The genus name Thymus may be derived from the Greek word thymon meaning 'courage' as it was once used as a bath herb by Roman soldiers to help them be more courageous....


Botanical Info of Thymus vulgaris:

Plant Description and Origin:

Etymology:Thymus vulgaris

Constituents and Phytochemicals:

Culinary Uses and Taking thyme:

Medicinal Uses and Functions:

Thyme Dosage Information:

Botanical Info of Thymus vulgaris:

Thymus: vulgaris (Thyme)

Botanic Name :Thymus vulgaris

Common Name:

Garden Thyme, Common Thyme (Grieve)

Other Common Names: Common Thyme, Du Thym, English Thyme,Garden Thyme, Kekik, Pile, Summer Thyme, Tati-Zyako-So, Thym Grandes Feuilles, Tomillo, Winter Thyme, Zombi Nan Bois, Thymus vulgaris

Family: Labiaceae

Scientific Name: Thymus vulgaris

Other Common Names:

 Common Thyme, Du Thym, Echte Tijm, Garden Thyme, Kekik, Pile, Summer Thyme  

Parts Used: Leaves and flowering tops,Leaves. Frequently, the whole herb (leaves plus stem) is sold.

Plant Type: Small woody evergreen shrub

Maximum Height: 0.3m

Soil Type: Good drainage, soil not too rich

Position: Full sun

Flowers: Pale, mauve-pink flowers, spring and summer

Medicinal Properties: Culinary herb, Medicinal uses

Habitat Indigenous to Mediterranean regions and southern Europe, but prospers almost anywhere in temperate climate(Mills)

hyme Synonyms: pharm Herba  Albanian Timus  Esperanto Timiano

French Thym (ordinaire)  German Thymian Italian Timo

    The genus name Thymus may be derived from the Greek word thymon meaning 'courage' as it was once used as a bath herb by Roman soldiers to help them be more courageous. Thyme also helps people to speak up more courageously. Or perhaps it was from the Greek thymon, 'to fumigate', as it has been used as an incense. The species name serpyllum for Wild Thyme may be due to the plant's creeping snakelike appearance and in reference to the ancient treatment of snakebites and the bites of poisonous sea creatures with Thyme. The plant was burned in ancient Roman times to deter scorpions.


Plant Description and Origin:

   Thyme is a perennial native to the Mediterranean. It is hardy to zone five, but is prone to disease and insect infestation in the deep south. Southern gardeners may want to grow thyme indoors in containers so that conditions may be carefully controlled. Most varieties grow to only six to twelve inches in height, and they make an attractive edging for the perennial border. Leaves are dark gray-green in color, and pale pink flowers bloom at the tips of the stems in summer.

   You can start thyme from seeds to get a wider selection of varieties. Most nurseries carry transplants in spring and summer. It prefers a sandy, dry soil and plenty of sun. If your soil is acidic, add some lime. If you live in a very cold climate, protect the plants in winter by mulching heavily. Once established, the only care will be regular pruning of the plants and removal of dead flowers and pruning to remove old wood.

   Harvesting:Leaves can be harvested for fresh use throughout the summer, but the flavor is best just before flowering. To dry, cut the stems just as the flowers start to open and hang in small bunches. Harvest sparingly the first year.

   Thyme is best known as one of the primary components in a classic bouquet garni. When combined with fresh sprigs of parsley and leaves of bay, it will enliven and give depth to the flavor of soups, stews and sauces. A native of the sunny Mediterranean hillsides, thyme is also a key element in the traditional, dried, aromatic blend Herbes de Provence. Experts disagree as to exactly which herbs should be included. One lists thyme, rosemary, lavender and summer savory; while my small terra cotta container of herbs, brought back from France, lists thyme, basil, savory, fennel and lavender flowers. All agree that thyme and lavender are essential. No matter what the combination, the blend makes an ideal seasoning for meats, and gives stews, sauces, vegetables and dressings a rich taste that conjures up images of sunny hillsides.


