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Thyme

What other names is Thyme known by?

Common Thyme, Farigoule, Farigoulette, French Thyme, Frigoule, Garden Thyme, Huile Essentielle de Thym, Huile de Thym, Huile de Thym Blanc, Huile de Thym Rouge, Mignotise des Genevois, Oil of Thyme, Pote, Red Thyme Oil, Rubbed Thyme, Serpolet, Spanish Thyme, Thym, Thym Citron, Thym Commun, Thym des Jardins, Thym Maraîcher, Thym Vrai, Thym Vulgaire, Thyme Aetheroleum, Thyme Essential Oil, Thyme Oil, Thymi herba, Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis, Tomillo, Van Ajwayan, Vanya Yavani, White Thyme Oil.

What is Thyme?

Thyme is an herb. The flowers, leaves, and oil are used as medicine. Thyme is sometimes used in combination with other herbs.

Thyme is taken by mouth for bronchitis, whooping cough, sore throat, colic, arthritis, upset stomach, stomach pain (gastritis), diarrhea, bedwetting, a movement disorder in children (dyspraxia), intestinal gas (flatulence), parasitic worm infections, and skin disorders. It is also used to increase urine flow (as a diuretic), to disinfect the urine, and as an appetite stimulant.

Some people apply thyme directly to the skin for hoarseness (laryngitis), swollen tonsils (tonsillitis), sore mouth, and bad breath.

Thyme oil is used as a germ-killer in mouthwashes and liniments. It is also applied to the scalp to treat baldness and to the ears to fight bacterial and fungal infections.

Thymol, one of the chemicals in thyme, is used with another chemical, chlorhexidine, as a dental varnish to prevent tooth decay.

In foods, thyme is used as a flavoring agent.

In manufacturing, red thyme oil is used in perfumes. It is also used in soaps, cosmetics, and toothpastes.

SLIDESHOW

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Possibly Effective for...

  • Bronchitis. Some research suggests that taking thyme by mouth, in combination with various other herbs, improves symptoms of bronchitis such as coughing, fever, and increased production of sputum in adults, children, and teenagers.
  • Cough. Some research suggests that taking thyme by mouth, alone or in combination with various other herbs, reduces coughing in people with bronchitis, upper respiratory tract infections, or common colds.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Agitation. Early research suggests that attaching a pad containing thyme oil to the collar area of shirts does not reduce agitation in people with advanced dementia.
  • Hair loss (alopecia areata). There is some evidence that applying lavender oil in combination with the essential oils from thyme, rosemary, and cedarwood to the scalp improves hair growth in up to 44% of people with hair loss after 7 months of treatment..
  • Movement disorders (dyspraxia). Taking thyme oil, in combination with evening primrose oil, fish oils, and vitamin E, seems to improve movement disorders in children with dyspraxia.
  • Colic.
  • Ear infections.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the tonsils.
  • Preventing bedwetting.
  • Sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the lungs and mouth.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of thyme for these uses.

How does Thyme work?

Thyme contains chemicals that might help bacterial and fungal infections, and minor irritations. It also might relieve smooth muscle spasms, such as coughing.

Are there safety concerns?

Thyme is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in normal food amounts. Thyme is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as medicine for short periods of time. It can cause digestive system upset.

Thyme oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin. In some people, applying the oil to the skin can cause irritation. But there isn't enough information to know whether thyme oil is safe to take by mouth in medicinal doses.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Thyme is LIKELY SAFE when consumed by children in normal food amounts. Thyme is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as medicine for short periods of time. There isn't enough information to know whether thyme oil is safe for children when applied to the skin or taken by mouth.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Thyme is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant and breast-feeding women when consumed in normal food amounts. But it's not known whether it's safe to use thyme in larger medicinal amounts. Stick to food amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Allergy to oregano and similar plants: People who are allergic to oregano or other Lamiaceae species might also be allergic to thyme.

Bleeding disorders: Thyme might slow blood clotting. Taking thyme might increase your risk of bleeding, especially if used in large amounts.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Thyme might act like estrogen in the body. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use thyme.

