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, Spanish Thyme, Thym, Thym Citron, Thym Commun, Thym des Jardins, Thym Maraîcher, Thym Vrai, Thym Vulgaire, Thyme Aetheroleum, Thyme Essential Oil, Thyme Oil, Thymi herba, Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis, Tomillo, Van Ajwayan, Vanya Yavani, White Thyme Oil.


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 used for swelling (inflammation) of the main airways in the lung (bronchitis), cough, patchy hair loss (alopecia areata), stomach problems, and many other conditions. But there is no good scientific evidence to support its use for any condition.

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.

Don't confuse thyme with wild thyme. These are two different plants.

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.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • 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 the common cold.
  • Diseases, such as Alzheimer disease, that interfere with thinking (dementia). Early research suggests that attaching a pad containing thyme oil to the collar of the shirt does not reduce agitation in people with advanced dementia.
  • Patchy hair loss (alopecia areata).
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the main airways in the lung (bronchitis).
  • A motor skill disorder marked by clumsiness (developmental coordination disorder or DCD).
  • Appetite stimulation.
  • Arthritis.
  • Bad breath.
  • Colic.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Gas.
  • Ear infections.
  • Preventing bed-wetting.
  • Skin problems.
  • Sore throat.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the lungs and mouth.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the tonsils.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the voice box (laryngitis).
  • Whooping cough.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of thyme for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: 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. There isn't enough reliable information to know if thyme oil is safe to use as medicine or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: Thyme oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin. In some people, the oil can cause irritation.

When inhaled: There isn't enough reliable information to know if thyme oil is safe or what the side effects might be.

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 reliable information to know if thyme oil is safe to use as medicine or what the side effects might be.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Thyme is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant and breast-feeding women when consumed in normal food amounts. There isn't enough reliable information to know if thyme is safe to use in larger medicinal amounts. Stay on the safe side and stick to amounts found naturally in foods.

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.

