Essential oils carry biologically active volatile compounds in a highly concentrated form that can provide therapeutic benefits in very small amounts. One such oil is thyme oil, which is derived from steam distillation of fresh thyme flowers and leaves.
Thyme, a member of the mint family, has a sweet, earthy flavor that lends itself well to cooking. Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” counted thyme as a culinary herb, although it was used also used as a form of medicine in ancient times, particularly for respiratory conditions. According to the American Botanical Council: “The ancient Sumerians and Egyptians used thyme as a medicine and to embalm the dead. The ancient Romans used thyme to flavor cheese and alcoholic beverages, burned it to deter wild animals, and bathed in it to 'provide vigor.' Medieval women embroidered thyme on gifts for knights.”
Many of thyme’s beneficial properties come from its essential oils, which include potent compounds like thymol, camphene, linalool, and carvacrol. Thymol, which makes up 20 percent to more than 50 percent of thyme oil is known as a biocide, which means it can destroy harmful organisms and gives thyme oil strong antimicrobial properties.
Perhaps not surprisingly, due to its antimicrobial effects thymol is often used in mouthwash as well as in cosmetics (as a preservative/biocide). Because thyme also has a pungent aroma, it is also used in aromatherapy and potpourri, and sometimes as a fragrance in cosmetics.
Thyme Oil and Menopause Symptoms
Due to the proven healing properties, thyme oil may ease hot flashes when inhaled, or used in a bath, or foot rub or mixed with massage oil. For a portable hot flash remedy, place a few drops of an essential oil or cologne on a tissue, or cotton ball and place in plastic wrap. It may provide instant relief when you open and inhale any time a flash strikes.
It has also been found, that thyme oil massage can prevent and reduce severity and frequency of the hot flashes.
Note that when choosing essential oils it is recommended to find the ones that are 100% pure grade. These oils will give you the best results.
Other Health Benefits of Thyme Essential Oil
While you approach time of change, you become vulnerable to the unwanted medical conditions, which may, or may not be associated with hormonal and age related changed in your body and mind. Here are few medical benefits of thyme oil you may find useful to stimulate you applying thyme oil on a permanent basis:
* Antispasmodic: Millions of people around the world suffer from coughs, cramps and aches due to spasms. Spasms are unwanted and excessive involuntary contractions which may take place in the respiratory tracts, nerves, muscles, intestines or other organs and may result in coughs, convulsions, epileptic or hysterical attacks, cramps and muscular aches, abdominal and intestinal aches, and even spasmodic cholera.
* Antirheumatic: There are two main reasons behind rheumatism, arthritis and gout. The first is improper or obstructed circulation and the second one is an increasing concentration of toxins like uric acid in the blood stream. Thyme essential oil can sort out both of these problems. Since it is a diuretic, it increases urination and helps in the removal of toxins from the body. Being a stimulant, it stimulates or activates circulation and thereby sorts out this problem in a separate way. Both ways helps cure rheumatism, and related conditions like arthritis.
* Antiseptic: Thyme essential oil is a good antiseptic and safeguards wounds and sores against infections. This is mainly due to the presence of components like Caryophyllene and Camphene in thyme.
* Bactericidal: The same Caryophyllene and Camphene, along with a few other components, give thyme essential oil antibacterial properties. This inhibits bacterial growth within and outside of the body. It kills bacteria as well as keeps them away from the organs in the body. This is particularly beneficial in curing bacterial infections like B-Colitis, renal colic, bacterial infections in the genitals and urethra, intestines, and respiratory system as well as the external exposure of wounds.
* Tonic: Thyme essential oil also tones up the circulatory system, heart, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, and skin while fortifying them and boosting immunity.
* Cardiac: This is a very important and useful property of thyme essential oil in today’s context, when heart troubles are growing at an alarming rate. This oil is very beneficial for the heart. It keeps the valves functioning properly, while being an anti-spasmodic, it relaxes the arteries and veins and thereby reduces blood pressure and stress on the heart. Furthermore, it strengthens cardiac muscles and tones up the heart, since it is a tonic. Basically, thyme essential oil is good for every part of heart health.
* Carminative: Gases that build up in the stomach and intestines are not as innocent as they appear. Their effect is not limited to unpleasant odors alone. They can rob you of your appetite and sleep, raise your blood pressure, pose a threat to your heart, give you severe stomach aches, cramps, vomiting, headaches and nausea. In certain extreme cases, excessive gas can even put your life in danger too. Therefore, gas must be handled with care, and treated in a timely manner. Thyme essential oil, being a carminative and an antispasmodic, forces the removal of gases through downward movement (upward movement is very dangerous) and does not let them build up again.
