Thyme Essential Oil can be derived from several species of Thyme (Thymus spp). Thyme has been used for culinary and medical purposes for thousands of years. Thyme Essential Oil is widely used in Naturopathic medicine as an antibacterial agent. Thyme Essential Oil is commonly used in Naturopathic acne face washes.
Extracts from plants in the genus Thymus have been used for centuries in medicinal preparations to treat and prevent infection. There are over 300 different species of Thyme and they are grown in most places around the world. Most Thyme Essential Oil is prepared from common Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Historically, Thyme extracts were used as topical treatments for wounds and infections, and were also used as natural sanitizers. Thyme may also be prepared as a tea that is purported to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Several research studies have shown that Thyme Essential Oil is toxic to many different kinds of bacteria and fungi. The antibacterial properties of Thyme Essential Oil has may help reduce the growth of the Propionibacterium acnes bacterium, which is a causative agent of acne symptoms. Thyme Essential Oil is commonly used in topical Naturopathic treatments for skin infections, including acne. Many people have reported that topical Thyme Essential Oil preparations helped to improve their acne symptoms.
Laboratory tests have shown that Thyme Essential Oil is one of the most effective essential oils at inhibiting bacterial growth. However, there is limited evidence that Thyme Essential Oil is an effective treatment for acne. In pure form, Thyme Essential Oil is a potent irritant of the skin and mucosal tissue. Thyme Essential Oil must be diluted below 5% prior to topical use. Thyme Essential Oil can be blended into an alcohol or carrier oil base to make customized solutions. Small amounts of Thyme Essential Oil may also be added to hot water and applied as a warm compress.
The composition of Thyme Essential Oil varies greatly depending on the species of Thymus and the environmental conditions where it was grown. The most abundant compound in Thyme Essential Oil is usually Thymol, which can account for up to 50% of the total volume. However, some samples of Thyme Essential Oil may have high levels of other compounds, such as Camphor and Caravacol. In addition, Thyme Essential Oil usually contains a large number of additional compounds in trace amounts. Many of these compounds are also found in other aromatic essential oils that have antibacterial properties, such as Tea Tree and Clove Essential Oil.
The primary active component of Thyme Essential Oil is Thymol. Thymol is a volatile compound that is easily vaporized when it is heated or added to hot water. The vapors produced by adding thyme oil to hot water are sometimes used as a homeopathic treatment for various respiratory infections. Thymol is one of the primary active ingredients in the popular mouthwash Listerine.