Thyme or thymus is a genus that includes more than 250 species of perennial plants. Among the most representative examples of this genus stand out the red thyme (Thymus zygis) and, the most extended, common thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Belonging to the Lamiaceae family, they share this group with aromatic plants such as basil, oregano and rosemary.
With an intense herbaceous smell, thyme is recognized worldwide for its culinary applications. Its scent provides dishes in which it is used with a distinctive flavour, enhancing food in a natural way while allowing to reduce salt consumption.
This plant finds the perfect conditions for its development in the Western Mediterranean basin, tending to grow wild on dry slopes where sunlight is abundant.
That is why the Iberian Peninsula has largest variety of thyme in the world, with 28 species, of which 22 are endemic. This makes regions of the Peninsula such as Murcia, Granada or Sevilla ideal locations for growing thyme.
Its essential oil is extracted from cultivated plants through methods such as steam distillation to be subsequently used in the manufacturing of a wide range of products.
Brief history of thyme
Thyme has been the protagonist of countless remedies over the course of centuries. The ancient Egyptians used it in the embalming rites. It is now known that their high thymol content was in large part the responsible for protecting the body of the dead pharaoh from bacteria and fungi.
In ancient Greece, thyme was burnt as incense in temples since it was believed to be a source of courage. On the other hand, its leaves and flowers were used to perfume the water of Greek baths. If someone smelled of thyme, it meant that they were a refined and high-class person.
It would be the Romans who extended its use throughout Europe thanks to its popularity when perfuming households with its fragrance. One of the most curious applications that Romans found for thyme was its used in the nourishing of emperors and leaders since, as they believed, it acted as an antidote, reducing the possibility that the person who ingested it would be successfully poisoned.
Thyme essential oil features and applications
Despite being mostly recognized for its powerful flavour, which is also characteristic of the Mediterranean cuisine, the potential applications of thyme essential oil go much further.
Among its many characteristics are its disinfectant, bactericidal and fungicidal properties, which make it a highly valued article in the cleaning sector. It is commonly used in mopping solutions, disinfectants, glass cleaners and other household care products.
Due to its fungiastic power, it is also useful in the agricultural sector as a sustainable alternative in the development of many solutions for pest control. Besides, it is a very popular essential oil in the animal feed sector.
At DMG, we work with 100% natural thyme essential oils which we use to design compositions for multiple applications.
If you are interested in making thyme essential oil the protagonist of your project, do not hesitate to contact us through any of the means available at the following link.