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 to act as a counterirritant, 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, and have antioxidant effects.
- 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). Early research shows that applying lavender oil along with the essential oils from thyme, rosemary, and cedarwood to the scalp improves hair growth after 7 months of treatment.
- Bronchitis. Some research shows that taking thyme by mouth, in combination with other herbs, improves symptoms of bronchitis such as coughing, fever, and decreases production of sputum in adults, children, and teenagers.
- Cough. Some research shows that taking thyme by mouth, alone or in combination with other herbs, reduces coughing in people with bronchitis, upper respiratory tract infections, or common colds.
- 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.
- Bad breath.
- Ear infections.
- Preventing bedwetting.
- Sore throat.
- Swelling (inflammation) of the lungs and mouth.
- Swelling (inflammation) of the tonsils.
- Other conditions.
THYME Side Effects & Safety
Thyme is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in normal food amounts. Thyme is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as medicine for short periods of time. In some people, it can cause digestive system upset, headache, or dizziness.
Thyme oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin. In some people, applying the oil to the skin can cause irritation. 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 amounts food naturally in foods 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.
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.
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.