An email from Oshadi an essential oil supplier today reminded me that thyme like a number of other plants comes in a number of different chemotypes, named after the aromatic compounds that are predominant in their oils. The best known one is thymol, taking it’s name from thyme an oil that should only be used at a relatively high dilution on the skin. It is good for using in a diffuser during the flu season.
The geraniol and thuyanol chemotypes are dominated by the alcohols named and are much gentler in their action but also good antiviral and anti-fungal agents.
Linalol is an oxide and this oil is also good for use in a diffuser.
Strangely, while with some plants the different chemotypes indicate botanical sub-species with thyme they are from the same species grown at different altitudes, with different soil types and climatic conditions.
And remember, you can get benefits from this oil through using the culinary herb which here in the Cambridge is just now producing lots of fresh growth. With the fresh herb, don’t worry about which chemotype it is, all of them are good for us!