Latin name: Thymus vulgaris ct thymol
Synonyms: Red thyme, Common thyme
Plant family: Lamiaceae
Extraction: Distillation of the flowering tops, fresh or dried
Origin: Spain and the Mediterranean , cultivated in Spain and France
Plant characteristics: A perennial evergreen herb, about 40cms high with a woody root. It has small, oval leaves, from which the aromatic essential oil is obtained and pale purple or white flowers.
Oil characteristics: A brownish-yellow liquid with a sharp, green, herbaceous aroma, with antiseptic undertones.
Traditional use: One of the earliest medicinal plants in Western herbal medicine. Was used for the immune system, respiratory conditions, infectious disease, asthma and depression.
Blends well with: Rosemary, lavender, lemon and marjoram essential oil.
Cautions and comments: To be used with care because of the high phenol content and avoided in pregnancy. Red thyme is very effective against bacterial and viral infections. ‘Red’ thyme is called red because it used to be distilled in copper distillation units. The phenols reacted with the copper and turned the oil red. In reality, the oil is a brownish yellow.
Main chemical constituents: Phenols (60% – 90%).
How to use?
4-5 drops in bath, on tissue or in a vaporiser. 15 drops in 50ml carrier.
WARNING – do not apply undiluted or internally. Keep away from children and eyes. Store in cool, dark place.