Thyme essential oil is an oil that can be extracted from thyme leaves. The oil is generally withdrawn by a process of distillation or by simply squeezing it from the leaves. It is used in aromatherapy and herbal medicine, and it is an active ingredient in most mouthwashes and toothpastes. Though it may help a variety of common illnesses, the most frequent use of thyme essential oil is in its capacity as an anti-bacterial agent.
The primary compound in thyme is called thymol. Many experts consider it to be a very effective antiseptic. It's often used in hospitals as a disinfectant. In addition to cleansing the area of bacterial germs, it can also do a good job of ridding an area of unpleasant odors.
Thyme oil can sometimes work as an expectorant. To help breathing problems associated with colds and respiratory infections, it can be used in a vaporizer or steam bath. It helps thin and expel mucus so that breathing is easier and coughs are more productive.
When using thyme essential oil, it is generally important for individuals to mix it with other oils. The mixing can be accomplished with only a small portion of the other oil ingredient. In order to distribute it evenly, it needs another oil to act as a carrier. Just about any other type of topical oil will do, but most herbal practitioners recommend safflower, lavender, or palm oil. The generally accepted amount of thyme oil is around six drops of thyme combined with an ounce (28 grams) of the base oil.
Thyme essential is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, and early Romans and Greeks used it for many different types of treatments. In addition to using it to treat cuts and wounds, thyme essential oil was also used for stomach upsets, insomnia, and skin disorders. It was believed that thyme could stop the recurrence of bad dreams and even cure shyness. It was also burned as a way to repel dangerous insects and animals.
Using thyme essential oil can be dangerous for some people. It can potentially raise a person's blood pressure above normal, and when it is undiluted, it can cause very serious skin inflammation. It is not generally recommended for pregnant women or children under the age of 24 months. A relatively small number of people may have an allergic reaction to thyme essential oil, but the reactive symptoms are generally not severe.