Thyme Essential Oil (Thymus vulgaris)


Thyme may also be referred to as Thyme white, thymus zygis, thymus vulgaris geranioliferum, thyme ct geraniol, thyme ct linalol, Thymus vulgaris ct linalol. It is typically processed using steam or hydro distillation as a method for extracting oil from the leaves and flowers/buds.


Thyme oil comes from the flowers and leaves of the Thymus vulgaris plant. It has a sweet herbal scent.

Historically, fresh and dried Thyme as well as the essential oil have been used to help ward off bacteria and viruses. Of the most commonly available Thyme Essential Oils, Thyme ct linalool tends to be amongst the most gentle and safe while Thyme ct thymol contains more thymol and can be a more potent antibacterial/antiviral oil.

Constituent and safety information varies depending on the specific chemotype of Thyme Oil used.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Cool Fresh Herbaceous Lemony Medicinal Slightly citrus Slightly floral Soft

  • Common Name(s): Thyme white, thymus zygis, thymus vulgaris geranioliferum, thyme ct geraniol, thyme ct linalol, Thymus vulgaris ct linalol
  • Synonyms(s) for Thymus vulgaris: Origanum thymus

  • Botanical Family: Lamiaceae
  • Botanical Genus: Thymus
  • Chemical Family: Esters, Monoterpenes, Monoterpenols
  • Major Compounds: Thymol, p-Cymene, Carvacrol, Gamma-Terpinene, B-Caryophyllene, Linalool, a-Pinene, a-Terpinene
  • Perfumery Note: Middle
  • Consistency: Medium and Slightly Oily
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium - Strong
  • Color: Pale Yellow (May Vary, Depending on Specific Botanical, Chemotype and Distillation)
  • Cultivation: Distiller is Certified Organic
  • Processing Methods: Steam or Hydro Distillation
  • Part Typically Used: Leaves and Flowers/Buds
  • Shelf Life: 4 -5 years
  • Conservation Status:  [LC] Least Concern
    IUCN Red List category abbreviations (version 3.1, 2001)
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced Ethically and sustainably sourced
  • Organic Organic
  • Vegan Vegan

Essential Details

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Thyme:

Don't use if you have hypertension (high blood pressure).

Safety Precautions for Thyme:

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Traditional Folklore

Traditional Folklore of Thyme:

The name thyme originates from the Greek word “thymon” meaning to fumigate. It is also thought to be derived from another Greek work “thumus” meaning courage. The thyme plant was associated with bravery.  Roman soldiers bathed in a bath infused with the herb before going into battle.  And for the knights of the Crusades, thyme was sewn into their scarves.   This is what Nicholas Culpeper wrote about  “It is a noble strengthener of the lungs, as notable a one as grows; neither is there scarce a better remedy growing for that disease in children which they commonly call the chin-cough, than it is. It purges the body of phlegm, and is an excellent remedy for shortness of breath. It kills worms in the belly, and being a notable herb of Venus, provokes the terms, gives safe and speedy delivery to women in travail, and brings away the after birth. It is so harmless you need not fear the use of it. An ointment made of it takes away hot swellings and warts, helps the sciatica and dullness of sight, and takes away pains and hardness of the spleen. Tis excellent for those that are troubled with the gout. It eases pains in the loins and hips. The herb taken any way inwardly, comforts the stomach much, and expels wind.”


Thyme Articles or Publications: