THYMOL: Thymol is a phenolic substance occurring in the volatile oil of Thymus vulgaris. It occurs in large colorless, translucent, rhombic prisms, having an aromatic, thyme-like odor and a pungent, aromatic taste!.
One gram is soluble in about 1000 cc. of water and also one gram is soluble in about one cc. of 95 per cent ethyl alcohol. This last preparation I have called my tincture and from this basic tincture (prepared by Boericke and Tafel) I made my dilutions on the decimal scale to the 3x?.
These provings were begun with the 3x for two weeks, the 2x for two weeks and the 1 x so long as the provers would tolerate it, approximately ten days.
The proving squad consisted of six men, two young women and one male used as a control The proving was begun in 1916 with the sanction of Dr. O.S.Haines then head of the Department of Materia Medica in the Hahnemann Medical College. The male provers were students in the College, the female provers were nurses. At the beginning of the proving a thorough routine physical examination was made, including heart, lungs, blood, urine, weight, etc., and all were found to be in excellent health. The provers kept their day books accurately; all were given Sac. Lac. for six days to observe any reactions.
There were thrills and some serious anxieties for me in this new field of endeavor. Two male provers suddenly quit, one on account of the gastric distress which he claimed made him unfit for his work, the other stopped because of religious scruples when unusual sexual symptoms developed.
Thymol affects principally the stomach, sex organs and respiratory system and to a lesser degree the nervous system. The 3x was given, but after two weeks of frequent doses no important symptoms developed. Then the 2x was used and pushed at two hour interval all during the waking hours. After the sixth day most of the provers complained of heat or burning sensations in the stomach, with incomplete eructations mostly when the stomach was empty. This got very much worse as the proving was carried on.
When the IX was used several provers complained of severed pain of a burning type along the whole gastrointestinal tract, accompanied by much nausea and raising of burning mucous to the point of gagging; some ringing in the ears; eructations of hot, acrid fluid which burned from the stomach to the throat and eructations of hot gas from the stomach which caused hawking of clear mucous. These symptoms were worse from tobacco, either smoking or chewing.
After taking a dose of the medicine there were attacks or waves of nausea often lasting a half hour, waves of nausea with the mouth filling with watery saliva, which frequently improved after taking some solid food.
One prover complained of nausea with a sense of emptiness;
and a brown, watery diarrhoea developed with soreness of the anus followed by obstinate constipation.
More valuable symptoms no doubt could have been developed but two provers stopped on account of the gastric distress. Even more symptoms continued to develop after the drug was stopped.
In several provers a severe headache developed which was described as a vice-like compression with dull ache in the occipitoparietal region. This sense of compression was no doubt severe, they became depressed; complained of a feeling as if “all done out”; general physical depression with backache, and became somewhat lethargic. This occurred in both sexes.
The female provers developed a constriction and compression of the temples from the IX, which made them so weak and distressed they refused to continue the drug. Lying down and applying heat afforded the only relief. They developed an irritation at the bifurcation of the trachea with a tendency to cough. Other throat symptoms, which developed in several provers, were a scraping, biting, irritating feeling in the larynx with spells of hemming and clearing of the throat and some soreness in the chest radiating over the area of the larger bronchi. I must confess I was much disappointed in not being able to develop more cough or bronchial symptoms as this was my main reason for proving this drug.