   Southern Europe. The herb is much cultivated in Eastern and Southern Europe and Northern Africa, but also in the US.

   Mastic thyme, also known as Spanish wild marjoram (Th. mastichina)

   Of the many further species of the genus Thymus, only Th. zygis (Spanish Thyme) is an accepted substitute. Its essential oil is low in thymol methyl ether (less than ), which is important for the characterization.

   The other species (Th. satureoides, Th. mastichina, Th. broussonetti, Th. maroccanus, Th. pallidus and Th. algeriensis) are considered inferior, because of their lower content of thymol and because some of them contain other aroma components, especially carvacrol (see savory). Th. serpyllum (continental wild thyme, a mountain plant of temperate Europe) has only local value as spice; its flowers are used to prepare a syrup with strong thyme fragrance. Most unusually, Th. herba-barona almost perfectly copies the scent of caraway.

   Another cultivar sometimes found in markets is orange thyme (Th. vulgaris var. odoratissimus) with strong thyme fragrance and a hint of orange peel aroma.

   Lastly, lemon thyme (Th. citriodorus = Th. pulegoides x Th. vulgaris) exhibits an unusual flavour, combining thyme aroma with the fragrance of lemons, but is little traded; it is best when fresh. Lemon thyme fits perfect to fish and fruity vegetables; see lemon myrtle about lemon fragrance.


 Etymology:Thymus vulgaris


   The name thyme is borrowed from Latin thymus, which goes back to Greek thymon  ¡°thyme¡±. The Greek plant name is usually put in relation with thymos ¡°spirit¡±, originally meaning ¡°smoke¡± (related to Latin fumus ¡°smoke¡±; cf. ¡°perfume¡±) and the verb thyein ¡°smoke, cure; offer an incense sacrifice¡±. The reference is probably the strong, smoky odour of thyme. Yet there is also another, unrelated explanation that the Greek name actually comes from Old Egyptian tham, which denoted a plant used in the mummification process.

   Most European languages have related names all deriving from Latin thymus. Examples are German Thymian, Italian timo, Finnish timjami, Estonian t¨¹¨¹mian, Dutch tijm, Russian timyan , Greek thimari  and Hebrew timin.  

   Why so many names for basically the same plant? A single batch of Thyme seed can produce a lot of minutely different looking thymes with minutely different amounts of flavor. Thus, from Thymus vulgaris seed, we have, not only the two mentioned above, but also 'Narrow Leaved French', 'Greek Gray' and 'Broad Leaf English'. Really a more appropriate name for all these slightly different thymes would be Garden Thyme, or even Common Thyme. After all the word vulgaris means (no, not vulgar) common.

     There are also Thymus vulgaris seedlings that have slightly different flavors. Thank goodness they have been given distinctive enough names, like Orange Balsam Thyme and Italian Oregano Thyme to easily identify them from the regular Common Thymes.

   Using these varieties in recipes calling for Common Thyme adds a bit of intrigue to the dish because these have slightly different chemical make-ups when compared to Common Thyme.

     Common Thymes bloom in spring and attract early butterflies and many different kinds of beneficial flies and wasps. They are also a favorite of honey bees. They should be planted in full sun for best flavor. The ground should be well drained and fairly fertile. After they have bloomed, we will pull them up in a ponytail and crop them past the spent blooms (about a third of the way into the leaves).

   The leaves can be used fresh any time; but for drying, it is best to cut fresh growth after the bloom cycle. When three or four inch pieces of new growth can be harvested, cut these in the early morning, after the dew has dried, and make small bundles. Hang these out of direct light and check often for dryness. How long this will take depends on the moisture in the air. It is very important to make sure the Thyme is completely dry before storing, because improperly dried herbs can mildew and rot. If the herb is crispy when crushed between the fingers, then it is dry. When using dried herbs, always remove the herbs from the jar away from the steam of what you are cooking to avoid introducing moisture into the jar.

