If you look in your kitchen cupboard, the chances are that a jar of thyme is nestled amongst your herb collection. The roots of this humble garden herb, long favoured by cooks, stretch way back through history.
Which thyme is which?
Bataglia tells us that there are over 300 varities of thyme, with Thymus vulgaris being the commonest. As with any aromatic plant, the chemistry, aroma and recommended uses of its essential oils are not the same as that of the whole plant. However the variations do not stop there, as T. vulgaris has 6 known chemotypes and the essential oils of several are commonly used in aromatherapy. You may be aware that when aromatic plants produce different chemotypes they can vary widely between each other in terms of chemistry, recommended therapeutic uses and safety issues. Therefore aromatherapists and essential oil lovers should be familiar with each essential oil chemotype you use.