9 Major Side Effects of Eating Too Much Thyme

Thyme (scientific name-Thymus Vulgaris) is an evergreen shrub known for its medicinal and culinary uses. Cultivation of thyme dates back to the Egyptian era. It is native to the Mediterranean region and certain parts of Africa. 

Thyme provides many health and beauty benefits due to the abundance of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals antioxidants, phytonutrients polyphenols, and dietary fibers, etc.

Despite these benefits, eat thyme in moderation to avoid the possible side effects of eating too much thyme.

Nutrition Chart of Thyme

Nutrition Chart of Thyme


Side Effects of Eating Too Much Thyme

Below are some of the main side effects of eating too much thyme.

Side Effects of Eating Too Much Thyme


(1) Irritates Mucous Membrane

The antimicrobial compounds like thymol and carvacrol in thyme protect us from various diseases causing microbes, minimizes the risk of various microbial infections, and promote good health. 

However, studies have found that these compounds can irritate the mucous membrane in individuals who might be allergic to these compounds.

If you are allergic to these compounds, then it’s better to take out thyme from your diet.

(2) Might Develop Allergic Reactions In Some Individuals

Because of its rich nutritious profile that includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, etc, thyme provides several health and beauty benefits.

Weight loss management, stronger immunity, cholesterol management, protection from acne, reduced risk of premature aging are to name a few.

Unfortunately, thyme is also known to cause allergic reactions in some individuals, and they should avoid thyme completely.

Individuals who are allergic to basil, catmint, celery, rosemary, and oregano are highly likely to be allergic to thyme.

Thyme allergy may cause skin irritation and itching, skin redness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Thymol and carvacrol in thyme may irritate the mucous membrane in some individuals.

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(3) Might Cause Adverse Reaction to Thyroid

As per a German study published in 1982, “Thymus Serpyllum”, a variety of thyme was found to cause an adverse reaction on the pituitary gland that stimulates thyroid hormones.

Individuals with thyroid disorders should avoid this variety of thyme as it may aggravate the thyroid problems.

(4) Not So Good For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding Stage

Our health largely depends on what we eat and drink. During pregnancy and nursing, this becomes even more important.

What a woman eats or drinks during pregnancy and nursing not only determines her health but also the health and wellness of the fetus developing in her womb, and the infant that depends on her.

With its rich nutritious profile, thyme seems like a perfect green leafy vegetable to be consumed during pregnancy and the nursing period.

Antioxidants and relevant compounds in the thyme protect the fetus from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals, and other vitamins and minerals in the thyme also play a significant role in the growth and development of the fetus, and in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. 

However, thyme can also increase the risk of miscarriage because of its natural menstruation inducing properties.

To ensure safety during pregnancy, consult your doctor before adding thyme to your diet during this crucial stage.

Nursing mothers are also advised to eat thyme in moderation as excessive thyme can adversely affect the breastmilk, thereby increasing the risk of digestive problems like indigestion and flatulence, etc. in the baby that depends on it. 

(5) Can Interact With Certain Drugs

Thyme is loaded with essential nutrients that provide amazing health and beauty benefits. However, not everyone can enjoy these benefits.

People with a thyroid disorder should avoid “Thymus Serpyllum” ( a variety of thyme) because of its ability to aggravate thyroid disorders.

If you are taking medication for controlling thyroid disorders, then you should eliminate thyme from your diet as otherwise, it could interfere with the functionality of thyroid medication. 

Thymol, a compound present in the thyme is known for absorbing “5-fluorouracil”, an element used in chemotherapy.

This could interfere with the chemotherapy. It is advised to stop consuming thyme two weeks before chemotherapy.

(6) Not So Good For Diabetic Patients

When consumed in moderation, thyme could help in managing diabetes. Phytonutrients in thyme aids in regulating blood sugar levels.

Dietary fibers in thyme slow down the absorption of sugar by the bloodstream, and thus aids in managing diabetes.

With a low glycemic index of 45, it slowly releases sugar into the bloodstream and thus regulates blood sugar levels.

However, overeating thyme should be avoided as otherwise, it may drop our blood sugar to an extremely low level. This could increase the risk of hypoglycemia. 

Excessive hunger, excessive sweating, fainting, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, drowsiness, etc. are some common symptoms of hypoglycemia.

And, eating( or overeating)  thyme while being on diabetes medication may interfere with the functionality of diabetes medication.

To stay safe, eat thyme in moderation, and after consulting with your doctor to rule out the possibility of any food-drug interference.

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(7) Too Much Dietary Fiber Is Bad For Stomach

Dietary fibers in thyme possess laxative properties. It improves bowel movement and provides relief from constipation and other gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome and flatulence, etc.

However, in large quantities, dietary fibers may lead to the absorption of the essential nutrients.

It can also cause problems like indigestion, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, etc.

A high intake of dietary fibers without drinking plenty of water may increase the risk of dehydration in the body. 

This is another reason to eat thyme in moderation. 

(8) Too Many Antioxidants Are Bad For Our Health

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in thyme protects our cells and tissues from free radical damage, and thus minimizes the risk of various cancers like colon cancer, stomach cancer, pancreas cancer, and breast cancer, etc.

They also provide several other benefits like strengthens immunity, aids with detoxification, prevent premature aging, strengthens the cardiovascular system, improves the functionality of vital organs like the liver and kidneys, etc.

However, in excessive quantity, antioxidants may do more harm than good.

As per a study published in the Journal of Cancer Institute, smokers who took beta-carotene ( an antioxidant) supplements in excessive quantity were more likely to develop lung cancer in comparison to those who didn’t. 

Another study conducted by the office of the Dietary supplements states, high intake of vitamin E can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

In moderate quantity, antioxidants target the cancer cells. However, in excessive quantities, they not only target the cancer cells but even the healthy cells around them.

(9) May Cause Hypotension

Eating 100 grams of thyme provides around 814 mg of potassium.

Potassium is a vital mineral known for its vasodilating properties. It relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and thus provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.

This silent killer is a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems and affects millions of people around the world.

However, in large quantities, potassium in thyme may drop our blood pressure to an abnormally low level and thereby increases the risk of hypotension or low blood pressure. It gives rise to symptoms like fatigue, lightheadedness, blurry vision, depression, etc.

Additionally, large doses of potassium while being on hypertension medications may interfere with the functionality of those medicines and should be avoided. Consult your doctor to minimize the risk of food-drug interference.

To stay safe and healthy, eat thyme in moderation. 


The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.

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