Thyme Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Thyme Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

When you think of the herb Thyme, you may not know that it has been an essential herb for thousands of years. It was used as a medicinal and culinary herb, as well as to represent an aspect of human existence symbolically. But why has this simple herb fascinated humans so much?

Thyme is a herb that was heavily cultivated in the ancient Mediterranean world. It has many medicinal, culinary, and symbolic perks, representing courage, strength, protection, and purification. Thus, it has become a popular tattoo in our modern times.

This article will discuss thyme tattoos, their meanings, origins, and where the most popular place is to get them tattooed on your body. So keep reading! We have everything you need to know about thyme Tattoos.

Untitled-1 copy

What is the history of Thyme Tattoos?

The history of Thyme tattoos begins with the herb that traces its roots to the Mediterranean. It’s used for medicinal, culinary, and ornamental uses. The thyme plant’s flowers, leaves, and oil can treat a wide range of illnesses and complaints. 

The name thyme comes from the Greek word ‘thymos,’ or the Latin equivalent ‘fumus,’ which means to fumigate, indicating that thyme was used as an herb that could cleanse and purify a place.

The ancient cultures of the Mediterranean burned and used thyme incense in their temples, as they believed it purified the area and brought a sense of calmness. The Greeks would rub their warriors in thyme oil before battle, as a bathing ritual, and as an oil to anoint statues of the gods.

Thyme was used in ancient Egyptian embalming and was a prominent ingredient in the famous Kyphi incense blend. The Romans used thyme medicinally, and as a herb, they would spread it on the floors of temples to help ward off disease. It was also burned in ritual ceremonies and placed on altars. 

During the pandemic in the middle ages because of the Black Death, thyme’s active antiseptic compound, thymol, was used to treat skin lesions caused by the disease. In modern times, thyme is known for killing the deadly tiger mosquito larvae. It’s also been suggested that thyme can combat high blood pressure, colon cancer, and foodborne bacterial infections.

Untitled-2 copy

What do Thyme Tattoos Symbolize?

Thyme is associated with purification, strength, and courage while being a protective herb, providing defense against both physical illness and negative energies. It can also protect you against anyone trying to harm you.

Due to the wide variety of uses thyme has had for cultures, it has given it a good reputation as a symbolic herb. The ancient Greeks believed it could impart courage and strength to warriors going into battle. 

Thyme is also said to symbolize good luck and help you manifest your desires while promoting wealth and prosperity in your life. So if you feel like you need some extra help in finding your path in life, thyme is the friend you need as a tattoo. 

Untitled-3 copy

What Do Thyme Tattoos Mean?

Thyme tattoos can mean many things, depending on the connection the individual feels with thyme. Each of us probably has a different opinion on what we believe thyme can do for us, but thankfully this little herb is full of meaning.

For some, it reminds them to have courage and use their strength to accomplish their goals in life. To others, it’s a reminder to stay calm in all situations and never forget that you can overcome any obstacle if you continue trying.

To others, it bears the meaning of protection as thyme has powerful healing abilities. Thus, we as humans tend to use this characteristic and apply it to our daily lives. So a Thyme tattoo may be a sigil for personal protection.

So, in summary, thyme is said to give you strength when you are weak, courage when you are afraid, and even a good night’s sleep when you are tired. It’s said that it can even increase your capacity for love and cleanse your mind. 

Untitled-4 copy

Characteristics and styles of Thyme Tattoos

There are over three-hundred kinds of thyme herbs; they are relatively similar in structure. Thus, most thyme tattoos start with the same basic design of stem and leaves before one decides what kind of personal style they will go for. 

What’s great about the thyme is that you can make it unique, as it can be highly detailed or as simplistic as you’d like it to be. Some people find that simplistic thyme tattoos help the drawing look better on the skin, whereas others go for the detailed and exquisite forms, but the choice is really up to the individual.

There are a few main styles used in thyme tattoos. Some people choose a few simple stems accompanied by a few lines of leaves, and others portray a sizeable bushy plant on their body. Both are great ideas, and it comes down to how much space the person getting tattooed wants to cover.

Other characteristics are the thickness of the lines and the general size of the tattoo. Some people prefer to leave it black and white, whereas others add a brilliant plant green to help the tattoo pop a little.

Untitled-5 copy

Where do Thyme Tattoos Usually Go?

The thyme plant is a great shape to get tattooed as, thanks to the natural vertical form of herbs, they can blend nicely onto any part of the body, extend up and down, and even wrap around limbs. 

The most common place you will see a thyme tattoo is the arm; whether it be the forearm or the upper arm area, these designs are trendy among those interested in a thyme tattoo. It is also seen on the leg area, including the calf and shins, as well as the thigh area. 

As thyme has become a pretty symbolic tattoo, people like to show it off, as well as have it as a symbol of their own personal beliefs. Thus, we see thyme tattoos on the wrist, ankles, chest, and even hands and feet from time to time. This helps people feel like they are carrying their beliefs everywhere they go.

Untitled-6 copy

To The Point Facts

  • Thyme is a herb found along the Mediterranean, Asia, Europe, and North Africa.
  • It has been used for culinary, medicinal, and ornamental purposes throughout history.
  • The Greeks used it as a purification incense for temples and sacred spaces.
  • The Romans used it as a medicinal herb, as well as for protection against disease.
  • Thyme antiseptic compound thymol was used to help skin lesions caused by the Black Death.
  • The Greeks believed its oil brought strength and courage to their warriors.
  • Thyme is a protective herb, helping to ward off disease and negative energy. 
  • Thyme is used as a sigil for protection thanks to its medicinal value.
  • It’s said thyme helps one find strength when they are weak, courage when afraid, and can bring a peaceful night’s sleep.
  • Thanks to its structure, it can be tattooed in a simplistic style or as detailed as you like. 
  • The most common placement for a tattoo is on the forearm or upper arm area.
  • It’s a symbolic tattoo, so people generally like to have it on show, whether it’s for others to see or as a friendly reminder to oneself. 


Thyme has been one of the most cultivated herbs throughout history thanks to its multiple uses as a culinary, medicinal, and symbolic herb. If you are someone who finds meaning in strength, courage, and protection, then a thyme tattoo could be next on the list for you.

Leave a Reply