Family: Lamiaceae

Genus & Species: Thymus vulgaris
Common Names: Common Thyme, Garden Thyme, German Thyme
Overview: Thyme is a perennial shrub with its original roots in the Mediterranean, where it became an important part of the local culture and everyday life. It has since been cultivated across Europe, the United States, and Morocco, facilitating an even deeper bond between mankind and this ancient medicine. [1,2] The historical use of thyme can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who used the herb as a pain reliever as well as a crucial ingredient in their embalming process. [3] Its modern name has two possible origins, both stemming from Greek culture. “Thyme” may be derived from thyo, the Greek word for “perfume” or “fumigation”, since it was used as incense and was known for its sweet, balsamic odour. Alternatively, it may be derived from the Greek word thymus, which signifies courage and strength, as the herb was believed to impart invigoration and inspiration. [1,2]
Therapeutic Properties: Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antispasmodic, expectorant, anthelmintic, carminative, analgesic [1,4]
Typical UsesThyme is most commonly incorporated into medicines that target the respiratory system. The volatile oils and other constituents found in the plant can open the airways and gently stimulate the removal of unwanted mucus from the lungs. [1,4] For these purposes, thyme can be used both externally and internally. By infusing the herb into a carrier oil and adding a bit of natural wax, you can make a lovely chest rub that slowly releases the beneficial components into the air throughout your day. Alternatively, thyme can be steeped in hot water to create an invigorating infusion that circulates its antimicrobial and lung-supporting compounds throughout the body. Just make sure to cover the vessel you’re steeping the herb in! Volatile oils will rapidly diffuse right out of your cup and into your room if the water isn't covered.


1. Thyme, Garden | The Modern Herbal

2. Thyme | American Botanical Council

3. A History of Thyme | Rocky Mountain Spice Company

4. Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) | The Naturopathic Herbalist

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay