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21 Surprising Ways to Use Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme is an herb that most of us are familiar with. It is used to flavor many different types of foods. Thyme essential oil contains carvacrol, camphene, thymol and a whole host of other constituents which make it an extremely effective, natural medicine.

Thyme oil has antispasmodic, antirheumatic, cardiac, diuretic, expectorant, hypertensive, antiseptic, bechic, carminative, bactericidal, cicatrisant, emenagogue, tonic and vermifuge properties. I could not believe the number of surprising ways that this wonderful oil can be used to improve our health and well-being.

1. Relieve Arthritis

Massage thyme essential oil into sore, achy joints to relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Mix 1 to 2 drops of thyme oil into 1 teaspoon of carrier oil before putting it on your skin. You can use any carrier oil you like. Coconut oil, argan oil, sweet almond oil and jojoba all work well for this. Thyme aromatherapy also helps. The anti-inflammatory properties get absorbed into your system through your sinuses.

2. Treat Gout

Gently massage the thyme EO/carrier oil blend into swollen areas to relieve gout. It will relieve the pain and inflammation, in the same way as it does with arthritis. Its diuretic properties will also help your body get rid of the excess uric acid that accompanies gout. Thyme aromatherapy can be used for gout, too. Just add 2 to 3 drops of thyme oil to your diffuser and run it for 30 to 60 minutes. You can do thyme aromatherapy several times a day, if you like.

*Thyme essential oil is very strong. Do not put it on your skin without first mixing it with a carrier oil.*

3. Lose Excess Water Weight

Practice thyme essential oil aromatherapy to reduce excess water weight or edema. This will help your body get rid of toxins that get stored in the swollen tissues. You can also massage the thyme EO/carrier oil blend into your skin where much of the excess water tends to be held, like the abdomen or legs and ankles.

Important Note: Whatever you choose for an oil, make sure that the oils you purchase are high quality. Remember, you're breathing this oil into your lungs so essential oil quality is a terrible place to cut corners.

4. Prevent Infection

Mix 1 to 2 drops of thyme essential oil into a carrier oil and apply the blend to sores and wounds. Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties will speed healing and prevent infection. You can also blend thyme essential oil with a handful of other ingredients to make your own hand sanitizer. It will help you stay healthy throughout the cold and flu season.

*Put a small amount of thyme EO/carrier oil blend in an inconspicuous area on your skin and wait at least a few hours to make sure you don’t have a reaction to it.*

5. Reduce Blood Pressure

Put 2 to 3 drops of thyme essential oil into your diffuser and run it for 30 to 60 minutes several times a day to help lower your blood pressure. Thyme oil is excellent for blood pressure control.

*Consult with your doctor before using thyme essential oil if you are under a doctor’s care and/or taking medications for high blood pressure.*

6. Improve Heart Health

Practice thyme EO aromatherapy every day to improve heart health. The beneficial properties strengthen and tone the cardiac muscle and just help keep it in tip top condition. You can also massage a 1% thyme EO/carrier oil blend (1 drop to 1 teaspoon) into the chest area.

7. Alleviate Digestive Gases

Use the 1% thyme EO/carrier oil blend to alleviate digestive gases and get your digestive system working properly. Its carminative properties work wonders on the digestive system. Start at the top of the abdomen over your stomach. Gently massage the oil into the skin and gradually work your way down over the whole abdomen. Be sure to move your hands down toward your legs when you rub the oil in. You want to keep the motion going in the right direction.

8. Treat Bronchitis and Chest Congestion

Practice thyme EO aromatherapy for 30 to 60 minutes to get relief from bronchitis and chest congestion. It is an excellent natural expectorant. You can do this several times a day, if necessary. You can also rub the 1% thyme/carrier oil blend into your chest, sides and back like a vapor rub. The wonderful fragrance will waft up as you breathe while the oil is absorbed into your skin. For a little extra expectorant/decongestant action, add 1 drop of peppermint oil and 1 drop of eucalyptus to the thyme/carrier oil blend.

*Do not use thyme essential oil if you are pregnant, nursing or on very young children. There hasn’t been enough clinical testing to be sure that it is 100% safe under these circumstances.*

9. Normalize Low Blood Pressure

Practice thyme essential oil aromatherapy to normalize excessively low blood pressure. It works to lower and raise blood pressure or simply bring it to a healthy level. Most likely this surprising benefit stems from thyme essential oil’s heart-health- and circulatory system-improving properties.

