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(5-methyl–2-isopropyl-l-phenol), a colorless crystalline substance with a specific odor and sharp taste; soluble in organic solvents but not in water. Melting point, 51.5°C; boiling point, 232.9°C.
Thymol exhibits all the reactions characteristic of phenols. It is found in certain essential oils, such as thyme oil (from Thymus vulgaris, from which it takes its name), in which its content is 20–50 percent, and thyme, from which it may be separated by rectification.
Thymol is produced on an industrial scale by the reaction of m-cresol, CH3C6H4OH, with propylene, CH3—CH═CH2. It is used as a raw material in the production of menthol and such indicators as thymolphthalein and thymol blue. It is used in medicine as an anthelmintic in the treatment of ancylostomiasis, trichuriasis, and some other helminthiases, as an antiseptic for the mouth, throat, and nasopharynx, in dentristry to anesthetize dentin, and in the pharmaceutical industry as a preservative. The use of thymol as an anthelmintic is contraindicated in cases of pregnancy, cardiac insufficiency, liver and kidney diseases, and peptic ulcer.