View References


  • Andersen, A. Final report on the safety assessment of sodium p-chloro-m-cresol, p-chloro-m-cresol, chlorothymol, mixed cresols, m-cresol, o-cresol, p-cresol, isopropyl cresols, thymol, o-cymen-5-ol, and carvacrol. Int J Toxicol. 2006;25 Suppl 1:29-127. View abstract.
  • Azirak, S. and Rencuzogullari, E. The in vivo genotoxic effects of carvacrol and thymol in rat bone marrow cells. Environ Toxicol. 2008;23(6):728-735. View abstract.
  • Berova, N., Stransky, L., and Krasteva, M. Studies on contact dermatitis in stomatological staff. Dermatol.Monatsschr. 1990;176(1):15-18. View abstract.
  • Bimczok, D., Rau, H., Sewekow, E., Janczyk, P., Souffrant, W. B., and Rothkotter, H. J. Influence of carvacrol on proliferation and survival of porcine lymphocytes and intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. Toxicol.In Vitro 2008;22(3):652-658. View abstract.
  • Buccellato, G. [Dermatomyositis cured by administration of para-methyl-isopropyl- phenol (thymol)]. G.Ital.Dermatol.Minerva Dermatol. 1965;106(1):89-94. View abstract.
  • Buechi, S., Vogelin, R., von Eiff, M. M., Ramos, M., and Melzer, J. Open trial to assess aspects of safety and efficacy of a combined herbal cough syrup with ivy and thyme. Forsch.Komplementarmed.Klass.Naturheilkd. 2005;12(6):328-332. View abstract.
  • Buyukleyla, M. and Rencuzogullari, E. The effects of thymol on sister chromatid exchange, chromosome aberration and micronucleus in human lymphocytes. Ecotoxicol.Environ Saf 2009;72(3):943-947. View abstract.
  • Chang, Y. C., Tai, K. W., Huang, F. M., and Huang, M. F. Cytotoxic and nongenotoxic effects of phenolic compounds in human pulp cell cultures. J Endod. 2000;26(8):440-443. View abstract.
  • Conrad F and Kemmerich B. Clinical trial in acute bronchitis with a fixed combination of fluid extracts of thyme herb and ivy leaves. 13th Annual Symposium on Complementary Health Care, 12th-14th December, 2006, University of Exeter, UK. Focus on Alternative & Complementary Therapies 2006;11(1):14-15.
  • Cuzzolin, L. and Benoni, G. Attitudes and knowledge toward natural products safety in the pharmacy setting: an Italian study. Phytother.Res 2009;23(7):1018-1023. View abstract.
  • Enomoto, S., Asano, R., Iwahori, Y., Narui, T., Okada, Y., Singab, A. N., and Okuyama, T. Hematological studies on black cumin oil from the seeds of Nigella sativa L. Biol.Pharm.Bull 2001;24(3):307-310. View abstract.
  • Ernst E, Marz R, and Sieder C. A controlled multi-centre study of herbal versus synthetic secretolytic drugs for acute bronchitis. Phytomedicine 1997;4:287-293.
  • Fabian, D., Sabol, M., Domaracka, K., and Bujnakova, D. Essential oils--their antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and effect on intestinal cell viability. Toxicol.In Vitro 2006;20(8):1435-1445. View abstract.
  • Fisher, A. A. Allergic contact dermatitis due to thymol in Listerine for treatment of paronychia. Cutis 1989;43(6):531-532. View abstract.
  • Gruenwald, J., Graubaum, H. J., and Busch, R. Efficacy and tolerability of a fixed combination of thyme and primrose root in patients with acute bronchitis. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung 2005;55(11):669-676. View abstract.
  • Gruenwald, J., Graubaum, H. J., and Busch, R. Evaluation of the non-inferiority of a fixed combination of thyme fluid- and primrose root extract in comparison to a fixed combination of thyme fluid extract and primrose root tincture in patients with acute bronchitis. A single-blind, randomized, bi-centric clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung 2006;56(8):574-581. View abstract.
  • Hagedorn, M. [Genital vulvar lichen sclerosis in 2 siblings]. Z Hautkr. 9-15-1989;64(9):810, 813-810, 814. View abstract.
  • Halmai, J. Common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) as employed for the ancient methods of embalming. Ther Hung. 1972;20(4):162-165. View abstract.
  • Hikiba, H., Watanabe, E., Barrett, J. C., and Tsutsui, T. Ability of fourteen chemical agents used in dental practice to induce chromosome aberrations in Syrian hamster embryo cells. J Pharmacol Sci 2005;97(1):146-152. View abstract.
  • Jukic, M., Politeo, O., Maksimovic, M., Milos, M., and Milos, M. In vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibitory properties of thymol, carvacrol and their derivatives thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone. Phytother.Res 2007;21(3):259-261. View abstract.
  • Kemmerich, B. Evaluation of efficacy and tolerability of a fixed combination of dry extracts of thyme herb and primrose root in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough. A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung 2007;57(9):607-615. View abstract.