   Thyme leaves may be small, but they pack a powerful punch. Thyme is one of the savory herbs, which are main course herbs used to flavor hardy meals, bone warming soups, and piquant sauces. They blend their essence with other savory herbs like French Tarragon and Winter Savory to create some memorable flavors, as in this savory herbal marinade. Thyme is also one of the three traditional herbs used in Fines Herbes. Visit this link for over  recipes using Thyme.

 Constituents and Phytochemicals:




Main constituents

   The content of essential oil varies drastically with climate, time of harvest and storage conditions; extreme values are  and . Main components are the phenols thymol  and carvacrol . In winter, phenol content is lower (but mostly thymol); in summer, more phenols  are found, with significant amounts of carvacrol. Further components in the essential oil are thymol methyl ether , cineol, cymene, ¦Á-pinene, borneol and esters of the latter two.

   Lemon thyme, Thymus citriodorus, was found to contain an essential oil rich in geraniol ; other compounds identified include geranyl esters, nerol and citronellol. The lemon fragrance is due to citral , and thymol was found in small  yet not insignificant amounts. (Flavour Fragrance Journal, )

   Known primary constituents of Thyme include essential oil (borneol, carvacrol, cymol, linalool, thymol), bitter principle, tannin, flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin), saponins, and triterpenic acids.

   The essential oils of thyme are grouped into three main types: thyme oil, which contains  to phenols and is mainly thymol; origanum oil, which contains  to phenols and is mainly carvacrol; and lemon thyme oil, which contains citral. Thyme oil is divided into two types, a red, unrectified oil and a white, rectified oil. An oleoresin is also extracted and commercially available. Both the essential oil and oleoresin of thyme are used in the flavour and food industries. As a pharmaceutical, the oils thymol and carvacrol are used in mouthwashes, toothpastes, soaps, creams, salves, lotions, liniments, throat lozenges, and cold remedies. The oil is also used in the manufacture of perfumes and cosmetics.


Chemotypes and Genotypes


In T. vulgaris seven genetically distinct chemotypes are described that can be distinguished on the basis of the dominant monoterpene produced in the glandular trichomes. In southern France, this species has the six chemotypes, geraniol (G), α-terpineol or trans-sabinene hydrate (A), thuyanol-4 (U), linalool (L), carvacrol (C), and thymol (T), which are named after their dominant monoterpene. In Spanish populations 1,8-cineole is present, whereas the geraniol chemotype hasn't been found.


Proposed biosynthetic pathway.

Thymus vulgaris L.

source: Dörfler, Roselt: Heilpflanzen gestern und heute

The presence of the dominant monoterpene in T. vulgaris is controlled by an epistatic series of five biosynthetic loci. This epistatic series has the following sequence: G A U L C T.

A plant with a dominant G allele will have the G phenotype, regardless of whether it has dominant or recessive alleles at the other loci. There are probably two loci that code for the G phenotype, otherwise a single pair of alleles at each locus codes for the remaining chemotypes.So if a plant is homozygous recessive at the G loci (i.e. gg) and has a dominat A allele (i.e. A-) then it will have the A phenotype. When the plant is homozygous recessive at the G and the A loci but has a dominant U allele then it will have the U phenotype, and so on down the chain. A plant homozygous for recessive alleles at all five loci has the T phenotype.

It has to be added that the L genotype shows at the seedling stage (1-3 months old) not the L phenotype but one of the phenolic (C or T) ones. It only develops its "true" phenotype after this very young seedling stage.


