[Treatment of cough in respiratory tract infections - the effect of combining the natural active compounds with thymol]

Wiad Lek. 2016;69(6):791-798.
[Article in Polish]


Cough is one of the characteristic symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (URI). Herbal medicines are often used in the treatment of the cough associated with infection and to accelerate recovery or support the immune system. An example of such products are extracts of thyme and primrose, and also their combination with thymol. Thymus vulgaris is a spasmolytic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant agent. The most important component responsible for the activity of thyme is thymol contained in the volatile thyme oil. Primrose is, most of all, a saponine agent with expectorant and secretolytic activity, showing also spasmolytic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. Because of the additive effects of the mentioned extracts and their wide activity profile they are often used as a combination drug. The use of this combination was assessed in the URI with the effects of alleviation of cough and dyspnea, and shortening the length of the disease. The effectiveness of the drug containing the extracts of thyme and primrose with the addition of thymol (Bronchosol®) was comparable to synthetic ambroxol and its safety has been proved. Moreover, the in-vitro antibacterial and antifungal effects of this drug have been evaluated.

Keywords: Bronchosol; Primula officinalis; Thymus vulgaris; URI; cough; cowslip primrose; thyme; upper respiratory tract infection; thymol.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Cough / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Expectorants / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Parasympatholytics / therapeutic use
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Primula / chemistry*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections*
  • Thymol / therapeutic use*
  • Thymus Plant / chemistry*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Expectorants
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Parasympatholytics
  • Plant Extracts
  • Thymol