When GABA is in the normal range in the brain, we are not overly excitable or anxious. At the same time, we have appropriate reactions to situations in our environment. GABA is also the communication speed controller, making sure all brain communications are operating at the right speed and with the correct intensity. With too little GABA in the brain, the communication becomes out of control, overstimulated, and chemically unstable. Too much GABA and we are overly relaxed and sedated, often to the point that normal reactions are impaired. Researchers at the City of Hope in Duarte, CA, were the first to report that a GABA gene is associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). But no one knows yet what this means.
Thyme is not the only herb or supplement which interacts with GABA receptors. Kava kava, valerian, St. John's wort, vitamin B6, manganese, taurine, and lysine also are believed to have involvement as well. But what do you take and when? Are there other dangers? Perhaps. Back to thyme: Casual browsing of health food sites found this warning: "Due to immune stimulating properties, Thyme Essential Oil should not be used topically on people who have an autoimmune disease."