Surgery: Thyme might slow blood clotting, so there is some concern that it might increase the risk of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using thyme at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

QUESTION

Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Are there any interactions with medications?


Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some chemicals in thyme might increase levels of certain chemical in the body that work in the brain, heart, and elsewhere. Some drying medications called "anticholinergic drugs" can also increase these chemicals, but in a different way. These drying medications might decrease the effects of thyme and thyme might decrease the effects of drying medications.

Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and some medications used for depression (antidepressants).


EstrogensInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Thyme might attach to the same sites in the body as estrogen. By taking up these sites, thyme might reduce the number of sites available for estrogen. Taking thyme along with estrogen pills might decrease the effects of estrogen pills.

Some estrogen pills include equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.


Medications for Alzheimer's disease (Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some chemicals in thyme might increase certain chemicals in the brain, heart, and elsewhere in the body. Some medications for Alzheimer's disease also affect these chemicals. Taking thyme along with medications for Alzheimer's disease might increase effects and side effects of medications used for Alzheimer's disease.


Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Thyme might slow blood clotting. Taking thyme along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.


Various medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some chemicals in thyme might increase certain chemicals in the brain, heart, and elsewhere in the body. Some medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions also affect these chemicals. Taking thyme with these medications might increase the chance of side effects.

Some of these medications for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions include pilocarpine (Pilocar and others), donepezil (Aricept), tacrine (Cognex), and others.


KetoprofenInteraction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Thyme contains a chemical called thymol. Topical gels with thymol might increase the absorption of topical ketoprofen products when applied to the skin. This might increase the risk for side effects from ketoprofen.


NaproxenInteraction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Thyme contains a chemical called thymol. Topical gels with thymol might increase the absorption of topical naproxen. This might increase the risk for side effects from naproxen.

Dosing considerations for Thyme.

The appropriate dose of thyme depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for thyme. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Reviewed on 9/17/2019
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Grayer, R. J., Eckert, M. R., Veitch, N. C., Kite, G. C., Marin, P. D., Kokubun, T., Simmonds, M. S., and Paton, A. J. The chemotaxonomic significance of two bioactive caffeic acid esters, nepetoidins A and B, in the Lamiaceae. Phytochemistry 2003;64(2):519-528. View abstract.

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Gruenwald, J., Graubaum, H. J., and Busch, R. Evaluation of the non-inferiority of a fixed combination of thyme fluid- and primrose root extract in comparison to a fixed combination of thyme fluid extract and primrose root tincture in patients with acute bronchitis. A single-blind, randomized, bi-centric clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung 2006;56(8):574-581. View abstract.

Guillen, F., Zapata, P. J., Martinez-Romero, D., Castillo, S., Serrano, M., and Valero, D. Improvement of the overall quality of table grapes stored under modified atmosphere packaging in combination with natural antimicrobial compounds. J Food Sci 2007;72(3):S185-S190. View abstract.

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Haddad, M., Herent, M. F., Tilquin, B., and Quetin-Leclercq, J. Effect of gamma and e-beam radiation on the essential oils of Thymus vulgaris thymoliferum, Eucalyptus radiata, and Lavandula angustifolia. J Agric Food Chem 7-25-2007;55(15):6082-6086. View abstract.

Haeseler, G., Maue, D., Grosskreutz, J., Bufler, J., Nentwig, B., Piepenbrock, S., Dengler, R., and Leuwer, M. Voltage-dependent block of neuronal and skeletal muscle sodium channels by thymol and menthol. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2002;19(8):571-579. View abstract.

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Hagmuller, W., Jugl-Chizzola, M., Zitterl-Eglseer, K., Gabler, C., Spergser, J., Chizzola, R., and Franz, C. The use of Thymi Herba as feed additive (0.1%, 0.5%, 1.0%) in weanling piglets with assessment of the shedding of haemolysing E. coli and the detection of thymol in the blood plasma. Berl Munch.Tierarztl.Wochenschr. 2006;119(1-2):50-54. View abstract.

