What Is the Difference Between Thymol and Thyme Oil?
Mandeep Singh·September 01, 2023
Thymol is a significant component of thyme oil. Both thymol and thyme essential oils have been used since ages as anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial agents, mainly in treating the upper respiratory system. As both sound similar, they are often mistaken as the same thing. However, significant differences exist. If you are curious to learn them, dive into this blog immediately.
Before knowing the difference between the two, let's know the terms individually:
Thyme is a Mediterranean herb with medicinal, dietary, and decorative uses. Thyme flowers, leaves, and oil have traditionally been used to cure various ailments and concerns. It also helps in fighting bacterial and fungal infections. Furthermore, thyme is used for relieving cough and has antioxidant effects. The most common use of thyme is for patchy hair loss (alopecia areata), cough, etc.
Thymol, also known as 5-methyl-2-isopropyl phenol and 2-isopropyl-5-methyl phenol, is a natural monoterpenoid phenol, colourless and crystalline, with a characteristic odour. It is also an isomer of carvacrol and the main active element in oil produced from the species Thymus vulgaris, generally known as thyme. It also provides a distinctive flavour of the culinary herb thyme.
Thymol vs. Thyme
Thymol (10-64%) is a prominent ingredient of thyme essential oils. It is an active ingredient in pesticides approved for animal repellents, fungicides/fungistats, medical disinfectants, tuberculocidal, and virucide.
Uses of Thyme
The fresh leaves of Thyme can be consumed directly through tea or garnishing. Some also use thyme leaves to protect linen from insects by putting them between the layers of linen. Manufacturers across the globe use the extract oil of thyme for different applications, including as an ingredient in deodorants and scenting soaps. Thyme oil is also found in insect repellent & antiseptic creams. Farmers in the Mediterranean use thyme oil for preserving olives.
Thyme Oil Uses and Perks
There are several case studies done in the recent past that suggest that Thyme essential oil has a remarkable property that improves heart health, reduces or eradicates foodborne bacteria, and alleviates other types of body inflammation. Further, more research needs to be done to scientifically back the perks mentioned above associated with Thyme oil.
It contains several compounds that benefit health. These compounds are as follows:
Next, Let's Know How These Compounds Benefit:
Acne - According to some evidence from trusted sources, thyme oil effectively reduces acne-causing bacteria on the skin.
Alopecia Areata - Combining Thyme with carrier oil and other essential oils through massage can help prevent hair loss.
Breast Cancer - Fighting breast cancer is possible with wild theme extract, according to any preliminary study.
Oral Health - The thymol content in thyme
Food Preservative - The Journal of Medicine and LifeTrusted Source states that thyme oil is effective in combating food-related bacteria and fungi.
Coughs and Respiratory Tract Infections - Thymol present in the thyme has antispasmodic properties, which, when mixed with primrose, turn effective in treating coughs and reducing the duration of respiratory tract infections like the common cold.
Heart disease- A laboratory study published in 2010 in the Journal of Lipid Research revealed that thyme oil has carvacrol, which is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, along with exhibiting cardioprotective capabilities. Therefore, thyme oil is best suited for those with a heart condition.
Thyme Oil Side Effects
Besides the many benefits of thyme oil, certain mild side effects cannot be overlooked. Here, we list a couple of these: If you are allergic to mint, then it is best to avoid thyme and thyme oil, as they may trigger your condition.
The adverse reactions to thyme oil include:
Thyme oil must be swallowed or used in undiluted form over the skin. It is best to consult your physician before using thyme oil, especially if you are a feeding mom or pregnant. Also, children and pets should stay away when diffusing thyme oil.
To Wind Up
From the above, we can easily conclude that both thyme oil & thymol exhibit distinct properties, yet they are closed-related compounds. Thymol is Thyme oil's main active ingredient, which is responsible for antibacterial properties. Thyme oil is an amalgam of a variety of different compounds that are derived from the thyme plant. At the same time, thymol is well-known for its therapeutic uses, thereby highlighting their interconnected benefits as natural remedies.