LATIN NAME: Thymus vulgaris

FAMILY: Lamiaceae

GENUS: Thymus

COMMON NAMES: common thyme, German thyme, garden thyme or just thyme

ORIGIN: native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy

BOTANICAL INFORMATION: This flowering plant is 15-30 cm tall and 40 cm wide. It is an evergreen subshrub with tiny, greatly fragrant, grey-green leaves and clusters of purple or pink flowers in early summer.

PARTS USED: flowers, leaves, seeds


Flowering thyme herb contains:

  • 0.8-1.2% of essential oil
  • ursolic acid
  • thymic (saponin) acid
  • oleanoic acid
  • chlorogenic acid
  • coffee acid
  • quinic acid
  • resins
  • flavonoids
  • tannins


Thyme has expectorant properties. It increases the secretion of bronchial glands, speeding up the activity of the ciliated epithelium of the upper respiratory tract. Thyme liquefies phlegm and accelerates its evacuation. It provides a mucous with enveloping effect, has antibacterial properties. Flavonoids help thyme to relieve bronchial spasms, acts as an antihypertensive, soothing, antispasmodic.


In folk medicine, thyme is widely used. It is prescribed for neuralgia and neuroses of different etiology. Thyme successfully treats diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, atony, intestinal spasms, and flatulence. When taking thyme preparations regularly, digestion normalizes, pain in the stomach disappears, the formation of gases decreases, and the intestinal microflora is normalized due to the disinfecting properties of the herb.

Infusions and decoctions from thyme are effective when having bronchitis, laryngitis, angina, tracheitis, bronchopneumonia due to their enveloping, expectorant and antiseptic properties. They can increase the secretion of bronchial glands and dilute phlegm. Infusions and decoctions can be used for gargling when having inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity, caused by pyogenic bacteria. As well, thyme is used in the form of ointments, lotions and compresses for joint pain, rheumatism and various skin diseases.

Thyme preparations have an antimicrobial effect even with insignificant content of phenolic compounds in it. In addition, the plant is good for insomnia. It is believed that if you sleep on a pillow from this herb, then it removes the excitement and relieves headache.

It is also used to increase urine flow (as a diuretic), to disinfect the urine, and as an appetite stimulant. Thyme is usually used in the form of decoctions, infusions, tinctures, oil, seeds, extracts, and ointments.


Thyme is taken by mouth when having:

  • 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
  • skin disorders
  • tooth decay

Thyme is applied to the skin with:

  • hoarseness (laryngitis)
  • swollen tonsils (tonsillitis)
  • sore mouth
  • bad breath

Thyme oil is used for treating:

  • baldness
  • ear fungal infection


Due to the high content of thymol in the thyme, it is contraindicated when having

  • renal and cardiac insufficiency
  • peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum in the stage of exacerbation
  • bronchial asthma
  • emphysema
  • hypertension

Pregnant women are at risk, using thyme, because it can cause a reduction in the uterus. Overdose and long-term use of thyme medications can cause nausea, vomiting, and the development of hyperthyroidism (Graves' disease). Essential oil contained in the plant, can cause irritation of the stomach, kidneys, liver.


Moderate Interaction with Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs):

Thyme can decelerate blood clotting. Simultaneous taking of thyme and antiplatelet medications such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others can strengthen the risks of bruising and bleeding. Before using, consult a doctor.

“Thyme heals all wounds. Pour some thyme, sage, and salt into any open wound and it will heal before any spirits may enter it”

Gypsy Proverb

*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting with a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.