Previously, we profiled the natural fungus fighting abilities of Eucalyptus. Today, we look at another great natural fungus fighter: Thymol!
What is Thymol?
Thymol is the active ingredient in Thyme Oil, derived from Thyme leaves. According to the International Journal of Food Microbiology, "Thymol is part of a naturally occurring class of compounds known as biocides, with strong antimicrobial attributes."
Some Background on Thyme
Thyme has been used for centuries in medicine, food, and for ornamental purposes. The ancient Egyptians used it for embalming, while ancient Greeks used it in baths and burned it as incense in temples. The spread of thyme through Europe is attributed to the Romans, who used it to purify rooms and in foods like cheese and liqueurs. In the middle ages, thyme was placed underneath pillows to ward off nightmares, as well as presented as a gift to knights, believing it brought courage in battle.
Thyme/Thymol in Medicine
Thymol is used to treat a number of ailments, such as bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, bronchitis, flatulence and as a diuretic (to increase urination), according to Medical News Today.
Notably, researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University in England demonstrated that Thyme may be more effective than prescription creams in fighting acne.
Researchers at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, reported that, in experiments with rats, Thyme may be useful for lowering blood pressure.
Researchers in Portugal and Poland showed potential as a natural preservative against food-borne bacterias.
Thymol for Fighting Nail Fungus
There are many studies that demonstrate thymol's effectiveness against nail fungus. Here are some of the more notable studies:
-A 2003 study showed thymol as one of the most effective ingredients for stunting dermatophytes, the fungus that causes nail fungus.
-A 2007 study showed thymol's ability to kill the candida fungus.
-A 2012 study found thyme to be an effective treatment against fungal infections in developing countries.
The New York Times featured Thyme as an effective alternate medicine against nail fungus, especially for people who want to avoid the side effects and harsh ingredients found in many prescription treatments.
The Takeaway on Thymol
Thymol is effective and safe to use, with allergic reaction being the only real risk. Thymol, along with other naturally occurring remedies like eucalyptus, camphor, tea tree oil, and menthol, are natures gifts against nail fungus, and treat fungus as well or better, and safer, than many prescription treatment options.