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Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Also known as the "whooping Cough herb," thyme acts to inhibit smooth muscle spasms and excess mucous production throughout the respiratory system. Used in kitchens all over the world, thyme also adds flavour to food and is enjoyed as a tea. Thymol, its primary component, acts as a disinfectant to rid the body of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Thyme?s volatile oil, composed of thymol and other constituents, prevents smooth muscle spasms and aids in proper gastrointestinal function. The low toxicity of the herb has made it a favourite for treating coughs in children.
Thyme has expectorant, antitussive (Cough treatment and prevention), antispasmodic properties. It has long been used in Europe to treat dry, spasmodic coughs and Bronchitis (1). It is also traditionally recommended for whooping cough and gastrointestinal irritations. Thyme oil has been used to treat fungal Infections on the Skin and to prevent gingivitis.
Part of the plant used: LEAF, FLOWER.
Tea, 1-2 g several times daily as needed for cough (2).
Thyme can be used to aid in the treatment of:
Thyme herbal preparations are generally very safe when used as directed.
Thyme oil should not be taken internally in high doses due to its content of thymol, a powerful toxin. It may lead to dizziness, Vomiting, and breathing difficulties (3). When applied topically, thyme oil can irritate the skin.
A spasmodic Cough in children may be dangerous. Consult a physician for proper treatment.
Thyme may interact with CNS depressants or stimulants. The effects are unknown.
Thyme should not be taken by persons on procarbazine antineoplastic agents.
Sedatives, hypnotics, and beta-adrenergic blocking agents may inhibit anti-inflammatory activity of thyme.
1. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1996, 492-95.