Chemotype (dominant monoterpene)


Geraniol (G)

G- / -- / -- / -- / --


α-terpineol (A)<>

gg / A- / -- / -- / --


Thuyanol-4 or trans-sabinene hydrate (U)<>

gg / aa / U- / -- / --


Linalool (L)<>

gg / aa / uu / L- / --


Carvacrol (C)<>

gg / aa / uu / ll / C-


Thymol (T)<>

gg / aa / uu / ll / cc



   Oil of Thyme is the important commercial product obtained by distillation of the fresh leaves and flowering tops of T. vulgaris. Its chief constituents are from 20 to 25 per cent of the phenols Thymol and Carvacrol, rising in rare cases to 42 per cent. The phenols are the principal constituents of Thyme oil, Thymol being the most valuable for medicinal purposes, but Carvacrol, an isomeric phenol, preponderate in some oils. Cymene and Pinene are present in the oil, as well as a little Menthone. Borneol and Linalol have been detected in the high boiling fractions of the oil and a crystalline body, probably identical with a similar body found in Juniper-berry oil.

   Two commercial varieties of Thyme oil are recognized, the 'red,' the crude distillate, and the 'white' or colourless, which is the 'red' rectified by re-distilling. The yield of oil is very variable, from 2 per cent to 1 per cent in the fresh herb (100 lb. of the fresh flowering tops yielding from 1/2 to 1 lb. of essential oil) and 2.5 per cent in the dried herb, the yield of oil from the dried German herb being on the average 1.7 per cent and from the dried French herb 2.5 to 2.6 per cent. The phenols present in French and German oils consist mainly of Thymol, but under certain conditions the latter may be replaced by Carvacrol. The value of Thyme oil depends so much upon the phenols it contains, that it is important that these should be estimated, as the abstraction of Thymol is by no means uncommon.

   Red oil of Thyme is frequently imported and sold under the name of oil of Origanum: it is often adulterated with oils of turpentine, spike lavender and rosemary, and coloured with alkanet root, and is not infrequently more or less destitute of Thymol. True oil of Origanum is extracted from Wild Marjoram, Origanum vulgare, and other species of Origanum.

   French oil of Thyme is the most esteemed variety of the oil known. A considerable quantity of Thyme oil is also distilled in Spain, but probably from mixed species of Thyme oil, the origin of Spanish Thyme oil not having been definitely proved; a certain amount is also distilled in Algeria from T. Algeriensis. French oil (specific gravity ) contains  per cent of phenols, chiefly Thymol, on which the value of the oil chiefly depends. Spanish oil contains a much higher percentage of phenols,  per cent, mostly Carvacrol, but sometimes a fairly large proportion of Thymol is present. The production of Thymol or Carvacrol seems to depend on some variation in the soil or climatic conditions which favours the formation of one or the other. The specific gravity of Spanish oil is.

   T. capitans also yields an oil of a specific gravity about , closely resembling that obtained from T. vulgaris. A similar oil is obtained from T. camphoratus. A somewhat different oil is obtained from the Lemon Thyme, T. serpyllum, var citriodorus. This oil has an odour resembling Thyme, Lemon and Geranium. It contains only a very small amount of phenols. Admixture with the oil of T. serpyllum does not alter the specific gravity of Thyme oil. T. mastichina, the so-called Spanish Wood Marjoram, also yields an oil of Thyme, of a bright yellow colour, turning darker with age and with a camphoraceous odour like Thyme.

   Thymus vulgaris L.):

   The essential oils of the Albanian thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) were obtained by steam distillation of air-dried plant material and examined by GC and GC/MS. Over 86 compounds were detected in the oils, from which more than

Chemical composition of essential oil from Thymus vulgaris hybrid:

   A sample of essential oil obtained from aerial parts of the Thymus vulgaris hybrid known as 'Porlock' (Labiatae) was examined by GC and GC/MS. Twenty-five compounds were identified representing about

Active Compounds:

   Volatile oil, of highly variable composition; the major constituent is thymol, with lesser amounts of carvacrol, with l,8-cineole, borneol, geraniol, linalool, bornyl and linalyl acetate, thymol methyl ether and a-pinene.

   Flavonoids; apigenin, luteolin, thymonin, naringenin and others

   Miscellaneous; labiatic acid, caffeic acid, tannins etc.


