Thyme tincture recipe, uses and dosage for cold and coughs


In ancient times, thyme was widely used in the Mediterranean countries, it was appreciated as a medicine, spice and temple incense. It was used to treat ailments of the gastrointestinal tract, upper respiratory tract infections and parasitic diseases. Now you can make such homemade medication by yourself also. 

How to make a thyme tincture at home? Pour 4 tablespoons of dried thyme in an airtight jar with 2 cups (16 fl oz / 480 ml) vodka and set aside for 2 weeks in a warm place. Then filter and add 4 tablespoons of honey. Pour into a dark glass bottle and set aside in a dark place for another 2 weeks.

Thyme fresh and thyme tincture

Do you want to know more about thyme tincture? Keep reading – I will cover uses, benefits, dosage, contraindications and at the end of the article you can also find a list of equipment that might be useful (here link to my article about supplies) when you will be making a thyme tincture by yourself. I’m making tinctures from 2001 and have gathered and read dozens of books about them, so information that you will find in this article should be helpful 🙂

Where to buy thyme for tincture?

If you are not using fresh fruits you can find dried thyme on Amazon here – Organic Whole Thyme Leaf, Certified Organic | 0.78 oz 

More recipes – check on my blog

If you are passionate like me and would like to look for more recipes, I have almost 100 others described on my blog, use the search option below and you might find what you are looking for:

Thyme tincture uses, what is it good for

List of uses according to webmd.com includes:

  • cough,
  • swelling (inflammation) of the main airways in the lung (bronchitis),
  • appetite stimulation,
  • diarrhea,
  • gas,
  • sore throat,
  • swelling (inflammation) of the lungs and mouth,
  • swelling (inflammation) of the tonsils,
  • swelling (inflammation) of the voice box (laryngitis).

Thyme tincture benefits 

Thyme tincture is known for its antibacterial properties and it might have a future as an acne-fighting ingredient.

In natural medicine, it is used to treat ailments of the digestive and urinary systems. It helps with diarrhea, constipation and indigestion.

Thyme tincture dosage

Most sources suggest using thyme tincture three times a day in case of colds, coughs, sore throats, 1 teaspoon at a time. 

Thyme tincture recipe and preparation

You can also make a thyme tincture with fresh herb, you will need around 4 oz (120 g) of fresh tips of thyme shoots and 4 cups (32 fl oz / 960 ml) of vodka.

Pour the thyme into an airtight jar. Pour enough vodka so that it completely covers the thyme shoots. Close the jar tightly and set aside for 3 days. After this time, drain the resulting tincture, filter it through a filter paper. Stir in the remaining vodka. Pour into bottles and set aside in a dark place for at least 6 months to mature. 

Thyme tincture recipe without alcohol

Alcohol tinctures are probably the most potent way to get healing and balancing benefits of herbs for our use.

But if you can’t or don’t want to consume alcohol, or you should not give it to kids, as a substitute you can make a glycerin-based, alcohol-free herbal extract, also called an herbal glycerite. Such extract is not as strong or long-lasting as alcohol tinctures, but it takes only up to 3 days to make it.

Recipe to prepare thyme glycerite without alcohol: put 4 tablespoons of herbs in a jar, fill to the top with glycerine. Cover and put in a slow cooker (or Instant Pot with a slow cooker feature) that’s lined with a towel and filled with water — run on low for 3 days. After that remove and strain, keep in a dry and cool place in dark glass bottles.

Thyme tincture contraindications and side effects

  • allergies – people who are allergic to oregano or other Lamiaceae species might also be allergic to thyme.
  • bleeding disorders – thyme might slow blood clotting. Taking thyme might increase your risk of bleeding, especially if used in large amounts.
  • surgery – as thyme might slow blood clotting, so there is some concern that it might increase the risk of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using thyme at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

What type of alcohol is used for thyme tincture?

Most spirits used for drinking will work, but vodka or other grain alcohols that are at least 40% alcohol by volume work best. When using dried thyme, your best bet is to stick to an 80 or 90-proof alcohol, as it does not have a lot of juices left, and it is best for extracting any water that’s left in the fruit out of it.

How long does thyme tincture last?

When stored in a cool, dry place, thyme tincture lasts at least three years, if not longer. If you use dark bottles, it will last longer because the light will not damage it. If your area is humid or hot several months out of the year, try storing it in the refrigerator during the hot and humid season.

Recommened edequipment – what you may need to have to make such tincture at home

I hope that you have found my article useful. Below I’ve gathered all items that I am using when making my tinctures, some of them, like airtight jars, are necessary, some are just handy, you do not need to have them all to be able to make a good tincture.  

recommended tincture equipment
Tincture equipment examples
  1. Airtight jars.
  2. Mortar for herbs – granite.
  3. Mortar for herbs – stainless steel.
  4. Funnels for filling bottles.
  5. Large bottles, dark glass.
  6. Medium bottles, dark glass.
  7. Small bottles with dropper, dark glass.
  8. Cloth for tincture filtering.
  9. Coffee filters for tincture filtering.
  10. Alcohol meter to check how strong is your vodka/spirit.
  11. Tincture press for better extraction.

    Here you can also find a more detailed post with list of equipment that might be useful.

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Damian from PolishTinctures
Best regards from Kraków!

If you are looking also for other recipes, check out my blog – I have written about almost 100 other tinctures, use the search option below and you might find what you are looking for:

Other names of thyme

It is also known under such names: Tymianek, Common Thyme, Farigoule, Farigoulette, French Thyme, Frigoule, Garden Thyme, Huile Essentielle de Thym, Huile de Thym, Huile de Thym Blanc, Huile de Thym Rouge, Mignotise des Genevois, Oil of Thyme, Pote, Red Thyme Oil, Rubbed Thyme, Serpolet, Spanish Thyme, Thym, Thym Citron, Thym Commun, Thym des Jardins, Thym Maraîcher, Thym Vrai, Thym Vulgaire, Thyme Aetheroleum, Thyme Essential Oil, Thyme Oil, Thymi herba, Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis, Tomillo, Van Ajwayan, Vanya Yavani, White Thyme Oil.

Sources: if you would like to check more info about the thyme here you can find a webmd.com article about it. 

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