(Thymus Vulgaris)

Description: small, bushy shrub, with strongly-scented, tiny leaves. The flowers are dense and pale pink in color. The plant is very common in Italy and in the Iberic peninsula, but it also grows in France and other areas of the Mediterranean, where the environment is dry and arid.

  • Extraction: the distillation occurs when the plant is blooming. The species Thymus Vulgaris is the variety which contains the highest quantity of oil, if compared to the others.
  • Properties:
    • Antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal 
    • Immunostimulant
    • Increases appetite
    • Diuretic, cleansing 
  • Traditional uses: the word “thyme” comes from ancient Greek thumos, which means breath of life, courage. In ancient times, the soldiers used to bathe in its resin before battles, in order to be braver and more valiant. The Egyptians used it for embalming. The Etruscan and Romans used it for its antiseptic and balsamic properties, and to keep insects away. A legend tells the story of thyme serving as bedding for Virgin Mary during her escape in Egypt when, exhausted, she fell asleep on it. Indeed, thyme is one of the most widely used plants in history. In 1887, Chamberland was the first to demonstrate the antibacterial properties of the thyme essence. The Italian scientist Novi found that thyme can stimulate the production of leucocytes (white blood cells), essentials in the immune response against microorganisms.
    Thyme is indicated for those who are fearful and insecure, as the essential oil provides strength and courage, and activates the intellectual powers. It boosts energy in moments of physical and psychological weakness. It increases focus, stimulates memory and helps overcome fears. It is greatly helpful when mental clarity is required. 
    Thyme has reinvigorating effects when recovering from debilitating and long-lasting conditions. It can act as an antidepressant for hyporeactive subjects who feel inferior or inadequate. The psychological and physical performance during sports competitions can also increase thanks to the use of thyme oil.
    The remarkable antibacterial properties of thyme, make it a natural antibiotic which purifies the airways and can be used to treat sinusitis, bronchitis and ear infections. Still to date, it is a main ingredient in pharmaceutical products like hand detergents, mouthwashes, toothpastes and balsamic creams for respiratory illnesses. It has soothing properties in case of scrapings, and aids skin purification, having also toning and anti-aging effects.
  • Contraindications: the use of rosemary essential oil should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding, on small children and those who suffer from epilepsy or convulsions. 
  • Recommendations:
    • Fluand high temperature
      • Massage the chest and upper back with 3-4 drops of thyme oil, diluted in another oil
    • Focus
      • Vaporize 3 drops in the environment, using an aromatherapy diffuser
    • Ear infections
      • Apply 1-2 drops of pure oil on the outside of the auricle


  • Dr. Beate Rieder, Fred Wollner, Dizionario degli oli essenziali, Daigo Press, (2003).
  • F. Canteri, Guida completa agli oli essenziali, Il punto d’incontro, (2015).
  • Fabio Nocentini, Prontuario di aromaterapia, Daigo Press, (2010).
  • Dott. Leonardo Paoluzzi, Phytos Olea, Morphema Editrice, (2013).