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Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme Essential Oil

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.

Thyme Sprigs

Some companies offer a "benchmark" Thyme Essential Oil that combines several thyme chemotypes. Benchmark Thyme Essential Oil is gaining attention for its potential in combating MRSA.

Thyme Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

Within Aromatherapy vs MRSA, Maggie Tisserand identifies and discusses Thyme as one of the three key essential oils that have the potential to combat MRSA.

  • Arthritis
  • Colds
  • Cuts
  • Dermatitis
  • Flu
  • Insect Bites
  • Laryngitis
  • Lice
  • Muscle Aches
  • Oily Skin
  • Poor Circulation
  • Scabies
  • Sore Throat

Source: Julia Lawless, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Updated Edition) (London: Harper Thorsons, 2014), 191-192.

Botanical Name

Thymus vulgaris/ Thymus zygis

Plant Family


Common Method of Extraction

Steam Distilled

Plant Part Typically Used

Leaves and Flowers/Buds


Bottle Depicting the Typical Color of Thyme Essential Oil

Pale Yellow
(May Vary, Depending on Specific Botanical, Chemotype and Distillation)


Medium and Slightly Oily

Perfumery Note


Strength of Initial Aroma

Medium - Strong

Aromatic Description

Thyme Essential Oil smells fresh, herbaceous and slightly medicinal.

Sustainability and Conservation Status

Least Concern
Source: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/203348/2764289

To learn more about the conservation status of essential oil bearing plants and how to use the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, please refer to AromaWeb's Guide to Essential Oils and Sustainability.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris, ct thymol) Major Constituents

  • Thymol
  • p-Cymene
  • Carvacrol
  • Gamma-Terpinene
  • B-Caryophyllene
  • Linalool
  • a-Pinene
  • a-Terpinene

See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of typical constituents.

Source: B.M. Lawrence, Progress in Essential Oils. (Perfumer & Flavorist 20 no. 3, 1995), 67. B.M. Lawrence, Progress in Essential Oils. (Perfumer & Flavorist 23 no. 1, 1998), 42-46. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 452-453.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris, ct thymol) Safety Information

Tisserand and Young indicate that there is moderate risk for mucous membrane irritation, it may inhibit blood clotting and pose a drug interaction hazard. There is a low risk of skin sensitization, and Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of 1.3%. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 452-454.]

This essential oil poses a higher risk of causing irritation and sensitization when used in the bath. Avoid using it in the bath, even if it is solubilized/diluted.

Thyme (Thymus zygis, ct linalool) Major Constituents

  • Linalool
  • Linalyl Acetate
  • a-Terpineol+borneol
  • Thumo
  • p-Cymene
  • B-Caryophyllene
  • Camphene
  • Carvacrol
  • B-Mycrene

Source: B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1981-1987 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1989), 106. A. Velasco-Neguerela, M.J. Perez-Alonso. Nuevos Datos Sobre la Composicion Quimica de Aceites Essenciales Procedentes de Tomillos Ibericos. (Botanica Complutensis 16, 1990), 91-97. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 451.

Thyme (Thymus zygis, ct linalool) Safety Information

Tisserand and Young do not indicate any special precautions when using Thyme ct linalool. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 451.]

Refer to the second edition of Essential Oil Safety for coverage of other Thyme Oil chemotypes.

General Safety Information

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. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. 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. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Shelf Life

View Shelf Life Information

Important Information About the Profiles

The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for basic educational purposes only. The references to safety information, test results, constituents and percentages is generalized information. Essential oils can vary greatly in composition. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil composition and color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several CO2 Extracts and absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.

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