  • Kemmerich, B., Eberhardt, R., and Stammer, H. Efficacy and tolerability of a fluid extract combination of thyme herb and ivy leaves and matched placebo in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough. A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung. 2006;56(9):652-660. View abstract.
  • Knols G, Stal PC, and Van Ree JW. Productive coughing complaints: Sirupus Thymi or Bromhexine? A double-blind randomized study. Huisarts en Wetenschap 1994;37:392-394.
  • Kohlert, C., Abel, G., Schmid, E., and Veit, M. Determination of thymol in human plasma by automated headspace solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatographic analysis. J Chromatogr.B Analyt.Technol.Biomed.Life Sci 2-5-2002;767(1):11-18. View abstract.
  • Le Roy, R., Grosshans, E., and Foussereau, J. [Investigation of contact allergies in 100 cases of ulcus cruris (author's transl)]. Derm.Beruf.Umwelt. 1981;29(6):168-170. View abstract.
  • Lorenzi, S., Placucci, F., Vincenzi, C., Bardazzi, F., and Tosti, A. Allergic contact dermatitis due to thymol. Contact Dermatitis 1995;33(6):439-440. View abstract.
  • Mackiewicz, B., Skorska, C., Dutkiewicz, J., Michnar, M., Milanowski, J., Prazmo, Z., Krysinska-Traczyk, E., and Cisak, E. Allergic alveolitis due to herb dust exposure. Ann Agric Environ Med 1999;6(2):167-170. View abstract.
  • Martinez-Gonzalez, M. C., Goday Bujan, J. J., Martinez, Gomez W., and Fonseca, Capdevila E. Concomitant allergic contact dermatitis due to Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) and Thymus vulgaris (thyme). Contact Dermatitis 2007;56(1):49-50. View abstract.
  • Marzian, O. [Treatment of acute bronchitis in children and adolescents. Non-interventional postmarketing surveillance study confirms the benefit and safety of a syrup made of extracts from thyme and ivy leaves]. MMW.Fortschr.Med 6-28-2007;149(27-28 Suppl):69-74. View abstract.
  • Qureshi S, Shah AH, Al-Yahya MA, and et al. Toxicity of
  • Shapiro, S. and Guggenheim, B. The action of thymol on oral bacteria. Oral Microbiol.Immunol 1995;10(4):241-246. View abstract.
  • Skramlik EV. Toxicity and toleration of volatile oils. Pharmazie 1959;14:435-445.
  • Slamenova, D., Horvathova, E., Sramkova, M., and Marsalkova, L. DNA-protective effects of two components of essential plant oils carvacrol and thymol on mammalian cells cultured in vitro. Neoplasma 2007;54(2):108-112. View abstract.
  • Smeenk, G., Kerckhoffs, H. P., and Schreurs, P. H. Contact allergy to a reaction product in Hirudoid cream: an example of compound allergy. Br.J Dermatol. 1987;116(2):223-231. View abstract.
  • Someya, H., Higo, Y., Ohno, M., Tsutsui, T. W., and Tsutsui, T. Clastogenic activity of seven endodontic medications used in dental practice in human dental pulp cells. Mutat.Res 1-31-2008;650(1):39-47. View abstract.
  • Stammati, A., Bonsi, P., Zucco, F., Moezelaar, R., Alakomi, H. L., and von Wright, A. Toxicity of selected plant volatiles in microbial and mammalian short-term assays. Food Chem Toxicol. 1999;37(8):813-823. View abstract.
  • Takada, M., Agata, I., Sakamoto, M., Yagi, N., and Hayashi, N. On the metabolic detoxication of thymol in rabbit and man. J Toxicol.Sci 1979;4(4):341-350. View abstract.
  • Tognolini, M., Barocelli, E., Ballabeni, V., Bruni, R., Bianchi, A., Chiavarini, M., and Impicciatore, M. Comparative screening of plant essential oils: phenylpropanoid moiety as basic core for antiplatelet activity. Life Sci. 2-23-2006;78(13):1419-1432. View abstract.
  • Twetman, S. and Petersson, L. G. Interdental caries incidence and progression in relation to mutans streptococci suppression after chlorhexidine-thymol varnish treatments in schoolchildren. Acta Odontol.Scand. 1999;57(3):144-148. View abstract.
  • Zani, F., Massimo, G., Benvenuti, S., Bianchi, A., Albasini, A., Melegari, M., Vampa, G., Bellotti, A., and Mazza, P. Studies on the genotoxic properties of essential oils with Bacillus subtilis rec-assay and Salmonella/microsome reversion assay. Planta Med 1991;57(3):237-241. View abstract.
  • 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;53:6819-24. . View abstract.
  • Anderson C, Lis-Balchin M, Kirk-Smith M. Evaluation of massage with essential oils on childhood atopic eczema. Phytother Res 2000;14(6):452-6. View abstract.
  • 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;53:1299-305. . View abstract.
  • Bahadoran P, Rokni FK, Fahami F. Investigating the therapeutic effect of vaginal cream containing garlic and thyme compared to clotrimazole cream for the treatment of mycotic vaginitis. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res 2010;15(Suppl 1):343-9. View abstract.
  • Benito M, Jorro G, Morales C, et al. Labiatae allergy: systemic reactions due to ingestion of oregano and thyme. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1996;76:416-8. View abstract.
  • Boruga O, Jianu C, Misca C, Golet I, Gruia AT, Horhat FG. Thymus vulgaris essential oil: chemical composition and antimicrobial activity. J Med Life. 2014;7 Spec No. 3:56-60. View abstract.
