Thyme essential oil is extracted, by steam distillation, from the fresh or dried leaves and flowering tops of the plant. This is the Linalool chemotype, the most gentle variety of Thyme oils. The oil is mainly located in small glands on the leaves and contains thymol, paracymene linalool.
The main component of Thyme oil is Thymol, a powerful antiseptic which considered to be quite toxic if used improperly. It is common knowledge among aromatherapists that the essential oil of Thyme is one of the most potently antiseptic essential oils known. Thymol has been extensively documented for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal action. According to Jean Valnet, M.D., Thyme oil kills the anthrax bacillus, the typhoid bacillus, meaning ococcus, and the agent responsible for tuberculosis and is active against salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria. In addition, this component has been studied for its effects on gingivitis and plaque-caused organisms in the mouth (it is used in Listerine for its antiseptic actions).