The Anti-Anxiety Effects of Thymol

Thymol (2-isopropyl-5-methylphenol) is naturally occurring phenolic monoterpene. The compound is synthesised by plants from cymene. Thymol is found in a number of commonly eaten garden plants including Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) and Thymus sp. (thyme). Thymol is thought to have therapeutic effects because it can alter brain chemistry. In this regard the effects of thymol have been investigated in animals in order to determine its anti-anxiety effects. For example, in one study, researcher administered thymol to mice at various concentrations and then exposed the mice to various forms of stress designed to cause anxious behaviour. The results of the study showed that thymol, at the highest (20 mg per kg body weight) concentration, was significantly effective at reducing the anxious behaviour in the mice. However lower concentrations were not effective in this regard. Therefore thymol shows promise as a therapeutic agent to treat anxiety.

thymol anxiety depression

Thymol may have multiple biological activities that include antibacterial, antifungal, anti-oxidant, free radical scavenging and anti-lipid peroxidative effects. Taking advantage of these effects is straightforward as thymol is present in a wide range of different plants, within the essential oils. Origanum vulgare (origano), Thymus vulgaris (common thyme), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), and Citrus limon (lemon) all contain thymol.

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Bhandari, S. S. and Kabra, M. P. 2014. To evaluate anti-anxiety activity of thymol. Journal of Acute Disease. 3(2): 136-140

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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