(Thymus vulgaris)

This fragrant plant is a perennial evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean region. It originates from wild thyme, which is native to Britain and Europe and has been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians. The dried or partially dried leaves and flowering tops are used medicinally.

Other than its use as a spice, thyme has a long history of use in Europe for the treatment of dry, spasmodic coughs as well as bronchitis. Its antispasmodic actions have made it a common traditional recommendation for whooping cough. Thyme has also been used to ease an irritated gastro-intestinal tract. The oil has been used to treat topical fungal infections and is also used in toothpastes to prevent gingivitis.

What it does

Thyme contains volatile oils, flavanoids, gums and labiatic and caffeic acids. The main active constituent is thymol. It also contains phenols (tannins) and carvacol. Thyme is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, anti-fungal, anti-parasite, antioxidant, carminative and antiseptic. Wild thyme is also sedative and promotes perspiration.

Potential Uses

Halitosis (mouth washes and toothpaste) Bronchitis Candida
Dry spasmodic coughs Cystitis Diarrhoea
Indigestion IBS Laryngitis
Sore throat (as a gargle) Tonsillitis Warts (topically)

Other information

Thyme leaves can be used to make herbal tea.

Thyme aromatherpy oil should slways be diluted in a carrier oil.


Do not use in children under 3 years of age.

Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using thyme.

At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with thyme.

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