Thyme

Thyme: Clinical Applications

Welcome to the blog series Herb of the Month!

This week, we will be exploring the many benefits and clinical applications of the flowering, dwarf shrub known as Thyme. People have used Thyme for many centuries as a flavoring agent, culinary herb, and especially as an herbal medicine. Thyme is rich in presence of flavonoids, thymol, carvacrol, eugenol, phenols, and luteolin, which many believe are the compounds responsible for most of its therapeutic aspects. It is also an incredible wellspring of iron, calcium, manganese, and vitamin K. In addition to having anti-spasmodic, antiviral and antimicrobial properties, Thyme is also known to be antiparasitic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory in nature. Because of this herb’s versatile roles, Thyme does best paired with other herbs in a formula to help bring out the synergistic and potent medicinal qualities.


Effects on Respiratory Conditions

Antimicrobial & Antibacterial

thyme, antimicrobial and antibacterial The traditional use of Thyme in the treatment of sore throats has gained attention in many studies in the scientific community. They suggest that Thyme essential oil and extract is one of nature’s most powerful antimicrobials. A study entitled “Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and carvacrol, and synergy of carvacrol and erythromycin, against clinical, erythromycin-resistant Group A Streptococci,” written by Gloria Magi et al and published in 2016 in the Frontiers in Microbiology journal studied the natural antimicrobial substances in plants and their components. They found that the combination of the constituents thymol and carvacrol can act as the main weapon against many different bacteria strains. Another recent study entitled “Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts,” written by K A Hammer et al and published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology in 2001, aimed to test a large number of essential oils and plant extracts against a diverse range of organisms to create directly comparable, quantitative, antimicrobial data. They found that even a small amount of Thyme oil and extracts (both acetone and water) may be effective against a variety of bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli)Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans.

Antiviral & Antispasmodic

thyme, antispasmodic

Although Thyme has been used for centuries to treat respiratory conditions, it is finally gaining traction in the scientific world. This is due to Thyme being rich in plant phenols such as thymol and carvacrol. They are considered to have powerful anti-spasmodic qualities, which makes them potent and effective cough suppressants. On the other hand, the antiviral and expectorant qualities of Thyme help to thin out excessive mucus, making it easier to expel when coughing. Due to the overwhelming research available, the German Commission E has actually approved Thyme oil in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough, and upper respiratory inflammation. One clinical trial entitled “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,” written by Joerg Gruenwald et al and published in 2006 in the Arzneimittelforschung (Drug Research) journal aimed to look at the effectiveness of Thyme for acute bronchitis. They discovered that patients who were given extracts of dry Thyme and Evening Primrose had significantly better healing times than those given the placebo. Another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial entitled “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,” written by Bernd Kemmerich et al and published in 2006 in the Arzneimittelforschung (Drug Research) journal aimed to study the effectiveness in the combination of Thyme and Ivy leaves in patients suffering from acute bronchitis with a productive cough. They found that patients with acute bronchitis who were given the combination displayed a 50% reduction in coughing fits two days sooner than those given the placebo.  


Additional Health Benefits of Thyme

Digestive Health

thyme, digestive health

Thyme oil and its individual constituents have been shown in several studies to have beneficial effects on the gut microbiome. A recent review entitled “The Potential Gastrointestinal Health Benefits of Thymus Vulgaris Essential Oil: A Review,” written by Abdulaziz Almanea et al and published in 2019 in the Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal discusses the many effects Thyme has on the gastrointestinal system. Due to the antispasmodic effects of the plant phenols thymol and carvacrol, this powerful herb has the potential to help relax the smooth muscles of the ileum – resulting in cramping and bloating relief. Additionally, Thyme can also be a useful anthelmintic (used to destroy parasitic worms such as hookworm). One study entitled “Thymus vulgaris L. essential oil and its main component thymol: Anthelmintic effects against Haemonchus contortus from sheep,” written by Luis E Ferreira et al and published in 2016 in the Vet Parasitol Journal aimed to evaluate the main component, thymol, and its effect on Haemonchus contortus from sheep (a close relative of the human hookworm species). They found that both the essential oil and thymol were highly effective against the three main stages of H. contortus – by almost 100%.

Heart Health

One of Thyme’s phenolic compounds, Rosmarinic acid, has been linked to several benefits such as reduced inflammation and blood sugar levels, as well as increased blood flow. In one study entitled “Effect of rosmarinic acid on the arterial blood pressure in normotensive and hypertensive rats: Role of ACE,” written by Luciana Garros Ferreira et al and published in 2018 in the Phytomedicine journal, they aimed to verify the effect of rosmarinic acid on blood pressure through inhibitory activity on angiotensin converting enzyme in rats. They found that rosmarinic acid was effective in reducing blood pressure. Although more research is needed to investigate these effects in humans, the results look promising.

