Thyme has not been significantly investigated in controlled studies, therefore information is generally derived from evidence of activity and traditional use and the clinical significance is unknown.
RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS
Thyme extract has been used to treat the common cold, bronchitis, laryngitis and tonsillitis. It is orally ingested or used in a gargle for local activity, based on the herb’s suspected antimicrobial and antitussive activities.
Encouraging data have been reported for chronic bronchitis treated by thyme in combination with other herbs in large (n > 3000) comparative clinical trials, although no data are available for thyme as a stand-alone treatment.
Thyme is approved by Commission E in the treatment of bronchitis, whooping cough and upper respiratory tract catarrh.
The astringent activity of thyme provides a theoretical basis for its application in this condition.
GASTRITIS AND DYSPEPSIA
The bitter principles present in the herb and its antispasmodic activity provide a theoretical basis for its use in these conditions.
SKIN DISINFECTION (TOPICAL USE)
Thyme extract has been used topically for infection control in minor wounds. The herb’s antimicrobial and astringent activity provides a theoretical basis for this use.
Thyme: Other Uses
Traditionally, it has been used to aid in labour and delivery, promote menstruation and topically for warts and inflamed swellings (Fisher & Painter 1996). It has also been used to treat enuresis in children.
Thyme: Dosage Range
• Fluid extract (1:1): 1-2 mL up to three times daily.
• Fluid extract (1:2): 1 5-40 mL/week.
• Tincture (1:5): 2-6 mL three times daily.
• Infusion of dried herb: 1-4 g three times daily.
• 5% infusion used as a compress.