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Phytother Res. 2018 Sep;32(9):1688-1706. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6109. Epub 2018 May 22.

Thymol, thyme, and other plant sources: Health and potential uses.

Author information

1
Medical Ethics and Law Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2
Student Research Committee, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, H. N. B. Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, 246174, India.
4
Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacology Division, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, 226001, India.
5
Department of Medical Parasitology, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, 61663-335, Iran.
6
Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Ambiental y de los Materiales, Universidad de Jaén, Jaén, Spain.
7
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Granada, Avda. Fuentenueva s/n, Granada, 18071, Spain.
8
Research and Development Functional Food Centre (CIDAF), Bioregión Building, Health Science Technological Park, Avenida del Conocimiento s, /n, Granada, Spain.
9
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
10
Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Centre, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
11
Phytochemistry Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
12
Department of Chemistry, Richardson College for the Environmental Science Complex, The University of Winnipeg, 599 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2G3, Canada.

Abstract

Thymol is a naturally occurring phenol monoterpene derivative of cymene and isomer of carvacrol. Thymol (10-64%) is one of the major constituent of essential oils of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L., Lamiaceae), a medicinal plant with several therapeutic properties. This plant, native to Mediterranean regions, is commonly used as a culinary herb and also with a long history of use for different medicinal purposes. Nowadays, thymol and thyme present a wide range of functional possibilities in pharmacy, food, and cosmetic industry. The interest in the formulation of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals based on thymol is due to several studies that have evaluated the potential therapeutic uses of this compound for the treatment of disorders affecting the respiratory, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. Moreover, this compound also exhibits antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticarcinogenesis, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic activities, as well as a potential as a growth enhancer and immunomodulator. In the present review, these bioactivities have been covered because some of them can contribute to explain the ethnopharmacology of thymol and its main source, T. vulgaris. Other important aspects about thymol are discussed: its toxicity and bioavailability, metabolism, and distribution in animals and humans.

KEYWORDS:

Lamiaceae; essential oil; medicinal plant; natural food preservative; thyme; thymol

PMID:
29785774
DOI:
10.1002/ptr.6109
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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