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Harpaz, S., Glatman, L., Drabkin, V., and Gelman, A. Effects of herbal essential oils used to extend the shelf life of freshwater-reared Asian sea bass fish (Lates calcarifer). J Food Prot. 2003;66(3):410-417. View abstract.

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Hikiba, H., Watanabe, E., Barrett, J. C., and Tsutsui, T. Ability of fourteen chemical agents used in dental practice to induce chromosome aberrations in Syrian hamster embryo cells. J Pharmacol Sci 2005;97(1):146-152. View abstract.

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Hisayama, T. and Takayanagi, I. Some properties and mechanisms of thymol-induced release of calcium from the calcium-store in guinea-pig taenia caecum. Jpn.J Pharmacol 1986;40(1):69-82. View abstract.

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Horvathova, E., Sramkova, M., Labaj, J., and Slamenova, D. Study of cytotoxic, genotoxic and DNA-protective effects of selected plant essential oils on human cells cultured in vitro. Neuro.Endocrinol.Lett. 2006;27 Suppl 2:44-47. View abstract.

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Hotta, M., Nakata, R., Katsukawa, M., Hori, K., Takahashi, S., and Inoue, H. Carvacrol, a component of thyme oil, activates PPARalpha and gamma and suppresses COX-2 expression. J Lipid Res 2010;51(1):132-139. View abstract.

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Hu, M. R., Chao, Y. P., Zhang, G. Q., Xue, Z. Q., and Qian, S. Laccase-mediator system in the decolorization of different types of recalcitrant dyes. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 2009;36(1):45-51. View abstract.

Hu, Y., Du, Y., Wang, X., and Feng, T. Self-aggregation of water-soluble chitosan and solubilization of thymol as an antimicrobial agent. J Biomed.Mater.Res A 9-1-2009;90(3):874-881. View abstract.

Huang, M. H., Wu, S. N., and Shen, A. Y. Stimulatory actions of thymol, a natural product, on Ca(2+)-activated K(+) current in pituitary GH(3) cells. Planta Med 2005;71(12):1093-1098. View abstract.

Hudaib, M., Speroni, E., Di Pietra, A. M., and Cavrini, V. GC/MS evaluation of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) oil composition and variations during the vegetative cycle. J Pharm Biomed.Anal. 7-20-2002;29(4):691-700. View abstract.

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Hummelbrunner, L. A. and Isman, M. B. Acute, sublethal, antifeedant, and synergistic effects of monoterpenoid essential oil compounds on the tobacco cutworm, Spodoptera litura (Lep., Noctuidae). J Agric.Food Chem. 2001;49(2):715-720. View abstract.

Hussein A, Mansour BMM, Toaima N, Craker L, and Shetty K. Tissue culture selection for phenolics and rosmarinic acid in thyme. Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants 2001;8(1):31-42.

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Inouye S, Uchida K, and Abe S. Volatile composition and vapour activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes of 36 aromatic herbs cultivated in Chichibu district in Japan. International Journal of Aromatherapy 2006;16(3-4):159-168.

Inouye, S., Tsuruoka, T., Watanabe, M., Takeo, K., Akao, M., Nishiyama, Y., and Yamaguchi, H. Inhibitory effect of essential oils on apical growth of Aspergillus fumigatus by vapour contact. Mycoses 2000;43(1-2):17-23. View abstract.

Inouye, S., Uchida, K., and Yamaguchi, H. In-vitro and in-vivo anti-Trichophyton activity of essential oils by vapour contact. Mycoses 2001;44(3-4):99-107. View abstract.

Inouye, S., Uchida, K., Nishiyama, Y., Hasumi, Y., Yamaguchi, H., and Abe, S. Combined effect of heat, essential oils and salt on fungicidal activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes in a foot bath. Nippon Ishinkin.Gakkai Zasshi 2007;48(1):27-36. View abstract.