* Diuretic: Those who are suffering from an accumulation of water in the body due to chronic renal failure or from growing concentration of toxins and salts in the blood are sure to benefit from this essential oil. It increases urination and helps in the removal of excess water, salts and toxins from the body. This helps reduce weight, lower blood pressure, reduce fats and improve digestion as well.
* Emenagogue: Women should be very interested in this property of thyme essential oil. Women are always searching for something that can give them relief from obstructed and painful menstruation, irregular periods and premature menopause. They have found their answer in this oil. It opens obstructed menses, gives relief from the symptoms like abdominal pain, fatigue, nausea, depression and low blood pressure that is associated with menstruation. It can also delay menopause, thereby keeping women healthy, happy and fertile. The essential oil does all of this by stimulating the production of certain hormones like estrogen.
* Cicatrisant: This is a tremendous property of thyme essential oil. This property makes scars and other ugly spots on your body vanish. These include the surgical marks, marks left by accidental injuries, acne, pox, measles, and sores.
* Expectorant: When you are suffering from colds and coughs, you need to find an expectorant. Thyme essential oil is a great one! It helps cure infections that cause cough and cold and drains congestion, thereby giving relief from coughs and colds.
* Hypertensive: You might raise your eyebrows about this medicinal property and may not see it as a benefit. However, this property is very beneficial for those who are suffering from low blood pressure. Those type of people run the risk of falling unconscious at any time, and feeling sluggish. This oil can normalize their blood pressure by raising it, which is just as important sometimes as lowering it.
* Insecticide: It can keep away insects and pests and also eliminate them if it becomes necessary. It can be effectively used to keep away parasites that feed on the human body like mosquitoes, fleas, lice, bed-bugs, and flies, as well as insects that attack food grains and clothes like beetles and moths.
* Stimulant: It stimulates circulation, digestion, nervous responses and the secretion of hormones, thereby stimulating the whole metabolism.
* Bechic: If you have been suffering from coughing symptoms for a long time and antibiotics cannot help you anymore, then you might want to give this essential oil a try. Unlike when using potent antibiotics, you need not risk your kidneys, heart, liver, stomach and eyes with this oil. This is capable of curing infections in the chest (lungs, bronchi, larynx and pharynx) and stopping coughs.
* Vermifuge: Thym essential oil kills worms. You can try it on intestinal worms like round worms and tape worms, as well as maggots in open sores and hook worms, which are notoriously difficult to eliminate.
* Other Benefits: It acts as a memory booster and an antidepressant. It helps to increase concentration and helps to cure sinusitis, bronchitis, anorexia, cellulite, eczema, athlete’s foot, dermatitis, insect and animal bites, stings, laryngitis, pharyngitis and other infections. Finally, it can be used to eliminate bad breath and body odor.
How to Use Thyme Oil at Home
Once you have chosen a thyme oil, remember that it is a powerful compound and should not be used directly on your skin, as this can cause sensitization and irritation. It must first be diluted with a carrier oil (like olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil), and it is a good idea to test it on a small area first to see if you have any allergies.
Thyme oil can be used in a variety of ways. It can be inhaled via aromatherapy, applied topically, or used as a mouthwash, for instance. You can also try the following remedies:
* Relieve pain – Mix three drops of thyme oil with two teaspoons of sesame oil. Use this mixture as a massage oil and apply on your abdominal area to relieve pain. This may also be used as a massage oil to treat other types of pain, including insect and animal bites and stings.
* Alleviate fatigue – Add two drops of thyme oil to your bath water.
* Improve sleep – Add a few drops to your diffuser.
* Promote oral health – Use thyme oil as a mouthwash by adding one drop to a cup of warm water.
* Reduce appearance of scars and skin marks – Apply oil of thyme mixed with any carrier oil (like almond oil) on the affected area. You can also apply it for eczema, athlete’s foot, and dermatitis.
* Use as cleanser – Add a few drops of thyme oil to your facial wash.
* Treat or protect against respiratory problems – Add two drops of thyme oil to hot water and use for steam inhalation.
* Uplift mood – Simply inhale the scent of thyme oil.
Thyme oil should not be taken internally, as it can cause nausea, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle problems. Doing so may also negatively affect your heart, lungs, and body temperature. It may also stimulate your thyroid gland, which is why this essential oil is not recommended for people with hyperthyroidism.
Since thyme oil can be used to increase circulation, certain varieties should be avoided by people with high blood pressure. Pregnant women should also steer clear of thyme oil because it can stimulate menstrual flow. In addition, thyme oil should be kept away from infants and young children, who may be more sensitive to its effects.
Note that People who are allergic to oregano or other Lamiaceae species might also be allergic to thyme.
There may be an interaction between thyme and the following:
* Antiplatelet medications (e.g., aspirin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine)
* Anticoagulant medications (e.g., warfarin)
* Other blood thinners.
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