Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What Thyme Is It?


Thyme essential oil is one of my favorites! Some of the properties of Thymus vulgaris include antibacterial, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, carminative, expectorant, tonic and may help with infections, oily skin, colds, coughs, and assisting in wound healing.  As you can see, this is a pretty potent essential oil.  I like to use it during the winter time for all sorts of things.  I will diffuse it in the air when we are sick and coughing.  I add it in to my natural cleaner to give it a potent power boost.  I even use it in some skin care formulations to help assist with relief from acne and blemishes.

You can find Thyme essential oil at most health food stores for a reasonable price.  Did you know that some Thymus vulgaris essential oils are safer than others, depending on what you will use them for and on whom you will use them on?  Let me introduce you to the term "Chemotype".  Depending on where the plant is grown and what type of conditions it is grown in, a variation in the plant's chemical composition of the secondary metabolites occurs.  This phenomenon occurs with Rosemary, Basil, Lavandin, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Spike Lavender and Myrtle.    

Thyme essential oil can commonly have the following chemotypes: ct. thymol, ct. geraniol, ct. thujanol, ct. carvacrol and ct. linalool.  The "ct." stands for chemotype.

Most health food stores will either carry what they call "White Thyme" or "Red Thyme".

Both White and Red Thyme essential oils have a high amount of phenols which are a major skin sensitizer and can often create a chemical burn or a horrible rash for a lot of people, especially the young and the elderly.  Pregnant women and those with high blood pressure should leave this chemotype alone, unless they are working with a qualified health professional.  Neither Red Thyme nor White Thyme is the best choice for skin care formulas.  I do use Thymus vulgaris ct. thymol (Phenols containing) when I need to  sanitize surfaces of my house during cold and flu season.  There are even some commercial companies that use thymol as the main ingredient in their natural disinfecting wipes.  It makes me wonder how many people have developed dermal sensitivity after using these without gloves.  If used on the skin for blemishes, it needs to be diluted to 1% or less.

Thyme Essential Oil with the chemotype Thymol
The particular chemotype of Thyme that I like to use most often is ct. Linalool.  This particular chemotype is safer than the other ones when using it on the skin, with children and the elderly.  It is still a very potent antimicrobial but is a lot more safe when diluted and used topically or via inhalation.  I use it in a dilution of 1% up to 2.5% in many skin care applications.  It is great for assisting in acne remedies such as toners, creams and lotions.  I like to include it in my healing salve formulas.  I also tend to diffuse it when my kids have a cough or other lung related problem.

A great place to get Thyme Linalool is from Snowlotus.org.  Peter Holmes, L.Ac., M.H is a medical herbalist and clinical aromatherapist who has his own line of essential oils.  I trust his essential oils 100% as he works closely with the artisan distillers to find the highest quality oils available.  You will pay a little bit more for his oils (versus what you would find at your average health food chain store), but when a therapeutic response is what you desire from an essential oil, then professional oils like Snow Lotus, Jimm Harrison, Simplers and Mountain Rose Herbs are good choices.

I strongly suggest that you check out some aromatherapy books at your local library about the safety of essential oils.  There is so much chemistry and science behind them that it is very important to have at least a basic understanding of what they are, how they work and how to safely use them.

Cheers!

Shannon

 Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c
This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs,  Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!