Are you going to Scarborough fair? If you are, pick me up some Thyme essential oil, will ya? This little herb has been in use for thousands of years. At different times, it was used as a poison antidote, a preventer of illnesses, and as a symbol of protection, healing, and courage. The Romans and Greeks burned thyme – aka Thymus vulgaris – along with other herbs such as sage, in order to purify their temples and domiciles. It doesn’t stop with them. Some people still use it in various cleansing rituals.
What of the business end of thyme? Well, many people have it in their gardens (including myself! I love fresh thyme in a homemade pasta sauce) – but not everyone goes through the trouble of making it into an essential oil. Private label manufacturers who distribute essential oils under different brands are always the top candidate for essential oil needs. Why pay higher prices for a brand name, when the oil is the very same oil?
While we’re on that, let’s clear something up. Essential oil is essential oil. Yes, there are differences in quality, stemming from the equipment which was used, the location where the plants were harvested, and the method of extraction which was employed.
As a general rule, essential oils are pretty similar, with one exception – they can be blended with other oils. Unless the dealer or distributor is outright lying – a bottle which says 100% or pure essential oil, is exactly that. There are no different grades, such as therapeutic grade or massage grade. Nothing higher or lower. Those are words used to entice prospective consumers, but they are just words. Pure essential oil is pure essential oil. Can I swear to this 100%? No. But that is the way things go. As long as it contains only that one oil, it is by definition 100% pure.
How I Discovered Thyme Essential Oil
I discovered thyme oil through the actual plant, really. Like I said, I love using it in fresh pasta sauce. At one point, years ago, when I was having supper with a friend at my place, she looked at the thyme I was picking and asked if I knew a way to use the stems to make oil. Now, I have used essential oils in the past, but I had never used thyme oil. In fact, I didn’t even recall seeing it on display where I shop for oils. Probably because I didn’t specifically look for it. Of course, once I was at the store, I found it easily enough.
How Thyme Essential Oil Is Made
So, she mentioned the stems, and that was right. Apparently, the leaves, flowers, and stems are all used in the creation of thyme essential oil. The plant is usually chopped up and then distilled with steam. The resulting liquid is collected in a dry, glass jar, and sealed for future use. But you don’t have to own the equipment, or be a professional distiller, to make your own thyme essential oil.
As a side note, please remember that essential oils are highly concentrated and potent substances. If you plan on beginning some kind of treatment with these oils, consult with a health care professional. Expecting and nursing women, as well as small children, should avoid using essential oils, unless they get the go-ahead from a doctor, pharmacist, or alternative medicine man. Your call.
How To Make Your Own DIY Thyme Essential Oil
Alright, are you ready? You are about to discover how to prepare your own version of thyme essential oil, without the need to use steam distillation equipment. Note: Recipe adapted from Leaf.tv. Here’s what you’ll need:
● Fresh thyme (approx. ½ cup or a little less).
● A carrier oil, such as olive, coconut, or jojoba (about 8 oz).
● A herb grinder (aka mortar and pestle).
● A deep cooking pan.
● A sieve.
● A funnel.
● A glass vial or container.
First, harvest the plant, wash the parts you wish to use, and let them dry in the sun. If there is no sun, you can let it dry indoors. Don’t try to speed things up by heating it. Natural is always best!
Next, crush the thyme with the herb grinder so it releases its oils. Pour the thyme into the pan using the funnel, and pour the carrier oil in there. Let the oils sit in the pan, over a medium fire, for several minutes. Do NOT let it burn.
Ideally, the temperature should be 180°F when the fire goes off, but we don’t all have a thermometer on hand in the kitchen. A rule of thumb is: when bubbles begin to appear, turn the fire off. You may need to go through trial and error, but there are plenty of tutorials online. Let the mixture cool down, and afterwards strain it in a sieve and place it in a glass vial.
Do NOT place essential oils in plastic cases or containers. They can cause the oil to turn much quicker than it should. Also, keep the glass jar/vial closed at all times. Oxygenation does not agree with essential oils. Too much exposure to air could cause the oil to lose some of its quality and efficiency. This DIY thyme oil can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Thyme Essential Oil For Snoring
Thyme has been considered something of a snoring remedy for a long time. You can either mix it with a carrier and apply to the bottom of your big toes before bed, or burn it in a diffuser. Why big toes? It has to do with the different pressure points and pathways of the body. Some say that applying to the bottom of your feet will also work.
And if using the diffuser method, make sure to start burning it in advance – half hour, give or take – because it takes some time for an average bedroom to fill up with the aroma.
So, why is thyme good for snoring individuals? Well, first off, it provides efficient and quick respiratory relief. Once you’re able to breathe easier, the snores could become obsolete. Also, because it has a calming effect on the nerves, it could help your sleep be deeper and more soothing. Which is how we got to the next point…
Thyme Essential Oil For Anxiety
As I mentioned just now, thyme has been shown to have a calming effect on humans. Anxiety is a feeling of worry and unease. Thyme is not the only essential oil which can help to calm the nerves, but it is unique in the following way:
According to aromatherapists, thyme is best used to reduce anxiety stemming from a worry or fear whose root is known to the patient. Unlike other herbs, which could be used in cases of unsubstantiated or otherwise unclear worry, thyme is there to address a specific issue or set of issues which are setting off anxious feelings within the patient.
Again, the oil can be used in different ways. You can choose to apply it to the temples or wrist, only after it has been diluted with a proper carrier oil. You can choose to burn it in a diffuser, same as before. Another method is putting a dab right under the nose, for quick anxiety relief.
— Home Chef Herbs™ (@homechefherbs) May 2, 2017
My Thyme Essential Oil Before & After Results
Well, I do not have any anxiety problems to speak of, but I do get a case of the snores every now and then. On most nights, I burn lavender essential oil. But, on nights when I feel a cold coming on – and when I want to let my partner sleep – I burn a few drops of thyme. I have no proven record of this, but I know that it works at least on some level, because my partner doesn’t have to kick me or nudge me so I move and resume proper breathing. Snoring is an issue, especially when sharing your bed with a light sleeper.
Before using thyme, I tried peppermint. I love peppermint essential oil. I use it in my hair, and I use it to keep away mosquitoes. I was told it was also good for snoring, but for me it didn’t have the effect I thought it would have. After that, I tried thyme. Now I know which one I respond better to. I don’t not recommend peppermint, by the way. It could very well work for you, but it didn’t really work for me. To each his own.
Snoring, anxiety, pasta sauce – is there anything this plant can’t do? Well, it is indeed one heck of an herb, and I am thankful for it. I actually prefer to buy my essential oil than make it myself. I simply don’t find the ‘thyme’ to do it, but I will at some point.
Until then, I will definitely keep using it in my pasta. It has this fresh, green, sensual taste to it. I love it very much, and I choose to partake of it in any shape or form it chooses to make an appearance.