 Culinary Uses and Taking thyme:

   Thyme has a strong piquant or lemony flavor. For fresh use, the flavor is best just before flowering.

Enhance the flavor of meat, fish and poultry dishes with thyme.

For chicken and fish marinades, bruise fresh sprigs of thyme and tarragon, and combine with red-wine vinegar and olive oil.

Use in herb butters and cottage cheese.

To make a tea, use two teaspoons of dried herb per cup of boiling water and steep for ten minutes. Add sage to the tea if you have a nagging cough. The Food and Drug Administration includes thyme on its list of herbs generally regarded as safe, but large doses may cause intestinal problems. If you experience diarrhea or bloating, cut back on the amount you're using or discontinue use altogether.

   A stronger tea is useful as a mouthwash or rinse to treat sore gums.

Edible Uses:

Edible Parts: Leaves.

Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves and flowering tops - raw in salads, used as a garnish or added as a flavouring to cooked foods, going especially well with mushrooms and courgettes. It is an essential ingredient of the herb mix 'bouquet garni'. It retains its flavour well in long slow cooking. The leaves can be used either fresh or dried. If the leaves are to be dried, the plants should be harvested in early and late summer just before the flowers open and the leaves should be dried quickly. A nutritional analysis is available. An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. Pungent and spicy.


Medicinal Uses and Functions:


Aches and pains, acne, arthritis, asthma, boils, bronchitis, bruises, burns, catarrh, cellulite, colds, coughs, cuts, cystitis, dermatitis, diarrhea, dyspepsia, eczema, edema, flatulence, gout, gum infections, hypotension, infectious diseases, insect bites, laryngitis, lice, obesity, oily skin, pharyngitis, scabies, sinusitis, sluggish circulation, sore throat, sports injuries, sprains, stimulates CNS, stimulates immune system, tonsillitis, urethritis


Carminative,Anti-microbial,Anti-spasmodic,Relaxing expectorant,Astringent,Anthelmintic,Applications Dyspepsia,Sluggish digestion,Externally as lotion for infected wounds,Internally for respiratory and digestive infections,Gargle for laryngitis and tonsillitis,Bronchitis,Whooping cough,Asthma,Childhood diarrhea,Enuresis,Body Systems Digestive, Integumentary, Respiratory,anthelmintic, antibacterial, antibiotic, antimicrobal, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiputrefactive, antiviral, antivenomous, aperitif, aphrodisiac, astringent, bechic, cardiac, carminative, cicatrisant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypertensive, insecticide, narasiticide, rubefactient, stimulant, tonic, vermifuge.



Medicinal Uses:

      It is safe to use thyme as a seasoning during pregnancy, but strong medicinal doses should be avoided if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.

   Thyme was grown in monastery gardens in southern France and in Spain and Italy during the Middle Ages for use as a cough remedy, digestive aid and treatment for intestinal parasites.

   A solution of thyme's most active ingredient, thymol, thyme's most active ingredient, is used in such over-the-counter products as Listerine mouthwash and Vicks VapoRub because of its well-known antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thymol apparently also has a therapeutic effect on the lungs. Ingesting or inhaling the oil helps to loosen phlegm and relax the muscles in the respiratory tract.

   In Germany, concoctions of thyme are frequently prescribed for coughs, including those resulting from whooping cough, bronchitis and emphysema. Thyme extract was included in a popular cough syrup, Pertussin, that is no longer on the market. Thyme is used in herbal teas prepared for colds and flus. In addition, thyme has antifungal properties and can be used against athlete's foot.


Other Uses:Essential; Fungicide; Ground cover; Pot-pourri; Repellent.

   An essential oil from the leaves is frequently used in perfumery, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, medicinally etc. It has fungicidal properties and is also used to prevent mildew. The leaves are dried and used in pot-pourri. The plant makes an attractive ground cover for a sunny position. Plants are best spaced about apart each way. The dried flowers are used to repel moths from clothing whilst the growing plant is said to repel cabbage root fly.