  • Cartier LC, Lehrer A, Malo JL. Occupational asthma caused by aromatic herbs. Allergy 1996;51:647-9. View abstract.
  • Dursun N, Liman N, Ozyazgan I, et al. Role of thymus oil in burn wound healing. J Burn Care Rehabil. 2003;24:395-9. . View abstract.
  • El Kattan, A. F., Asbill, C. S., Kim, N., and Michniak, B. B. Effect of formulation variables on the percutaneous permeation of ketoprofen from gel formulations. Drug Deliv. 2000;7(3):147-153. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:
  • 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.
  • Erol S, Aydin B, Dilli D, Okumus N, Zenciroglu A, Gündüz M. An interesting newborn case of fructose 1-6 diphosphatase deficiency triggered after thyme juice ingestion. Clin Lab. 2014;60(1):151-3. View abstract.
  • Giordani R, Regli P, Kaloustian J, et al. Antifungal effect of various essential oils against Candida albicans. Potentiation of antifungal action of amphotericin B by essential oil from Thymus vulgaris. Phytother Res 2004;18:990-5. . View abstract.
  • Golec M, Skorska C, Mackiewicz B, et al. Respiratory effects of exposure to dust from herbs. Ann Agric Environ Med 2005;12:5-10. . View abstract.
  • Grande S, Bogani P, de Saizieu A, et al. Vasomodulating potential of mediterranean wild plant extracts. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52:5021-6. . View abstract.
  • Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol 1998;134:1349-52. View abstract.
  • 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. . View abstract.
  • Kitajima J, Ishikawa T, Urabe A, Satoh M. Monoterpenoids and their glycosides from the leaf of thyme. Phytochemistry 2004;65:3279-87. . View abstract.
  • Kohlert C, Schindler G, Marz RW, et al. Systemic availability and pharmacokinetics of thymol in humans. J Clin Pharmacol 2002;42:731-7. . View abstract.
  • 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;65:512-6. . View abstract.
  • Okazaki K, Kawazoe K, Takaishi Y. Human platelet aggregation inhibitors from thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Phytother Res 2002;16:398-9. . View abstract.
  • Park BS, Choi WS, Kim JH, et al. Monoterpenes from thyme (Thymus vulgaris) as potential mosquito repellents. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 2005;21:80-3. . View abstract.
  • Pina-Vaz C, Goncalves Rodrigues A, Pinto E, et al. Antifungal activity of Thymus oils and their major compounds. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2004;18:73-8. . View abstract.
  • 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;53:1190-5.. View abstract.
  • 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.. View abstract.
  • Ray, S. and Ghosal, S. K. Release and skin permeation studies of Naproxen from hydrophillic gels and effect of terpenes as enhancers on its skin permeation. Boll.Chim.Farm. 2003;142(3):125-129. View abstract.
  • Sasaki K, Wada K, Tanaka Y, et al. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) leaves and its constituents increase the activities of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes in mouse liver. J Med Food 2005;8:184-9.
  • Snow LA, Hovanec L, Brandt J. A controlled trial of aromatherapy for agitation in nursing home patients with dementia. J Altern Complement Med 2004;10(3):431-7. View abstract.
  • Spiewak R, Skorska C, Dutkiewicz J. Occupational airborne contact dermatitis caused by thyme dust. Contact Dermatitis 2001;44:235-9. . View abstract.
  • Stordy BJ. Dark adaptation, motor skills, docosahexaenoic acid, and dyslexia. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:323S-6S. View abstract.
  • Vetvicka V, Vetvickova J. Essential Oils from Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): Chemical Composition and Biological Effects in Mouse Model. J Med Food. 2016 Dec;19(12):1180-1187. View abstract.
  • 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;56:257-63. View abstract.
  • 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.. View abstract.
  • Yamamoto J, Yamada K, Naemura A, et al. Testing various herbs for antithrombotic effect. Nutrition 2005;21(5):580-7. View abstract.
  • Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1998;217:369-78. View abstract.

Vitamins Survey

Have you ever purchased THYME?

Did you or will you purchase this product in-store or online?

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

What factors influenced or will influence your purchase? (check all that apply)

Vitamins Survey

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

Do you buy vitamins online or instore?

What factors are most important to you? (check all that apply)

This survey is being conducted by the WebMD marketing sciences department.Read More

More Resources for THYME

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 .