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10. Boost Your Metabolism

Take a few deep inhales of thyme essential oil vapors to give your metabolism a boost. It helps regulate your heart function and balance hormones which stimulates and elevates the metabolism. Using a 1% thyme oil/carrier oil blend will also boost your metabolism. Massage it into your shoulders, neck and chest.

11. Improve Circulation

Massage the 1% thyme/carrier oil blend into your legs, lower back, abdomen, chest and arms to improve circulation. Aromatherapy can also provide this surprising thyme essential oil benefit.

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12. Improve Nervous System Health

Practice thyme aromatherapy or use the 1% blend to improve and stimulate the nervous system. It has tonic properties that benefit the entire nervous system.

13. Help Balance Hormones

Run your diffuser with 2 to 3 drops of thyme oil and 1/2 to 1 cup of distilled water in it for 30 to 60 minutes each day to balance your hormone levels.

14. Improve Skin Health

Use the 1% thyme oil blend to improve your skin health. It is very effective against acne and can reduce other blemishes and scars. Use it twice each day after washing with a mild cleanser. Do not apply it around the eyes and make sure you don’t get it in your eyes.

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15. Treat Eczema

Apply the 1% thyme essential oil blend to your skin to treat eczema. Its antifungal properties help heal some types of eczema. You can use it several times each day for relief of redness and itching. Coconut oil is an excellent carrier oil for this.

16. Alleviate Sinusitis and Sinus Congestion

Practice thyme aromatherapy to get relief from sinusitis and sinus congestion. Add 2 to 3 drops of thyme oil to 1/2 to 1 cup of distilled water, depending on the size of your diffuser, and run the diffuser for 30 to 60 minutes. You can do this several times a day, if necessary. If you don’t have a diffuser, add a few drops to a small pan of water and heat it on the stove just until it begins to produce steam. It doesn’t need to be boiling. Drape a towel over your head and breathe in the vapors.

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17. Get Rid of Cellulite

Massage the 1% thyme blend into your legs, buttocks and belly to get rid of cellulite. Coconut oil is a fabulous carrier oil to use for this purpose. I prefer to use 1 teaspoon of coconut oil along with up to 1/2 teaspoon of argan oil as my carrier oil blend. The argan oil has some wonderful skin-benefitting properties of its own and it seems to help the oil absorb into my skin more quickly. Argan oil contains vitamins A and E, which are good for the skin, and is a wonderful toner and exfoliator.

18. Treat Laryngitis and Pharyngitis

Add 1 to 2 drops of thyme essential oil to 8 ounces of tepid water and gargle to treat laryngitis and pharyngitis. This oil’s antiseptic properties are very effective against infections of the throat. This will also kill candida or yeast (thrush). Gargle several times a day.

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19. Get Rid of Bad Breath

Gargle with thyme essential oil in water to get rid of bad breath. It kills the germs in your mouth, leaving you with fresh, clean-smelling breath.

20. Improve Body Odor

Use the 1% thyme/carrier oil blend to prevent body odor. Its antiseptic properties kill the bacteria that causes body odor. Apply it to under arms and anywhere else that tends to get sweaty and smelly. Don’t apply it to genitals, mucous membranes or around the eyes.

21. Improve Your Menstrual Cycle

Regulate your menstrual cycle and get relief from cramps and other unpleasant symptoms with thyme essential oil. You can do this with thyme oil aromatherapy or massage the 1% thyme blend into your abdominal area and lower back. It actually helps balance your hormone levels as well as providing relief from muscle spasms, inflammation and pain.

Was this list helpful to you? I was so surprised by all of the ways this herb-based essential oil can be used to improve our health. It has such a wonderfully herbaceous fragrance that is warm, powerful and sharp to the senses. If you haven’t tried thyme essential oil yet, I hope you will. It is so much better for you than many medications used to treat the same ailments.

Please leave a comment to let me know if this list helped. Tell me about your experiences with thyme essential oil. What do you prefer to blend it with and what do you use it for? We can all share our own experiences and learn from each other. Be sure to share, too, so that others can become aware of all the uses for thyme essential oil.

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About the author

Reannan Raine

Reannan worked in the non-profit sector for 30 years. Now she devotes her time to freelance writing and sharing knowledge about alternative ways to stay healthy. She believes we could all benefit from the use of fresh herbs and spices in our cooking, essential oils in our medicine cabinets and daily meditation.

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