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Last updated on November 4, 2019 at 11:21 GMT on November 15, 2019

Thyme, also known as common thyme or garden thyme, is an evergreen dwarf shrub native to the Mediterranean, North Africa and parts of Asia, and is now widely planted all over the world. Its habitat includes dry slopes, rocks and horses, and it can be found on sandy or fertile soil.

Thyme belongs to the plant family Lamiaceae. This plant can grow up to 50 cm tall, has a dense appearance, and has upright woody stems. The small gray-green leaves have short petioles, linear or oval; they have a unique aromatic odor, similar to that of thymol. It has lavender, pink, tubular, lip-shaped flowers arranged in axillary bushes; they bloom in summer (June to August). The fruit is made of four small brown ovoid nuts.

The part used is dry leaves, which are collected during flowering. The main component of thyme leaves is volatile oil (at least 1.2%), the main components are thymol, p-cymene and carvacrol; caffeic acid derivatives (rosmarinic acid); flavonoids (luteolin, apigenin, etc.) , Triterpenoids (ursolic acid, oleanolic acid).

Thyme has a long history of folk use in the Mediterranean region. It has been mentioned by Greek and Roman classical writers such as Dioscorides, Hippocrates, Pliny and Virgil. In 1887, Chamberland proved the antibacterial effect of thyme essential oil on carbuncle infections. Later, other infectious pathogens were tested in France, such as the pathogens that cause typhus and canine distemper.

Thyme is used to treat respiratory diseases and various other diseases. It also has antispasmodic, deworming and expectorant effects; oral administration is used to treat upper respiratory tract mucositis, indigestion, asthma, laryngitis, chronic gastritis and whooping cough. The German E Committee has approved the use of thyme to treat cough, bronchitis and whooping cough. Externally, it is used as a mouthwash and mouthwash to treat oral and throat inflammation, tonsillitis, itching, skin diseases, and poorly healed wounds.

The expectorant effect is attributed to the essential oil components (thymol and carvacrol), which increase mucociliary activity; animal studies of terpenes have also proven the expectorant effect on ciliary activity. In addition, the flavonoid part (luteolin) has been shown to have antispasmodic activity in the pre-contracted rat smooth muscle trachea model. Therefore, the antispasmodic effect and respiratory clearance effect seems to be due to the synergistic effect of the different components (water and oil parts) of thyme extract.

The respiratory tract has epithelial cells characterized by cilia on the surface. Since the Ca2+ mediated mechanism effectively beats the cilia, coughing up may include the movement of mucus through the respiratory tract from the lungs to the upper respiratory tract.

Thymox-EPO is a dry powder extract obtained from the aerial part of Thymus vulgaris L through hydroalcoholic (70% ethanol-30% water) extraction (general method according to Eur. Ph. 8.0). Standardized to contain 0.3% of total phenols, calculated as thymol (spectrophotometric method, DAB 10).

Plant species are certified by DNA barcode analysis. No harmful solvents are used in the manufacturing process, it is completely manufactured in Italy, with full traceability from the site to the final packaging, and the production chain is checked at every stage. The quantification of biologically active compounds is accurately carried out through complex analytical methods and complies with EU regulations on food and food supplements.

Its efficacy is based on preclinical evidence, and has dual effects of anti-inflammatory and expectorant, making Thymox-EPO suitable for respiratory inflammation, asthma, dry cough and sputum expectoration.

Thymox-EPO has been tested on a 3D in vitro cell model, faithfully reproducing the physiological condition. The results show that Thymox-EPO has good expectorant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Thymox is able to reduce pro-inflammatory mediator proteins (such as NF-kB p65 and NF-kB p52 and pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-8 at the mRNA and protein levels, proving that it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. (Figure 1) )

         The respiratory tract has epithelial cells characterized by surface cilia. Due to the effective pulsation of cilia and a Ca2+-mediated mechanism, sputum expectoration includes the movement of mucus through the respiratory tract. 

Thymox has been shown to increase extracellular cAMP levels; it increases Ca 2+ influx, while reducing extracellular Ca2+ levels; therefore, it increases ciliary beat frequency. By increasing the beat rate, Thymox-EPO helps clear mucus (sputum production). (figure 2)

The recommended daily dose is 10 g of the drug, containing 0.03% phenol, which is equivalent to 1 g Thymox-EPO (0.3% dry thyme extract) based on thymol.

Gruenwald J. et al. Herbal Medicine PDR, 4th edition. Thomson, 2007

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Chevallier A., ​​"Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants", Dorling Kindersley, London, 1996

Valnet J., "Aromathérapie-Traitement des maladies par les Essences ded Plantes", Librairie Maloine SA Editeur, Paris 1974

German Commission E Monograph, Vol. 2 Bundesanzeiger nr. 226 (1992)

Capasso F., Grandolini G., Izzo AA, "Fitoterapia", Springer-Verlag Italia, 2006

Begrow F., Engelbertz J. et al. The effect of thymol in thyme extract on its antispasmodic effect and ciliary activity. Botanical Garden March 2010; 76(4):311-8

Engelbertz J., Lechtenberg M., Bioassay-guided fractionation of thymol-free hydrophilic thyme extract and its antispasmodic effect. National Pharmaceutical Journal. June 2012; 141(3):848-53

Nabissi M, Oliviero M, Morelli MB, Innarelli R, Amantini C, Santoni G, Maggi F. Thyme extract regulates mucociliary beating frequency in primary cell lines derived from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 2018 Biomedicine and Drug Therapy; 105 (2018) 1248–1253

Oliviero M, Romilde I, Morelli MB, Valsi M, Nicotra G, Amantini C, Cardinali C, Santoni G, Maggi F, Nabissi M. To evaluate the line of action of thyme extract on human normal bronchial and tracheal epithelial cell lines and human lung cancer cells. Chemical biological interaction. August 25, 2016; 256:125-33

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