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Irkin, R. and Korukluoglu, M. Growth inhibition of pathogenic bacteria and some yeasts by selected essential oils and survival of L. monocytogenes and C. albicans in apple-carrot juice. Foodborne.Pathog.Dis. 2009;6(3):387-394. View abstract.

Ismail, S. A., Dea, T., Abd El-Rahman, H., Yassien, M. A., and Beuchat, L. R. Effectiveness of immersion treatments with acids, trisodium phosphate, and herb decoctions in reducing populations of Yarrowia lipolytica and naturally occurring aerobic microorganisms on raw chicken. Int.J Food Microbiol. 2-28-2001;64(1-2):13-19. View abstract.

Isman, M. B., Wan, A. J., and Passreiter, C. M. Insecticidal activity of essential oils to the tobacco cutworm, Spodoptera litura. Fitoterapia 2001;72(1):65-68. View abstract.

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Ito, Y. and Kuriyama, H. [Proceedings: 54. The effects of thymol on the electrical and mechanical properties of guinea pig taenia coli (author's transl)]. Nippon Seirigaku Zasshi 1973;35(8):403-404. View abstract.

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Johansen, C. A., Hall, R. A., van den Hurk, A. F., Ritchie, S. A., and Mackenzie, J. S. Detection and stability of Japanese encephalitis virus RNA and virus viability in dead infected mosquitoes under different storage conditions. Am.J Trop.Med Hyg. 2002;67(6):656-661. View abstract.

Joharji, R. M. and Adenubi, J. O. Prevention of pit and fissure caries using an antimicrobial varnish: 9 month clinical evaluation. J Dent. 2001;29(4):247-254. View abstract.

Johnson, G. and Almqvist, H. Non-invasive management of superficial root caries lesions in disabled and infirm patients. Gerodontology. 2003;20(1):9-14. View abstract.

Jukic, M., Politeo, O., Maksimovic, M., Milos, M., and Milos, M. In vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibitory properties of thymol, carvacrol and their derivatives thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone. Phytother.Res 2007;21(3):259-261. View abstract.

Juneja, V. K. and Friedman, M. Carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, oregano oil, and thymol inhibit Clostridium perfringens spore germination and outgrowth in ground turkey during chilling. J Food Prot. 2007;70(1):218-222. View abstract.

Juneja, V. K., Thippareddi, H., and Friedman, M. Control of Clostridium perfringens in cooked ground beef by carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, thymol, or oregano oil during chilling. J Food Prot. 2006;69(7):1546-1551. View abstract.

Juven, B. J., Kanner, J., Schved, F., and Weisslowicz, H. Factors that interact with the antibacterial action of thyme essential oil and its active constituents. J Appl Bacteriol. 1994;76(6):626-631. View abstract.

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Kanagawa, Y., Matsumoto, S., Tajima, B., Uenotsuchi, T., Shibata, S., Furue, M., and Imamura, T. [Average of the PCDFs value in blood in patients with Yusho in the 2001 to 2003 fiscal year and comparison between the clinical features and PCDFs]. Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi 2007;98(5):129-135. View abstract.

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Kemmerich, B., Eberhardt, R., and Stammer, H. Efficacy and tolerability of a fluid extract combination of thyme herb and ivy leaves and matched placebo in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough. A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung. 2006;56(9):652-660. View abstract.

Kern, M., Fechtig, T., and Strub, J. R. Influence of water storage and thermal cycling on the fracture strength of all-porcelain, resin-bonded fixed partial dentures. J Prosthet.Dent. 1994;71(3):251-256. View abstract.

Kidd, M., Modlin, I. M., Gustafsson, B. I., Drozdov, I., Hauso, O., and Pfragner, R. Luminal regulation of normal and neoplastic human EC cell serotonin release is mediated by bile salts, amines, tastants, and olfactants. Am.J Physiol Gastrointest.Liver Physiol 2008;295(2):G260-G272. View abstract.

