Thyme: A powerful herb for health



Antiseptic, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antiparasitic.


Do not use during pregnancy and lactation

Part used:
The leaves and the flowers.


Harvested from June to August.


Monoterpenic phenols (mainly thymol, cymol, carbacrol, linalool, borneol), bitter elements, tannin, flavonoids, triterpenes.

Respiratory 90%
Immune 80%
Digestive 80%
Urinary 70%
Liver - Bile 60%

Family: Lamiaceae

Botanical name: Thymus vulgaris

It is also found as: victim, victimizer

What is thyme?

Organic thyme from the mountains of Epirus

Thyme (thyme) is a plant that can be used to traditional herb, also known as finocchi, melicini or truffle. It is a fragrant shrub that when it blooms in summer, has pinkish-purple flowers which have a unique smell that attracts bees. There are over 400 species of thyme. At Greece it is common that thyme cephalopod (Thymus capitatus), while in the Western Mediterranean it thyme the common (T. vulgaris) which is a cultivated form of wild thyme (T. serpyllum).

Thyme and use

The range of use of thyme in the cooking is impressive. It is used as a spice in many cuisines, especially in the Mediterranean. Its taste is strong and slightly pungent. It is a key ingredient in some sauces such as pesto sauce which you can use as a condiment or add to pasta and rice.

 The fresh leaves or whole branches of the plant can be used in the preparation of meat, poultry and even fish. It is one of the main ingredients of Benedictine liqueur.

In addition to its use in cooking, the herb also has an important reputation for its medicinal properties. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which is why it has been used as a treatment for acne. Its various species have been widely used as a tea, tonic, antitussive, antitussive and palliative by the flatulence. The volatile oil of thyme is theI Apochromatic, strongly antiseptic while the thymol it contains is an active antifungal.

To make thyme drink, we use dried thyme leaves and shoots which we place in a hot water in order to extract their nutrients. For a better taste you can combine it with thyme honey!

Thyme and properties

The properties of thyme make it useful in chronic, fungal infections, as well as an effective remedy for lung infections such as bronchitis and the pleurisy

In its composition contains essential oils such as rosmarinic acid (rosmarinic acid) and ursolic acid (ursolic acid), which have antispasmodic properties and can help treat bronchitis, throat irritation, coughing, laryngitis, asthma, mouth inflammation and throat infections.[9]

The delicious infusion may be given for microinfections of the throat and of lungs, while the fresh leaves can be chewed to relieve the irritated throat.

Thyme is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin AVitamin CVitamins of the B complexfolic acid, calcium, potassiumcopperfibreiron and manganese. [10]

Thyme and articles

However, different species of thyme can have quite different compositions and this means significant differences in some biological actions [1, 2]. Analyses have shown that the main chemical compounds in T. vulgaris are: thymol, carbacrol, camphene, caryophyllene, caryophyllene, abutylene, a-terpenol, p-cymene, c-terpinene, linalool and borneol. But while the thymol content is about 50% in T. vulgaris essential oil, this figure may be 8% in T. capitatus. Also, the composition of an essential oil can be quite different even in the same species, depending on the time of harvest. A study showed that the carbacrol content of T. capitatus in Northern Sicily was 14.2%, 76.1% and 81.2% when harvested on 14/5, 19/6 and 16/7 [3].

Thyme and acne

When thyme is immersed in alcohol for days or weeks, it turns into a solution known as tincture. In a 2010 study, thyme essential oil was found to have antibacterial activity against P. acnes, the bacteria associated with the skin condition acne.In 2012, researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University, in the UK, tested the effects of thyme oil on acne. The findings were presented at a Society for General Microbiology conference and were impressive. This natural herbal preparation fought acne-causing bacteria better than prescription products [4]. 

It should be noted, however, that this study was a laboratory study. Many plants have inhibitory effects on the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses in vitro but there is little clinical evidence on their efficacy and safety in treatment of acne.

Thyme and atopic dermatitis

According to a 2018 study in International Immunopharmacology, applying thymol to the skin of people with atopic dermatitis has an immediate physiological response. In addition to inhibiting inflammatory compounds known as cytokines, thymol helps shrink the swollen dermal and epidermal layers of the skin that are characteristic of dermatitis.

In addition, thymol was able to prevent secondary infections caused by the bacterium Staphyloccocus aureus. This very common complication occurs when the swollen tissues allow S. aureus to move from the surface of the skin and create pools underneath it.

According to researchers, the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects of thymol may have a place in the management of chronic atopic dermatitis.13]

Thyme and respiratory system

The essential oil of thyme, which is taken from its leaves, is often used as a natural remedy for coughing and natural relief of congestion, in the chest. Either alone or in combination with herbs, it is one of the most commonly recommended herbs in Europe for the treatment of dry, spasmodic cough as well as whooping cough. [11]While fresh thyme is thought to have better results, thyme oil may also be beneficial.

 Due to the low toxicity of the herb, has become a favorite for its treatment of cough in young children. In one study, a combination of thyme and ivy leaves helped relieve cough and other symptoms of acute bronchitis [5].

