The Thyme we use here is the Thyme, Thymol or otherwise known as Red Thyme. This is a very strong type of Thyme. This type of Thyme is best used for adults. For the elderly and children, you would want to use the Thyme Linalool. The Linalool is much milder and not as harsh on topical applications. Thyme is an excellent anti agent in several areas. Now think about this, Thyme oil, and specifically the Thymol contained in Thyme oil which in most cases is around one half of the total of the oil, is an excellent natural pesticide. It totally degrades when in water in about 2 weeks and about 1 week when used on the soil with zero residues. So when used on a human, it wipes out all kinds of pathogens, both positive and negative charged ones. Wipes out E.coli and many other antibiotic-resistant bacteria's. It is sometimes a touch weak on the fungal side, but ruthlessly strong with the bacteria's. It actually works better on Bovine Mastitis than the drugs specifically developed for that purpose. Thyme is also a strong carrier of nutrients that are desperately needed by men and post meno women. Zinc is one that is there in good quantity as well as others like Thiamine and Copper. Also, a key one here is Vitamin E. Most of the time Vitamin E comes from Soybeans. Many people don't like to use anything associated with Soy because of not knowing if the Soy where the Vitamin E is sourced from is a GMO'ed product or not. Thyme is not a GMO product. It would take a long discussion to even do justice to vitamin E, but in simple terms, it makes things much more absorb-able. Sort of a natural surfactant of sorts. Also, yes, Thyme does actually kill off viruses and not just bacteria. Thyme is also a great sleep aid. It helps to promote a healthy sleep cycle.
As a plant, Thyme usually does much better in a cooler and wetter environment. Since Thyme is a plant that follows the C-3 Carbon Pathway and thus considered a C-3 plant, it naturally follows that it does best in the cooler growing environment. Although it can grow in dryer and hotter areas, it will go into dormancy when it gets hot and/or dry. So if you are growing this plant is a desert type area, and from all appearances it looks as though it has died, it may not have done so, it may have gone into dormancy. If you continue to care for it, it will likely come back and thrive once it cools down and before it freezes. The Thyme plant will do well in a potted growing medium, with normal plant care. The best instructions are pretty much as listed on the label of the seed packet, it will give more specifics for your growing zone. I feel like that a larger container, such as a 5 gallon size will help to promote a much better, healthier, and vigorous plant than the smaller containers. Although going in a smaller container will still give way for a well growing and healthy plant. It is just that the the container size limits some plants and it will limit the Thyme's plant ability to reach its full potential.
For people using the Thyme as an herb, once you have grown your plant, would be to use it as an Herbal Tea. You would likely get the most benefit by using the plant that you have grown in this way. Many people will use the dried herb of Thyme as the source for their Thyme for their Thyme Tea. Normally the fresh the better according to some people on the tea, but usually the dried herb will make for an excellent tea as it is.There is nothing wrong with letting your Thyme plant eventually go to seed, collect those seeds and plant them for next year.
Other uses for the Thyme herb is for various poultices in herbal remedies. When used for such purposes it is best to have them ground up very fine as they blend in much better with the medium being used. As an essential oil, one must be careful with it's use. It can be very irritating to the skin if used neat. So mixing with a carrier oil is the recommended way to properly use and receive the greatest benefit of using Thyme Essential Oil.
Enjoy the experience of growing and using the Thyme Plant.