Study: Thyme Is More Effective For Pain Relief Than Ibuprofen

Recent research has found that thyme oil is more effective than ibuprofen for the treatment of period pain. This property is mainly owed to thymol, a naturally occurring compound in thyme, with antiseptic and antibacterial effects that destroy harmful organisms.

This comes as no surprise for us, as the traditional medicine has used thyme oil to help relieve pain for centuries!

A Study Finds That Thyme Is More Effective Than Ibuprofen

A study conducted at the Iranian University of Babol of Medical Sciences showed that thyme is not just a herb that is excellent in relieving pain. They showed that it’s even better than ibuprofen when it comes to relieving period pain.

The study included 84 female students who have pain cramps during menstruation. The students were from 18 to 24 years of age, and they all suffered from primary dysmenorrhea. The cramping pain, medically known as primary dysmenorrhea, may or may not be accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, dizziness, back pain, and headaches.

The researches separated the participants into 3 groups. The first group was given ibuprofen, the second group received thyme oil, and the third group – placebo capsules.

Each participant got instructions to begin with the treatment on the first day of the menstrual cycle, following with one dose on every 6 hours.

The intensity of the pain was logged at the beginning, before the treatment, one hour after the first dose was taken, and then on 24 and 48 hours after the treatment began. The participants were also asked to record the intensity of blood flow.

According to the results, the pain scores of the group treated with thyme reduced from 6.57 to 1.21 during the first period. During the second period, the pain scores reduced even further, to 1.14.

Meanwhile, the pain scores of the participants of the ibuprofen group reduced from 5.30 to 1.48 during the first period. During the second, the pain score increased to 1.68.

The results indicate that the pain-relieving effects of thyme oil continued to improve during the second menstrual cycle, while the therapeutic effect of ibuprofen decreased during the second period. Ibuprofen becomes familiar to the human body with frequent use and loses its effectiveness.

Tolerance To Thyme And Other Natural Herbs

The diminishing effect of ibuprofen, among pharmaceutical products is called tolerance to drugs. Since these are chemical products, the body’s immune system recognizes them as foreign substances. Thus, the liver enzymes direct at them and the chemicals break down. Eventually, they have an increasingly lower efficacy, resulting in increased body tolerance.

The human cells may also become resistant to these chemical products. This happens because the receptors that at first allowed access to the chemicals are modified, and they cause receptor downregulation.

Fortunately, the human body does not see medicinal herbs as foreign substances because they have multiple healing and therapeutic effects. For instance, thyme has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiseptic properties, which are considered as friendly effects by the human body.


Instead by a single chemical substance, these properties are driven by a combination of natural, bio-identifiable components. The thyme herb has several active ingredients. In addition to vitamins and minerals, as we already mentioned, it contains thymol – an antiseptic and potent antibiotic compound. This herb also contains naringenin, thymonin, apigenin and luteolin – all with different therapeutic effects that balance and complement each other.

Knowing the above, we highly recommend the intake of thyme oil for relieving period pain. A recommendable dose is 25 drops, which needs to be taken on the first day of menstruation, and then on every 6 hours until the pain goes away.

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