Thyme essential oil shown to kill up to 75 percent of breast cancer cells in just 72 hours


Essential oils have become really popular  in recent years for their amazing health benefits.  Essential oils are a natural and effective way to help manage stress, deal with pain, boost mood, and fight off infection. Therapeutic grade essential oils are distilled from the bark, flowers, or leaves of a plant and can provide physical and psychological benefits. Hippocrates (circa 460BC – circa 370BC), known today as “the father of Western medicine”, mentioned thyme’s therapeutic uses in treating respiratory diseases and conditions.

Thyme supports the immune, respiratory, digestive, nervous, and other body systems. Thyme essential oils contains large amounts of thymol, which contain substances that can destroy harmful organisms.

But did you know that essential oils are also starting to show promise as a cancer treatment?

Thyme essential oil shown to kill up to 75 percent of breast cancer cells in vitro

Oncologist researchers at Celal Bayar University in Turkey performed a study to determine what effect Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) might have on breast cancer activity.

They reported in the journal Nutrition and Cancer9 that Wild Thyme induced cell death in the breast cancer cells.

Thyme essential oil was found to kill 75% of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) in vitro after 72 hours of treatment. This was at a concentration of just 0.05% (at 0.01%, thyme essential oil still killed >40% of the cells). In other studies, thyme has also shown activity against oral and ovarian cancer.

Thyme, or its essential oil, has also been used in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine owing to its strong antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal (potently killing yeast such as Candida) properties. It makes a great addition to a healthy diet focused on organic fruits, vegetables and whole foods and can be used as a flavorful herb in cooking or simply prepared as a tea.

Other health benefits of thyme oil include:

  • Helps reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Helps regulate menstrual flow
  • Helps to increase circulation and elevates low blood pressure
  • Helps prevent cellulite
  • Help ease nervousness and anxiety
  • Helps fight insomnia
  • Help to eliminate bad breath and body odor


Bozkurt E, Atmaca H, Kisim A, et al. 2012. Effects of Thymus serpyllum Extract on Cell Proliferation, Apoptosis and Epigenetic Events in Human Breast Cancer Cells. Nutrition and Cancer Vol. 64(8): 1245-50. 

Article originally published on republished with permission