Skip to content

Find a Vitamin or Supplement

THYME

Other Names:

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, S...
See All Names

THYME Overview
THYME Uses
THYME Side Effects
THYME Interactions
THYME Dosing
THYME Overview Information

Thyme is an herb. The flowers, leaves, and oil are used as medicine. Thyme is sometimes used in combination with other herbs.

Thyme is taken by mouth for bronchitis, whooping cough, sore throat, colic, arthritis, upset stomach, stomach pain (gastritis), diarrhea, bedwetting, a movement disorder in children (dyspraxia), intestinal gas (flatulence), parasitic worm infections, and skin disorders. It is also used to increase urine flow (as a diuretic), to disinfect the urine, and as an appetite stimulant.

Some people apply thyme directly to the skin for hoarseness (laryngitis), swollen tonsils (tonsillitis), sore mouth, and bad breath.

Thyme oil is used as a germ-killer in mouthwashes and liniments. It is also applied to the scalp to treat baldness and to the ears to fight bacterial and fungal infections.

Thymol, one of the chemicals in thyme, is used with another chemical, chlorhexidine, as a dental varnish to prevent tooth decay.

In foods, thyme is used as a flavoring agent.

In manufacturing, red thyme oil is used in perfumes. It is also used in soaps, cosmetics, and toothpastes.

How does it work?

Thyme contains chemicals that might help bacterial and fungal infections, and minor irritations. It also might relieve smooth muscle spasms, such as coughing.

THYME Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Bronchitis. Some research suggests that taking thyme by mouth, in combination with various other herbs, improves symptoms of bronchitis such as coughing, fever, and increased production of sputum in adults, children, and teenagers.
  • Cough. Some research suggests that taking thyme by mouth, alone or in combination with various other herbs, reduces coughing in people with bronchitis, upper respiratory tract infections, or common colds.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Agitation. Early research suggests that attaching a pad containing thyme oil to the collar area of shirts does not reduce agitation in people with advanced dementia.
  • Hair loss (alopecia areata). There is some evidence that applying lavender oil in combination with the essential oils from thyme, rosemary, and cedarwood to the scalp improves hair growth in up to 44% of people with hair loss after 7 months of treatment..
  • Movement disorders (dyspraxia). Taking thyme oil, in combination with evening primrose oil, fish oils, and vitamin E, seems to improve movement disorders in children with dyspraxia.
  • Colic.
  • Ear infections.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the tonsils.
  • Preventing bedwetting.
  • Sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the lungs and mouth.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of thyme for these uses.


THYME Side Effects & Safety

Thyme is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in normal food amounts. Thyme is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as medicine for short periods of time. It can cause digestive system upset.

Thyme oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin. In some people, applying the oil to the skin can cause irritation. But there isn’t enough information to know whether thyme oil is safe to take by mouth in medicinal doses.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Thyme is LIKELY SAFE when consumed by children in normal food amounts. Thyme is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as medicine for short periods of time. There isn’t enough information to know whether thyme oil is safe for children when applied to the skin or taken by mouth.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Thyme is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant and breast-feeding women when consumed in normal food amounts. But it’s not known whether it’s safe to use thyme in larger medicinal amounts. Stick to food amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Allergy to oregano and similar plants: 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.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Thyme might act like estrogen in the body. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use thyme.

Surgery: 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.

THYME Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with THYME

    Thyme might slow blood clotting. Taking thyme along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
    Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


THYME Dosing

The appropriate dose of thyme depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for thyme. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

See 7 Reviews for this Treatment - OR -

Review this Treatment

Learn about User Reviews and read IMPORTANT information about user generated content

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

Search for a Vitamin or Supplement

Ex. Ginseng, Vitamin C, Depression

Today on WebMD

Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
Man taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
 
clams
Quiz
Woman in sun
Slideshow
 
Flaxseed added fiber
Video
!!69X75_Vitamins_Supplements.jpg
Evaluator
 
Woman sleeping
Article
Woman staring into space with coffee
Article
 
IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.