Report on Thyme Side Effects and Usage


Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 – Contraindications: People who are allergic to oregano might also be allergic to thyme.

Warning 2 – Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs: These drugs interact with thyme and may increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Examples include aspirin, Plavix, Voltaren, Cataflam, ibuprofen, naproxen, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Warning 3 – Surgery: Because thyme might slow blood clotting, there is a concern that it might increase bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using thyme at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme are used as medicine.

Used as a natural health remedy: Thyme is used internally for the following benefits and treatments:

  • Appetite stimulant
  • Arthritis
  • Bedwetting
  • Bronchitis
  • Colic
  • Cough relief
  • Diarrhea
  • Diuretic (increase urine flow)
  • Expectorant
  • Halitosis – bad breath
  • Hangover remedy
  • Intestinal gas (flatulence)
  • Parasitic worm infections
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach pain (gastritis)
  • Upset stomach
  • Whooping cough

Thyme is used externally for the following benefits and conditions:

  • Anti fungal infections like athlete’s foot
  • Antiseptic
  • Bad breath
  • Hoarseness (laryngitis)
  • Hair loss
  • Kill skin parasites such as crabs or head lice
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Mouthwashes
  • Muscle spasms
  • Oil is applied to ears to fight bacterial and fungal infections.
  • On the scalp to treat baldness (hair loss)
  • Oral Candida (thrush)
  • Skin disorders
  • Sore mouth
  • Swollen tonsils (tonsillitis)
  • Thymol, one of the chemicals in thyme, is used with another chemical, chlorhexidine, as a dental varnish to prevent tooth decay.
  • Yeast infections

When thyme is paired with fenugreek, it is beneficial in treating bacterial infections. When thyme is used with peppermint, it becomes more effective in killing bacteria and in reducing inflammation.

Side Effects of Thyme

Thyme has no side effects when used in amounts typically consumed with food. Thyme oil should be reserved for topical use, as internally it may lead to dizziness, vomiting, and breathing difficulties.

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Other common names include English thyme, fresh summer thyme, German winter thyme, narrow leaved French thyme, Greek gray thyme, broad leaf English thyme, garden thyme, mother of thyme.

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For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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