Health Guide


What is it?

Thyme is an herbal medicine used to treat fungus infections, upset stomach, throwing up (vomiting), diarrhea (loose bowel movements), digestive problems, bad breath, sore throat, cough, and breathing problems. It is also used as an antiseptic for toothpaste and mouthwash.

Other names for Thyme include: Thymus vulgaris, Common Thyme, Garden Thyme, Rubbed Thyme, and French Thyme.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Thyme you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Thyme. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Thyme, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Large amounts of Thyme can cause upset stomach, throwing up, headache, dizziness, convulsions (uncontrollable shaking) and coma. It can also cause you to stop breathing or your heart to stop beating (1)
  • Thyme oil is considered to be toxic because it is very concentrated (strong). The oil should not be taken by mouth (1,2)
  • Thyme should not be taken by people with intestinal (digestive) problems or heart problems (3)
  • People with allergies to plants such as grass should not take Thyme (3)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Irritation of the inside of the mouth and other membranes of the body (1)
  • Skin rashes have occurred if Thyme is used on the skin (3)


1. Newall CA, Anderson LA & Phillipson JD (eds): Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, England; 1996.

2. Blumenthal M, Goldberg A & Brinckmann J (eds): Herbal Medicine, Expanded Commission E Monographs, 1st ed. Integrative Medicine Communications, Newton, MA; 2000.

3. Fetrow CW & Avila JR: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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