Thymol, or 5-methyl-2-isopropyl-phenol, was a component of a thyme plant preparation used by the ancient Egyptians as a mummy preservative. C. Neumann extracted thymol from thyme oil in 1719, and von M. Lallemand synthesized and characterized it in 1842. It is an antimicrobial used in mouthwashes, expectorants, and nail fungus treatments. It is also used to control mites and molds in honeybee colonies. Three new bee-protection products containing thymol are on the market or will be by 2012.
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