   Common thyme has a very long history of folk use for a wide range of ailments. It is very rich in essential oils and these are the active ingredients responsible for most of the medicinal properties. In particular, thyme is valued for its antiseptic and antioxidant properties, it is an excellent tonic and is used in treating respiratory diseases and a variety of other ailments. The flowering tops are anthelmintic, strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, sedative and tonic. The plant is used internally in the treatment of dry coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis, bronchial catarrh, asthma, laryngitis, indigestion, gastritis and diarrhoea and enuresis in children. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tonsillitis, gum diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and fungal infections. The plant can be used fresh at any time of the year, or it can be harvested as it comes into flower and either be distilled for the oil or dried for later use. Thyme has an antioxidant effect, thus regular use of this herb improves the health and longevity of individual body cells and therefore prolongs the life of the body. The essential oil is strongly antiseptic. The whole herb is used in the treatment of digestive disorders, sore throats, fevers etc. The essential oil is one of the most important oils used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Bacterial'. It is used especially in cases of exhaustion, depression, upper respiratory tract infections, skin and scalp complaints etc. The oil can cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin and mucous membranes.

Properties and Historical Uses (Garden thyme):

Anthelmintic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, sedative. As a tincture, extract, or infusion, Thyme was commonly used in throat and bronchial problems, including acute bronchitis, laryngitis, and whooping cough, and also for diarrhea, chronic gastritis, and lack of appetite. For coughs and spasmodic complaints, the medication was made from the fresh plant. A warm infusion promoted perspiration and relieved flatulence and colic. Oil of Thyme (thymol) has a powerful antiseptic action for which it was used in mouthwashes and toothpastes. Thymol was also effective against ascarids and hookworms. As a local irritant, it was used externally for warts or to encourage the flow of blood to the surface. Also, Thyme baths were said to be helpful for neurasthenia, rheumatic problems, paralysis, bruises, swellings, and sprains. A salve made from thyme was once used for shingles. CAUTION: Excessive internal use of Garden thyme can lead to symptoms of poisoning and to over-stimulation of the thyroid gland.

Properties and Historical Uses: (Mother of Thyme): Antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, rubefacient, tonic. Mother of Thyme was beneficial for respiratory problems, helping to clear mucous congestion from the lungs and respiratory passages. It made a good tonic for the stomach and nerves, and was used for gastrointestinal problems such as mild gastritis, enteritis, stomach cramps, and painful menstruation. A bath additive made from the decoction stimulated the flow of blood toward the surface of the body and alleviated nervous exhaustion. An infusion of leaves was said to relieve the headache of a hangover. Used externally, alcoholic extracts were helpful for stab wounds, bruises, and symptoms of rheumatism. Mother of Thyme was also reputed to be useful in breaking the alcoholic habit by causing vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, thirst, and hunger, along with a revulsion for alcohol. This "folk cure" was probably repeated several times, but usually at longer and longer intervals. Mother of Thyme has also been recommended in the past for chlorosis, anemia, and insomnia.

Small amounts of Thyme are a sedative, whereas larger amounts are a stimulant. Thyme is used against hookworm, roundworms, and threadworms problems. Thyme warms and stimulates the lungs, expels mucus and relieves congestion. Both thymol and carvacrol have a relaxing effect upon the gastrointestinal tract's smooth muscles.

Known topical uses of Thyme have included the following:

as a gargle & mouthwash for dental decay, laryngitis, mouth sores, plaque formation, sore throat, thrush, tonsillitis, and bad breath; as a compress for lung congestion such as found with asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu; as a poultice for wounds, insect bites and stings; as a wash for fungal infections such as athlete's foot and ringworm, and use against parasites such as crabs, lice and scabies; as a douche for Candida; and as a compress for bruises. Thyme has also been used as an eyewash for sore eyes and as a hair rinse for dandruff; as a salve on acne, blemishes, burns and wounds; as a bath herb for sore muscles, arthritis, and colds; and as an essential oil added to soaps and antidepressant inhalations.


