Thymus vulgaris


Botanical Name: Thymus vulgaris
Common name: Thyme (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 885)
Family: Lamiaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 886)
Parts used: Leaf and Flowers (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 885)


  • Essential oil (antimicrobial and antioxidant)
  • Phenols: thymol and/or carvacrol
  • Carnosol, rosmanols, galdosol, carnosic acid (strong antioxidants)
  • Flavonoids
  • Acetophenone glycosides
  • Salicylates
  • Polysaccharide with anti-complementory properties

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 886)



  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antioxidant
  • Antiparasitic
  • Antiseptic
  • Antiviral
  • Expectorant
  • Rubefacient
  • Spasmolytic

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 885)



Traditionally considered a major antispasmodic cough remedy, thyme also has a long history of culinary use and as a flavouring agent in teas and liquors. Tea was administered for colic, dyspepsia and to control fever in common cold. Thyme oil was used in rheumatism and neuralgic pain.

Eclectic physicians considered thyme to be an emmenagogue and tonic and indicated the tea in disorders such as hysteria, dysmennorhea and convalescence (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 885).



Indications supported by clinical trials include:

  • Productive cough
  • Acute bronchitis (in combination)

Traditional indications include:

  • Bronchitis
  • Whooping cough
  • Asthma
  • Catarrh and inflammations of upper respiratory tract
  • Dyspepsia
  • Colic
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhoea (notably in children)
  • Tonsilitis (topical)

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 885)


Preparation & Dosage

Infusion: 3-12g/day

Liquid extract (1:2): 2-6mL/day

Tablet or Capsule: 2-6mL or equivilant/day

Tincture (1:5): 6-18mL/day

Gargle or mouthwash

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 886)



  • Allergic reactions are possible, notably from tropical use (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 886)
  • Large doses are not recommended in pregnancy, however the herb is compatible with lactation (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 891)



None known (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 891)



Asthma: combines with Lobelia and Ephedra

Whooping cough: combine with Wild Cherry and Sundew


Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Hoffmann, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons

Image: Herbosophy. (2014). THYME (THYMUS VULGARIS). Retrieved from:

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