This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Thymol. - C10H14O=149.66. A phenol (classified in the B. P. as a stearopten) occurring in the volatile oils of (1) Thymus vulgaris Linne, (2) Monarda punctata Linne (nat. ord. Labiatae), and (3) Carum Ajowan (Roxburgh) Bentham et Hooker (nat. ord. Umbelliferae).
1) Southern Europe; cultivated. (2) United States, west to Texas and Colorado; in sandy fields. (3) India, Persia, Egypt.
Thymol is separated from the terpenes in the volatile oils by fractional distillation, agitated with solution of Soda to remove more of the terpenes and cooled. The compound of Soda and Thymol is decomposed by Hydrochloric Acid, and Thymol is re-crystallized from an alcoholic solution.
Large, colorless, translucent crystals of the hexagonal system, having an aromatic, thyme-like odor, and a pungent, aromatic taste, with a very slight caustic effect upon the lips. Sp. gr., as a solid, is 1.069, but when liquefied by fusion it is lighter than water. When triturated with about equal quantities of Camphor, Menthol, or Chloral hydrate, it liquefies.
Paraffin, and spermaceti.
Dose, 1 to 3 gr.; .20 to 1.00 gm.
Thymol is a more powerful antiseptic than carbolic acid, but its insolubility is a drawback. It has been used in antiseptic surgery. A saturated solution, thymol gauze, and thymol ointment are employed. It is non-irritating. It has considerable antiparasitic powers, and solutions in alcohol or ether (1 in 15) have been used in ringworm. A solution in glycerin (1 in 200) has been recommended for sore throat. A little alcohol is very useful for facilitating the aqueous solution of thymol. The odor is likely to attract house flies. Thymol in 30 gr.; 2. gm. doses has been given as an anthelmintic for the Anchylostoma duodenale. After its administration the urine may become green.