Thyme Dosage Information:

   Use 2 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of boiling water and steep for ten minutes. Add sage to the tea if you have a nagging cough. A stronger tea is useful as a mouthwash or rinse to treat sore gums.

   Dried herb:, or by infusion tds (BHP)

   Liq. Ext.: tds (BHP)

   Tincture:alcohol,  tds

   Combinations With Lobelia and Ephedra in asthma,With Prunus, Urginea and Marrubium in pertussis.

Thyme Safety & Interaction Information

   Thyme is on the  "generally regarded as safe" list, but large doses may cause intestinal problems such as diarrhea and bloating. If you have those symptoms, reduce the amount you are using until symptoms subside or discontinue use altogether. Exceeding the recommended doses can lead to over stimulation of the thyroid gland and poisoning symptoms. Thyme is safe to use as a seasoning during pregnancy, but strong medicinal doses should be avoided if there is any possibility that you are pregnant.


Scientific Updates:

   The thymol content of thyme works as an expectorant and cough suppressant and is frequently used in cough syrups prescribed for lung ailments like bronchitis. When combined with fenugreek, thyme works to relive the pain of migraine headaches. The carminative properties of thyme make it an effective treatment for stomach upsets.

Human platelet aggregation inhibitors from thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.).:

   Scientist from China find Two antiaggregant compounds, thymol (compound 1) and 3,4,3',4'-tetrahydroxy-5,5'-diisopropyl-2,2'-dimethylbiphenyl (compound 2) were isolated from the leaves of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). The structures were determined by (1)H-, (13)C-NMR and mass spectra (MS) studies. These compounds inhibited platelet aggregation induced by collagen, ADP, arachidonic acid (AA) and thrombin except that compound 2 did not inhibit platelet aggregation induced by thrombin.

Relaxant effect of Thymus vulgaris on guinea-pig tracheal chains and its possible mechanism(s).:

   Thymus vulgaris for the treatment of respiratory diseases is indicated widely, and relaxant effects on smooth muscle have been shown previously. In the present study, the relaxant effects of macerated and aqueous extracts of Thymus vulgaris on tracheal chains of guinea-pigs were examined using cumulative concentrations of macerated and aqueous extracts in comparison with saline (as the negative control) and theophylline (as the positive control). The relaxant effects of four cumulative concentrations of macerated and aqueous extracts  in comparison with saline (as the negative control) and four cumulative concentrations of theophylline were examined for their relaxant effects on precontracted tracheal chains of guinea-pig by KCl and  microm methacholine in two different conditions: non-incubated tissues and incubated tissues with 1 microm propranolol and 1 microm chlorphenamine. There were significant correlations between the relaxant effects and the concentrations for both extracts and theophylline in all experimental groups  . These results demonstrated a potent relaxant effect of Thymus vulgaris on guinea-pig tracheal chains that was comparable to theophylline at the concentrations used.

GC/MS evaluation of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) oil composition and variations during the vegetative cycle:

   Capillary GC/MS analysis based on polar and non-polar columns has been applied to evaluation of the volatile oils hydrodistilled from thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) plants. The adopted methodology has been used to monitor seasonal variations in the composition of the oil obtained from thyme herbs harvested at different periods during the plant vegetative and life cycles. Oils from thyme plants of young (2 years) and old (5 years) cultivations have been evaluated from four and two collections, respectively, effected throughout May/December growth period. Generally, the oil was found to be rich in the active monoterpene phenols (thymol and carvacrol) and their corresponding monoterpene hydrocarbon (HC) precursors (p-cymene and c-terpinene), which collectively showed synchronized patterns of variation during the different collection periods and in different seasons. The oil from old plant collected in May/June period  characterized by significantly lower levels of monoterpene HCs (mainly c-terpinene) and the highest levels of the oxygenated monoterpenes (linalool and borneol), monoterpene phenols (mainly thymol) and their derivatives (mainly carvacrol methyl ether), sesquiterpenes (mainly b-caryophyllene) and their oxygenated derivatives (e.g. caryophyllene oxide) in comparison with all other samples. A characteristic presence of camphor and thymodihydroquinone was also observed in the old plant oils. On the other hand, the young plant, collected in June/July just before the end of the vegetative cycle, provided the best oil yield  with also the highest  content of the monoterpene phenols . This latter growth period can represent the best harvest time of young thyme plants in order to obtain an essential oil with better quality and quantity.

