Thyme photo

Thymus vulgaris

Common name: Thyme, Rubbed Thyme, Garden Thyme

Sanskrit: Ajagandha

Family: Laminaceae/Labiatae

Parts Used: Flowers, leaves

Thyme is an age-old expectorant which is anti-microbial and immune stimulating. It contains potent essential oils with strong antiseptic properties.

Botanical Description

Thyme is a perennial aromatic bush indigenous to the western Mediterranean and southern Italy. It is a member of the mint, Lamiaceae family, and also a relative of the ‘oregano’ genus. It can grow to heights of 30cm, its leaves are small, narrow and elliptical in shape and are a characteristic deep green colour with a strong aroma. Its flowers are also small, delicate and a pale pink/purple in colour. It is often found clinging in rocky crevices or growing in apparently barren soils.

How it Works

Thyme leaves contain an essential oil known as Thymol. Thymol is a strong antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal agent, which makes it particularly effective at protecting the body from invading pathogens. Thymol is also a strong expectorant within the respiratory system, helping to shift stubborn mucous and catarrh. Thymol and another component found in the plant, rosmarinic acid, have both demonstrated anti-oxidant behaviour, providing protection against oxidative damage. These two constituents are also anti-inflammatory agents, particularly where it is associated with pathogenic infection.

Into the Heart of Thyme

Thyme is a powerful anti-infective agent and is considered a powerful and potent antiseptic and anti-fungal effective in the treatment of oral, skin, respiratory and digestive disorders. The volatile oils present in thyme has a particular affinity for the respiratory tract that encourage the airways to open, providing relief from wheezing, loosening thick mucus and encouraging expectoration. It’s strong and fragrant flavour has made this herb popular for culinary use and also as a digestive remedy providing relief from intestinal cramping, wind and discomfort. 


Respiratory: Thyme is indicated in any respiratory or lung based conditions characterised by excess levels of mucous, phlegm or catarrh acting as an expectorant. The anti-infective nature of the plants also means that it will help fight pathogenic infection within the lungs and respiratory system. Thyme is particularly effective at relieving spasmodic coughing.

Immune: The thymol component of thyme displays anti-biotic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-infective properties. It is specific for fighting pathogenic infection and activating a more efficient immune response. Thyme will effectively fight infection of the gums, throat and larynx.

Digestive: The anti-infective nature of thyme makes thyme an effective agent for treating any digestive based infections. The range of volatile oils, including thymol, also help to relieve digestive spasm acting as a carminative in indigestion.

External: Useful in massage oils & liniments for aching joints, muscular pain, cuts & wounds, impetigo. Gargle for sore throats, tonsillitis; antiseptic mouthwash for infected, bleeding gums; douche for thrush & other vaginal infections. Lotion for hair & head lice; inhalant for coughs, asthma, colds, catarrh, sinusitis.

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