The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below. Abscess, acne, appetite stimulant, antioxidant, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, burns, cancer, cellulitis (skin inflammation), depression, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), colic, cystitis (bladder infection), dermatitis, dermatomyositis (muscle inflammation), diarrhea, diuresis (increased urine production), dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), dyspepsia (upset stomach), dyspnea (difficulty breathing), eczema, edema (swelling), enuresis (bed wetting), epilepsy, fever, flatulence (gas), flu, gingivitis, gout (foot inflammation), H. pylori, halitosis (bad breath), headache, heartburn, hookworms, indigestion, inflammation of the colon, insect bites, insomnia, intestinal parasites, laryngitis, lice, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), neuralgia (nerve pain), nightmares, obesity, pertussis (whooping cough), pruritis (severe itching), rheumatism, roundworms, scabies, scleroderma (chronic degenerative disease that affects the joints, skin, and internal organs), sinusitis, sore throat, spasms, sprains, stomach cramps, stomatitis (mouth sores), tonsillitis, urethritis, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, vaginal irritation, warts, wound healing.
Adults (18 years and older):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for thyme or thymol. Teas, liquid extracts, oils, ointments, compresses and combination products are all commercially available. Thyme oil is considered to be highly toxic and should not be taken internally. Combination products studied in available trials include Bronchipret® (Primulae radis and thyme) and Listerine® (containing thymol, a constituent of thyme).
For alopecia areata (hair loss), 2-3 drops of an essential oil combination (thyme, lavender, rosemary, and cedarwood added to grapeseed and jojoba oil) massaged into the scalp every night for seven months has been studied. For paronychia (skin infection around a finger or toenail), 1 drop of 1-2% thymol in chloroform to the affected area three times daily, or 1 drop of 4% thymol in chloroform to a chronically affected area three times daily has been used. Diluted thyme oil has been applied as needed in 1-2% ointments for a variety of skin disorders. Safety and efficacy have not been proven, and thyme oil is considered to be highly toxic.
As a compress for rheumatic diseases, bruises, and miscellaneous skin disorders, 5 grams of dried leaf per 100 milliliters boiling water for 10 minutes and strain has been used in compress form.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for thyme in children and use if not recommended. However, for prevention of periodontal infections, a combination product containing 1% chlorhexidine/thymol varnish (Cervitec®) was tolerated in 110 healthy children, ages 8-10 years old, when taken three times within two weeks.