Thyme real

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 05.12.2022

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Synonym(s)

Garden thyme; Roman thyme; thymus vulgaris; Tripe Cress

Definition
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Plant species from the genus of thyme (Thymus) within the labiates family (Lamiaceae). Thyme is used as a medicinal and spice plant (see alsothyme oil) . Thymus vulgaris is a semi-shrub with short-stalked and narrowly elliptical leaves. It reaches growing heights of 10 to 40 centimeters. The white to pink small flowers are located at the ends of the branches and bloom from May to October. Thymus vulgaris sprouts spherical nut fruits. The original home of true thyme is the western European Mediterranean. It is also found wild along the southern border of the Alps and in southwestern Switzerland. In Germany, it is cultivated in several places.

Phytotherapeutically used is the herb of the plant (thyme - Thymi herba) and the essential oil (thyme oil - Thymi aetheroleum).

s.a. Thymus wild

General information
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Phytomedicine:

  • Thymi herba: Thymus vulgaris is the parent plant of Thymi herba, the official extract of fresh thyme leaves and flowers, monographed by Commission E and ESCOP.
  • Thymi aetheroleum, the thyme oil, refers to the officinal essential oil obtained by steam distillation from the fresh flowering herb.
  • Folia thymi refers to the cut and dried thyme leaves.

Cosmetics (INCI nomenclature):

  • Thymus vulgaris extract: drugextracted from the leaves and flowers of Thmus vulgaris
  • Thymus vulgaris flower/leafextract: Drug from the leaves and flowers of Thmus vulgaris
  • Thymus vulgaris oil: essential oil obtained by steam distillation from fresh or partially dried leaves and flowering shoots.

Ingredient(s)
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Depending on the starting material, essential thyme oil contains different amounts and concentrations of myrcene, geraniol, linalool, alpha-terpineol, trans-thuyanol-4-terpineol-4, thymol, carvacrol (isomer to thymol).

Note(s)
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Thyme oil has an antibacterial and antiviral effect, but there are no clinical studies on its effectiveness.

Thyme is used as a spice plant, both fresh and dried. So in soups, with versch. Fish and meat dishes.

Literature
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  1. Bogavac M et al. (2015) Alternative treatment of vaginal infections - in vitro antimicrobial and toxic effects of Coriandrum sativum L. and Thymus vulgaris L. essential oils. J Appl Microbiol 119:697-710.
  2. Chaftar N et al. (2016) Comparative evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of 19 essential oils. Adv Exp Med Biol 901:1-15.
  3. Radaelli M et al. (2016) Antimicrobial activities of six essential oils commonly used as condiments in Brazil against Clostridium perfringens. Braz J Microbiol 47:424-430.
  4. https://arzneipflanzenlexikon.info/thymian.php