McCormick Science Institute

MSI Funded Paper: Thyme: History, Applications, and Overview of Potential Health Benefits

Singletary, K


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MSI Team
January 2016--An overview of the potential health benefits of thyme, funded by the McCormick Science Institute.  An evaluation of the research is presented. 

Thyme is a perennial shrub with greenish-gray aromatic leaves. It originates from Southern Europe and countries bordering the Mediterranean but now can be found in many areas of the world with temperate climates. There are numerous varieties of the plant, which differ in their flavor profiles. Thyme essential oil is a commercial product prepared by distillation of its leaves used commercially in the manufacture of chewing gum, candy, and ice cream. Thymol, 1 of the principal constituents of this oil, is used in perfumes, food flavorings, mouthwashes, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, and in feed additives and pesticides. Traditional remedies associated with thyme include alleviation of depression, epilepsy, nightmares, and headaches and treatment of coughs. The possible health effects of thyme and its constituents, particularly thymol and carvacrol, include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, respiratory, and neurological benefits.


Singletary, K. Thyme: History, Applications, and Overview of Potential Health Benefits. Nutrition Today. 2016 Jan/Feb: 51(1): 40-49. 
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