   Excellent pulmonary disinfectant:

   Thyme is an excellent pulmonary disinfectant, useful for all respiratory, nose, mouth, throat and chest infections, infections of the bladder or urinary tract. It stimulates the production of white corpuscles, strengthening the body's immunity. Thyme stimulates circulation and raises low blood pressure. It is good for people who are fatigued, depressed or lethargic. It stimulates the appetite, making it useful in convalescence.

Thyme has an antioxidant effect:

   Thus regular use of this herb improves the health and longevity of individual body cells and therefore prolongs the life of the body. The essential oil is strongly antiseptic. The whole herb is used in the treatment of digestive disorders, sore throats, fevers etc.

Strengthen the nerves and stimulate brain cells:

   Thyme can strengthen the nerves and stimulate brain cells in order to help memory and concentration. It may help to release mental blocks at the same time. The thymol content of thyme works as an expectorant and cough suppressant and is frequently used in cough syrups prescribed for lung ailments like bronchitis. When combined with fenugreek, thyme works to relieve the pain of migraine headaches. The carminative properties of thyme make it an effective treatment for stomach upsets. Thyme has a pronounced effect upon the respiratory system, helping with conditions such as colds, coughs, sore throats, tonsilitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, whooping cough, and asthma. It has a warming ability which helps to eliminate mucous and phlegm. It can also increase the propensity of white corpuscles, increasing the power of the immune system. By helping to eliminate excess uric acid from the body, conditions like gout, sciatica, arthritis, and rheumatism can be more easily combatted.

Cooling impact:

   It is used in the treatment of a wide range of conditions including, warts, neuralgia, fatigue and acne. It may be beneficial in helping to overcome exhaustion after illness or disease. It is used in France as a liver disease treatment and almost everywhere as a digestive assistant. It has a ¡°cooling¡± impact on the skin and invigorates the lungs and the spirits. It is also useful in hair and skin care remedies.

   The cold infusion is useful with a weak and irritable stomach, and as a stimulating tonic. The warm infusion is beneficial in hysteria, dysmenorrhoea, flatulence, colic, headache, and to promote perspiration. The oil is valuable as a local application to neuralgic & rheumatic aches and pains.

Stimulant for the digestive system:

   Thyme can be a stimulant for the digestive system, helping to eliminate worms, reduce gastric infections, and ease dyspepsia. Thyme is also good for headaches caused from gastric complaints. For childbirth, thyme may speed delivery and removal of the placenta. For the skin, thyme is good for the scalp, helping to treat dandruff and hair loss. Dermatitis, wounds, boils and carbuncles may also be diminished with this oil.

   Other uses include; abscess, arthritis, bruises, burns, cuts, cystitis, diarrhea, eczema, edema, infectious diseases, insect bites, insomnia, lice, nosebleeds, obesity, poor circulation, scabies, sinusitis, sores, sprains, stress-related complaints, and urinary tract infections.

Counteracting adrenaline spasms:

   Thyme has the rare property of counteracting adrenaline spasms. This helps balance the adrenal cortex system, where there is an over production of adrenaline hormones, which can cause the kidneys and the digestive system to malfunction. It also calms spasms caused by too much acetylcholine.