Contraindications And Precautions

Contraindicated in people who are allergic to the Labiatae family of plants. Other cautions are gastritis, enterocolitis and congestive heart failure (Ernst et al 2001).

® PREGNANCY USE

Essential oil not recommended in pregnancy.

PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• Although thyme is used as a cooking spice, it is also used medicinally to treat common upper respiratory tract infections, coughs, bronchitis and asthma, dyspepsia and diarrhoea.

• Thyme extract is used as a gargle for pharyngitis or applied topically (5% dilution) as a compress to wounds due to its antimicrobial and astringent activities.

• Thyme has not been significantly investigated in controlled trials, so much information is based on traditional use or evidence of activity.

• Thyme has antispasmodic, antimicrobial, antitussive, astringent and anthelmintic activities as demonstrated in vitro or in animal studies.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this herb do for me?

When taken internally, thyme is used to treat bronchitis, symptoms of the common cold, diarrhoea and dyspepsia. It is also used as an antiseptic gargle for sore throats and can be diluted and applied externally to minor wounds. When will it start to work?

The lack of human studies for this herb make it difficult to determine when effects will start to occur.

Are there any safety issues?

Thyme should not be used by people allergic to the Labiatae family of plants or in pregnancy, and used cautiously in gastritis, enterocolitis and congestive heart failure.

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