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Evaluating the safety and efficacy of Zataria multiflora (Shirazi thyme) as cough medicine


In this review, a researchers from Iran evaluated the potency of Zataria multiflora, also known as Shirazi thyme, as an alternative medicine for the management of acute cough. This article appeared in the Journal of Integrative Medicine.

  • Cough is a defensive reflux mechanism that facilitates the removal of foreign objects and secretions from the bronchi and bronchioles.
  • Z. multiflora is a popular plant widely used for the treatment of cough in Iranian Traditional Medicine.
  • To explore its potency and mechanisms of action, the researcher compiled information about the use of Z. multiflora as cough medicine from all accessible resources and books.
  • Five clinical studies evaluated the efficacy of Z. multiflora essential oil and extract alone or in combination with either Althaea officinalis (marsh mallow) or Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) essential oil in various forms (e.g., syrup, oral drop and soft capsule) for the treatment of acute cough.
  • These studies compared the efficacy of Z. multiflora-based treatments with that of a placebo or synthetic drugs like the mucolytic bromhexine and the cough suppressants, dextromethorphan and clobutinol.
  • All five studies confirmed the efficacy of Z. multiflora in ameliorating acute cough in pediatric and adult patients without causing any adverse effects.
  • These findings suggest that the efficacy of Z. multiflora as cough medicine can be attributed to different its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, relaxant and immune-enhancing properties.

The researchers recommend conducting more clinical trials to explore the effectiveness of Z. multiflora when combined with other natural cough medicines, such as ivy leaf extract or primrose root extract.

Journal Reference:

Mahboubi M. MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE COUGH BY ZATARIA MULTIFLORA BOISS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT. Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2018;16(1):20-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.joim.2017.12.006

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