External Wound Healing & Recovery

thyme, antiseptic For centuries Thyme oil has been commonly used as an antiseptic due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. A study entitled “Antibacterial and Wound Healing Properties of Thymol (Thymus vulgaris Oil) and its Application in a Novel Wound Dressing,” written by P. Mollarafie et al and published in 2015 in the Journal of Medicinal Plants aimed to study the use of thymol as an antibacterial and wound healing agent in the development of a novel wound dressing. They found that it not only provided antibacterial and wound-healing properties, but also increased the elasticity, porosity, and mechanical strength of the dressing itself. On the other hand, Thyme has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In the recent 2020 review entitled “A Focused Insight into Thyme: Biological, Chemical, and Therapeutic Properties of an Indigenous Mediterranean Herb” written by Dalal Hammoudi Halat et al and published in the Nutrients journal, they explain how the plant phenol, thymol, is well known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity. Due to these properties, Thyme may be beneficial in targeting skin conditions such as eczema (to reduce inflammation) and acne(to get rid of bacterial infections).  


Final Recommendations

Here are Nancy’s Thyme recommendations from Fullscript & Floracopeia:

 
Lung & Bronchial Tonic™Legends Spray Collection
 

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to recommending Thyme. The amount taken per serving and the number of times a day has differing effects on everyone. Because of this, Nancy recommends Booking a 15 Minute Discovery call if you’re interested in taking this wonderful herb. Thyme should be used as directed. It’s important to consult with a registered clinical herbalist or natural health practitioner trained in clinical herbalism for more resistant and deeper set health issues. They will be able to give a more tailored suggested serving and daily frequency based on your age, gender, body weight, and any present medical conditions. 

 

Remember to join us each month as we explore the history, personality, clinical application, and more of Nancy’s favorite plants. Get a snippet of the properties and practical uses of these herbs and how they supported the health of our ancestors as well as how they can support us in our present day.

Stay Tuned for History of St. John's Wort

Other Resources:

Thyme Benefits | Healthline | WebMD

Welcome to the blog series Herb of the Month!

This week, we will be exploring the many benefits and clinical applications of the flowering, dwarf shrub known as Thyme. People have used Thyme for many centuries as a flavoring agent, culinary herb, and especially as an herbal medicine. Thyme is rich in presence of flavonoids, thymol, carvacrol, eugenol, phenols, and luteolin, which many believe are the compounds responsible for most of its therapeutic aspects. It is also an incredible wellspring of iron, calcium, manganese, and vitamin K. In addition to having anti-spasmodic, antiviral and antimicrobial properties, Thyme is also known to be antiparasitic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory in nature. Because of this herb’s versatile roles, Thyme does best paired with other herbs in a formula to help bring out the synergistic and potent medicinal qualities.


Effects on
Respiratory Conditions

Antimicrobial & Antibacterial

thyme, antimicrobial and antibacterial

The traditional use of Thyme in the treatment of sore throats has gained attention in many studies in the scientific community. They suggest that Thyme essential oil and extract is one of nature’s most powerful antimicrobials. A study entitled “Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and carvacrol, and synergy of carvacrol and erythromycin, against clinical, erythromycin-resistant Group A Streptococci,” written by Gloria Magi et al and published in 2016 in the Frontiers in Microbiology journal studied the natural antimicrobial substances in plants and their components. They found that the combination of the constituents thymol and carvacrol can act as the main weapon against many different bacteria strains. Another recent study entitled “Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts,” written by K A Hammer et al and published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology in 2001, aimed to test a large number of essential oils and plant extracts against a diverse range of organisms to create directly comparable, quantitative, antimicrobial data. They found that even a small amount of Thyme oil and extracts (both acetone and water) may be effective against a variety of bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli)Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans.

