THE SECRETS OF THYME: CHEMICAL FOCUS

3 Posted by - August 15, 2016 - Oil Science

Thanks to its numerous health benefits, thyme essential oil has been used for centuries in Mediterranean countries. While thyme essential oil is made up of several chemical constituents, thymol and carvacrol are primarily responsible for its composition. The following looks at the benefits associated with the use of thyme essential oil, thanks to these two powerful constituents.

Thymol

Numerous studies have found that thymol provides innumerable benefits. For example, a study completed by the University of Michigan determined that the active ingredients in thymol operate as an as an antispasmodic and expectorant for individuals struggling with bronchitis [1]. Thymol acts by breaking down mucus in the body, which results in coughs that are more effective at clearing the air pathways. It also appears to be safe for children who are suffering from whooping cough.

In addition, research indicates that thymol has antibacterial properties that cause it to impede the growth of bacteria in the mouth which means it can help prevent halitosis [2]. This can also help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Carvacrol

In 2013, researchers found that carvacrol, along with thymol, has the ability to weaken drug resistant strains of disease-causing bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella, which makes the bacteria more susceptible to treatment with antibiotics [3]. This replicated the results of a 2010 study, though it does not specify how it does this [4]. 

Additionally, research has determined that the combination of carvacrol and thymol have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. This is why thyme essential oil is so effective at slowing down or completely eradicating the growth of bacteria inside and outside the body. This is especially beneficial for anyone with a healing wound because it decreases their chances of developing an infection [5]. 


[1] http://www.livestrong.com/article/163688-uses-of-thymol/

[2] http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2174009

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3873673/

[4] http://www.medicaldaily.com/zaatar-health-benefits-middle-eastern-spice-blend-fights-microbes-may-boost-brain-246726

[5] https://healthimpactnews.com/2015/20-health-benefits-of-thyme-oil/

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