Thyme and oral hygiene

According to a 2015 study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers believe that thymol inhibited the production of ergosterol, a substance similar to cholesterol that is needed to enhance fungal growth. [13] Note that the anti-inflammatory effects of thymol have been documented in several studies. Thymol is effective in reducing infections and this makes it beneficial for oral health. Thus, it is an ingredient in many dental products, such as in the Listerine mouthwash [6].

Thyme and the immune system

Thyme oil effective against resistant strains of bacteria StaphylococcusEnterococcusEscherichia and Pseudomonas.[10]

The thymol it contains is active against bacteria such as salmonella and staphylococcus [7]. This makes thyme a useful tonic for the immune system in chronic infections.

The plant has been used to treat worms (anthelmintic) in children. It is useful in intestinal infections and infections, from gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi and yeasts such as Candida albicans.

Thyme and insect repellent

Thymol is a component of many pesticides and pesticides. A study showed that thyme extract can repel mosquitoes such as the Tiger mosquito.

The Tiger mosquito originates from tropical regions of Southeast Asia and since the 1990s has spread around the world, carrying West Nile virus, dengue and other diseases. A research team in South Korea reported that a combination of thymol, alpha-terpinene and carbacrol was effective in killing its larvae.

To get better pest control results, scrub with the following products thyme leaves between your hands. Note that the Romans used to burn and spread thyme on the floor to ward off scorpions.

You can make a homemade insect repellent by mixing 4 drops of thyme essential oil in each teaspoon of olive oil or by mixing 5 drops in about 4 tablespoons of water.

Thyme and stability of cooking oils

Η oxidation of lipids is a serious problem in food processing and storage. It can cause a reduction in quality, stability and safety. Scientists from Poland tested whether thyme extract can prolong the stability of sunflower oil at different temperatures. The conclusion was that thyme stabilises sunflower oil, which was attributed to its antioxidants.

Thyme is particularly rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, two important antioxidants. 100 g of T. vulgaris leaves contain 4,751 International Units of vitamin A and 160 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin A is vital for maintaining healthy mucous membranes and skin as well as good vision. Vitamin C fights pro-inflammatory free radicals. Thyme is also a rich source of flavonoids.

Selection and storage

No instructions for the proper use of thyme on medical purposes. It is recommended that you consult a specialist to make sure it is the right choice for your condition.

Thyme can be purchased as Dried ή fresh herb.

The dried thyme can be safely stored in room temperature for up to two years, but it quickly loses its aromatic properties after about a year.

The fresh thyme generally takes about one week in the fridge. its leaves will start to turn black when it gets old. Fresh thyme can be frozen and added to broths and stews straight from the freezer.

Thyme capsules contain thyme leaf powder and are usually given between 250 and 500 mg  per day. As a rule, never exceed the recommended dose on the product label.

The thyme essential oil is usually sold in bottles which are resistant to light 

You can store the essential oil in the refrigerator or se cool, dry room away from direct sunlight. UV radiation from the sun can damage essential oils.[13]

Thyme and side effects

Thyme is safe when consumed as food. There is not enough information to know if it is safe at pharmaceutical doses taken orally. In some people, it may cause digestive upset, headache, or dizziness.

Care is needed in the amount of intake as taking it in large quantities can kill the good bacteria in the gut and disturb its flora.

It can also cause a slowdown in the coagulation of blood and increase the risk of bleeding if used in large quantities. Therefore, do not use thyme for at least two weeks before a planned surgery.

Thyme oil can irritate the mucous membranes so you should always dilute it well. A case has been reported in Turkey where ingestion of 25 ml of oil caused hepatotoxicity [8].

Do not drink large quantities as a decoction and for long periods of time. During pregnancy it is probably safe to take thyme in regular doses, however avoid drinking it in therapeutic doses if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Some people who are allergic to plants of the family of χειλανθών (Lamiaceae) can be allergic to thyme as well.

Finally, the plant can act as a estrogen in the body. If you have a medical condition that may be aggravated by exposure to estrogen, do not use it.


  1. Evaluation of the antibacterial and antioxidant activities of chitosan edible films incorporated with organic essential oils obtained from four Thymus species.
  2. Assessment of Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties on Meat Homogenates of Essential Oils Obtained from Four Thymus Species Achieved from Organic Growth.
  3. Influence of harvesting time on composition of the essential oil of Thymus capitatus (L.) Hoffmanns. & Link. growing wild in northern Sicily and its activity on microorganisms affecting historical art crafts.
  4. Thyme may be better for acne than prescription creams.
  5. 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. A Prospective, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.
  7. Medicinal and Functional Values of Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) Herb.
  8. Acute Hepatitis Associated with Thymus Vulgaris
    Oil Ingestion; Case Report.
  9. The healing properties of thyme
  10. 12 Health Benefits of Thyme
  11. Thyme
  12. Thyme Tea: Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, and How to Prepare It
  13. What Is Thymus Vulgaris?

The social cooperative enterprise of Epirus producers "ICHOR" is based in Ioannina and deals with the production of aromatic and medicinal plants as well as other local products of Epirus.