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ThymeAlso Known As:

Common Thyme.

Scientific Name:

Thymus vulgaris; Thymus zygis.

Family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae. 

People Use This For:

Orally, thyme is used for bronchitis, whooping cough, sore throat.

Topically, thyme is used for laryngitis, tonsillitis, stomatitis, and halitosis. 


Possibly Safe when used orally.145,146 Thyme has been used safely for 10 days.146

Pregnancy and Lactation: Refer to a Medical Herbalist



Bronchitis. Clinical research suggests thyme, in combination with cowslip (Bronchipret), relieves symptoms of bronchitis such as coughing, fever, and increased production of sputum.146 

Mechanism of Action:

The applicable parts of thyme are the leaf, flower, and oil. Thyme contains the essential oils and several other constituents It also contains flavonoids, polyphenolic acids and other constituents.147,148 

Thymol, the primary constituent of thyme is rapidly absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Preliminary research suggests that thyme has antimicrobial activity and modest antibacterial effects.149,150 It also seems to have antiviral activity.151  Other preliminary research suggests thyme has activity against fungi such as Candida albicans and other Candida species.

Thymol is active against fungal microorganisms that cause fungal nail infections.152 

Thyme and its constituents may have antioxidant effects.149,153,154 The antioxidant effect of thyme may increase the production of nitric oxide and improve atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction.155 

Research suggests thyme has antispasmodic, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic activity.156,157,158,159 Additionally, thyme might improve wound healing.160 

Adverse Reactions:

Orally, thyme is generally well tolerated. Gastrointestinal adverse effects occur occasionally.146 Allergic reactions are uncommon.148

Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:

None reported

Interactions with Drugs:

None reported

Interactions with Foods:

None known. 

Interactions with Lab Tests:

None known. 

Interactions with Diseases or Conditions:

None reported


Dr Clare’s Blends: 1 gm per day (3mls 1:3 Thyme tincture/day)

Oral: For the treatment of bronchitis, a combination of thyme 160 mg and cowslip 54 mg (Bronchipret) has been used three times daily.146

Specific References: THYME

145. Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol 1998;134:1349-46.

146. Ernst E, Marz R, Sieder C. A controlled multi-centre study of herbal versus synthetic secretolytic drugs for acute bronchitis. Phytomedicine 1997;4:287-93.

147. Kitajima J, Ishikawa T, Urabe A, Satoh M. Monoterpenoids and their glycosides from the leaf of thyme. Phytochemistry 2004;59:3279-87.

148. Spiewak R, Skorska C, Dutkiewicz J. Occupational airborne contact dermatitis caused by thyme dust. Contact Dermatitis 2001;38:235-9.

149. Proestos C, Chorianopoulos N, Nychas GJ, Komaitis M. RP-HPLC analysis of the phenolic compounds of plant extracts. investigation of their antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial activity. 

J Agric Food Chem 2005;47:1190-5.

150. Hersch-Martinez P, Leanos-Miranda BE, Solorzano-Santos F. Antibacterial effects of commercial essential oils over locally prevalent pathogenic strains in Mexico. Fitoterapia 2005;76:453-7.

151. Kohlert C, Schindler G, Marz RW, et al. Systemic availability and pharmacokinetics of thymol in humans. J Clin Pharmacol 2002;36:731-7.

152. Ramsewak RS, Nair MG, Stommel M, Selanders L. In vitro antagonistic activity of monoterpenes and their mixtures against 'toe nail fungus' pathogens. Phytother Res 2003;17:376-9.

153.  Aydin S, Basaran AA, Basaran N. Modulating effects of thyme and its major ingredients on oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes. J Agric Food Chem 2005;47:1299-305.

154. Agbor GA, Oben JE, Ngogang JY, et al. Antioxidant capacity of some herbs/spices from cameroon: a comparative study of two methods. J Agric Food Chem 2005;47:6819-18.

155. Grande S, Bogani P, de Saizieu A, et al. Vasomodulating potential of mediterranean wild plant extracts. J Agric Food Chem 2004;46:5021-6.

156. Meister A, Bernhardt G, Christoffel V, Buschauer A. Antispasmodic activity of Thymus vulgaris extract on the isolated guinea-pig trachea: discrimination between drug and ethanol effects. Planta Med 1999;59:512-6.

157. Okazaki K, Kawazoe K, Takaishi Y. Human platelet aggregation inhibitors from thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Phytother Res 2002;16:398-9.

158. Vigo E, Cepeda A, Gualillo O, Perez-Fernandez R. In-vitro anti-inflammatory effect of Eucalyptus globulus and Thymus vulgaris: nitric oxide inhibition in J774A.1 murine macrophages. J Pharm Pharmacol 2004;50:257-57.

159. Watanabe J, Shinmoto H, Tsushida T. Coumarin and flavone derivatives from estragon and thyme as inhibitors of chemical mediator release from RBL-2H3 Cells. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2005;69:1-6.

160. Dursun N, Liman N, Ozyazgan I, et al. Role of thymus oil in burn wound healing. J Burn Care Rehabil. 2003;18:395-9.


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