Antiviral & Antispasmodic

thyme, antispasmodic

Although Thyme has been used for centuries to treat respiratory conditions, it is finally gaining traction in the scientific world. This is due to Thyme being rich in plant phenols such as thymol and carvacrol. They are considered to have powerful anti-spasmodic qualities, which makes them potent and effective cough suppressants. On the other hand, the antiviral and expectorant qualities of Thyme help to thin out excessive mucus, making it easier to expel when coughing. Due to the overwhelming research available, the German Commission E has actually approved Thyme oil in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough, and upper respiratory inflammation. One clinical trial entitled “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,” written by Joerg Gruenwald et al and published in 2006 in the Arzneimittelforschung (Drug Research) journal aimed to look at the effectiveness of Thyme for acute bronchitis. They discovered that patients who were given extracts of dry Thyme and Evening Primrose had significantly better healing times than those given the placebo. Another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial entitled “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,” written by Bernd Kemmerich et al and published in 2006 in the Arzneimittelforschung (Drug Research) journal aimed to study the effectiveness in the combination of Thyme and Ivy leaves in patients suffering from acute bronchitis with a productive cough. They found that patients with acute bronchitis who were given the combination displayed a 50% reduction in coughing fits two days sooner than those given the placebo.


Additional Health
Benefits of Thyme

Digestive Health

thyme, digestive health

Thyme oil and its individual constituents have been shown in several studies to have beneficial effects on the gut microbiome. A recent review entitled “The Potential Gastrointestinal Health Benefits of Thymus Vulgaris Essential Oil: A Review,” written by Abdulaziz Almanea et al and published in 2019 in the Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal discusses the many effects Thyme has on the gastrointestinal system. Due to the antispasmodic effects of the plant phenols thymol and carvacrol, this powerful herb has the potential to help relax the smooth muscles of the ileum – resulting in cramping and bloating relief. Additionally, Thyme can also be a useful anthelmintic (used to destroy parasitic worms such as hookworm). One study entitled “Thymus vulgaris L. essential oil and its main component thymol: Anthelmintic effects against Haemonchus contortus from sheep,” written by Luis E Ferreira et al and published in 2016 in the Vet Parasitol Journal aimed to evaluate the main component, thymol, and its effect on Haemonchus contortus from sheep (a close relative of the human hookworm species). They found that both the essential oil and thymol were highly effective against the three main stages of H. contortus – by almost 100%.

Heart Health

One of Thyme’s phenolic compounds, Rosmarinic acid, has been linked to several benefits such as reduced inflammation and blood sugar levels, as well as increased blood flow. In one study entitled “Effect of rosmarinic acid on the arterial blood pressure in normotensive and hypertensive rats: Role of ACE,” written by Luciana Garros Ferreira et al and published in 2018 in the Phytomedicine journal, they aimed to verify the effect of rosmarinic acid on blood pressure through inhibitory activity on angiotensin converting enzyme in rats. They found that rosmarinic acid was effective in reducing blood pressure. Although more research is needed to investigate these effects in humans, the results look promising.

External Wound Healing & Recovery

thyme, antiseptic

For centuries Thyme oil has been commonly used as an antiseptic due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. A study entitled “Antibacterial and Wound Healing Properties of Thymol (Thymus vulgaris Oil) and its Application in a Novel Wound Dressing,” written by P. Mollarafie et al and published in 2015 in the Journal of Medicinal Plants aimed to study the use of thymol as an antibacterial and wound healing agent in the development of a novel wound dressing. They found that it not only provided antibacterial and wound-healing properties, but also increased the elasticity, porosity, and mechanical strength of the dressing itself. On the other hand, Thyme has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In the recent 2020 review entitled “A Focused Insight into Thyme: Biological, Chemical, and Therapeutic Properties of an Indigenous Mediterranean Herb” written by Dalal Hammoudi Halat et al and published in the Nutrients journal, they explain how the plant phenol, thymol, is well known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity. Due to these properties, Thyme may be beneficial in targeting skin conditions such as eczema (to reduce inflammation) and acne(to get rid of bacterial infections).


Final Recommendations

Here are Nancy’s Thyme recommendations from Fullscript & Floracopeia:

 
Lung & Bronchial Tonic™Legends Spray Collection
 

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to recommending Thyme. The amount taken per serving and the number of times a day has differing effects on everyone. Because of this, Nancy recommends Booking a 15 Minute Discovery call if you’re interested in taking this wonderful herb. Thyme should be used as directed. It’s important to consult with a registered clinical herbalist or natural health practitioner trained in clinical herbalism for more resistant and deeper set health issues. They will be able to give a more tailored suggested serving and daily frequency based on your age, gender, body weight, and any present medical conditions. 

Remember to join us each month as we explore the history, personality, clinical application, and more of Nancy’s favorite plants. Get a snippet of the properties and practical uses of these herbs and how they supported the health of our ancestors as well as how they can support us in our present day.

Stay Tuned for History of St. John's Wort

Other Resources:

 Thyme Benefits | Healthline | WebMD