Thymus vulgaris is a very low shrub native to southern Europe from Greece to Portugal. Its distinctive scent is what makes Attic honey one of the finest in the world. The parts used are the leaves, flowering tops, distilled oil, and thymol. Thyme oil contains 20-42 percent phenols, mostly thymol and sometimes carvacrol, and cymene, pinene, borneol and linalool.
- Anti-inflammatory. Thyme oil has been used against bronchitis, vesical catarrh, diarrhea, gonorrhea, leukorrhea, rheumatism, stomatitis, chlorosis or iron deficiency anemia, whooping cough. Thymol has been employed in skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, dysentery, gout, typhoid fever, etc.
- Antiseptic. Externally thyme oil has been used in baths, but also in lotions for itching scabies, muscular rheumatism, gangrene, ulcers, against fetid odors from skin sores, and for toothaches and earaches applied with cotton swab.
- Stimulant. It has been traditionally thought that thyme strengthens the lungs, and is an excellent remedy for shortness of breath. It seems to be equally of great comfort to the stomach.
Caution. Thyme oil should not be given in excessive doses, as it may produce vomiting, depression, coldness, increased and green to violet colored urine, and even death by exhaustion.