Kim, D. O. and Lee, C. Y. Comprehensive study on vitamin C equivalent antioxidant capacity (VCEAC) of various polyphenolics in scavenging a free radical and its structural relationship. Crit Rev.Food Sci.Nutr. 2004;44(4):253-273. View abstract.

Kim, H. K., Yun, Y. K., and Ahn, Y. J. Fumigant toxicity of cassia bark and cassia and cinnamon oil compounds to Dermatophagoides farinae and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Acari: Pyroglyphidae). Exp.Appl.Acarol. 2008;44(1):1-9. View abstract.

Kim, J., Campbell, B., Mahoney, N., Chan, K., Molyneux, R., and May, G. Chemosensitization prevents tolerance of Aspergillus fumigatus to antimycotic drugs. Biochem.Biophys.Res Commun 7-18-2008;372(1):266-271. View abstract.

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Kitajima, J., Ishikawa, T., and Urabe, A. A new hydroxyjasmone glucoside and its related compounds from the leaf of thyme. Chem Pharm Bull.(Tokyo) 2004;52(8):1013-1014. View abstract.

Kluth, D., Banning, A., Paur, I., Blomhoff, R., and Brigelius-Flohe, R. Modulation of pregnane X receptor- and electrophile responsive element-mediated gene expression by dietary polyphenolic compounds. Free Radic.Biol.Med 2-1-2007;42(3):315-325. View abstract.

Knio, K. M., Usta, J., Dagher, S., Zournajian, H., and Kreydiyyeh, S. Larvicidal activity of essential oils extracted from commonly used herbs in Lebanon against the seaside mosquito, Ochlerotatus caspius. Bioresour.Technol. 2008;99(4):763-768. View abstract.

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Kobayashi, S., Watanabe, J., Fukushi, E., Kawabata, J., Nakajima, M., and Watanabe, M. Polyphenols from some foodstuffs as inhibitors of ovalbumin permeation through caco-2 cell monolayers. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2003;67(6):1250-1257. View abstract.

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Kosar, M., Demirci, B., Demirci, F., and Baser, K. H. Effect of maturation on the composition and biological activity of the essential oil of a commercially important Satureja species from Turkey: Satureja cuneifolia Ten. (Lamiaceae). J Agric.Food Chem. 3-26-2008;56(6):2260-2265. View abstract.

Kostaki, M., Giatrakou, V., Savvaidis, I. N., and Kontominas, M. G. Combined effect of MAP and thyme essential oil on the microbiological, chemical and sensory attributes of organically aquacultured sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) fillets. Food Microbiol 2009;26(5):475-482. View abstract.

Krizaj, D., Bao, J. X., Schmitz, Y., Witkovsky, P., and Copenhagen, D. R. Caffeine-sensitive calcium stores regulate synaptic transmission from retinal rod photoreceptors. J Neurosci. 9-1-1999;19(17):7249-7261. View abstract.

Kruk, I., Michalska, T., Lichszteld, K., Kladna, A., and Aboul-Enein, H. Y. The effect of thymol and its derivatives on reactions generating reactive oxygen species. Chemosphere 2000;41(7):1059-1064. View abstract.

Kulevanova, S., Kaftandzieva, A., Dimitrovska, A., Stefkov, G., Grdanoska, T., and Panovski, N. Investigation of antimicrobial activity of essential oils of several Macedonian Thymus L. species (Lamiaceae). Boll.Chim.Farm. 2000;139(6):276-280. View abstract.

Kulevanova, S., Stoeva, T., and Ristic, M. The essential oil composition of Thymus tosevii and Thymus macedonicus from Bulgaria. Boll.Chim.Farm. 2000;139(2):85-88. View abstract.

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Kulisic, T., Krisko, A., Dragovic-Uzelac, V., Milos, M., and Pifat, G. The effects of essential oils and aqueous tea infusions of oregano (Origanum vulgare L. spp. hirtum), thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) and wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum L.) on the copper-induced oxidation of human low-density lipoproteins. Int J Food Sci.Nutr 2007;58(2):87-93. View abstract.

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