
Inhaling the scent of thyme oil increases the circulation, so it can be of use to people who have low blood pressure, which can cause fainting. This property of thyme oil also makes it dangerous for people who suffer from hypertension, though, as it will increase their blood pressure even further.
8. Eases muscle cramps and pain
Thyme essential oil is both an antispasmodic and a pain killer, so massaged into cramped or aching muscles, it will ease the cramping and reduce the pain. It is also said to be very useful for people suffering with arthritis.
If you have never used thyme essential oil before, you should always try a small amount, diluted, on a small area of the skin first. It can cause skin irritation to people with sensitive skin and it can cause an allergic reaction in some people. So be careful and test before use. Thyme essential oil is also not recommended for use on children.
Another side effect of thyme essential oil is that it can stimulate the menstrual flow and so it is not advisable for pregnant women to come into contact with thyme essential oil or to use it as an aromatherapy treatment.
Do you know other thyme essential oil uses and benefits?
Stay happy and healthy!