The development of Thyme plant as a medicinal herb: A review article

Document Type : Review Article


1 Associate Professor of Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Ramin Agricultural and Natural Resources University, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Specialist of Chemical analysis, Ramin University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ahwaz, I.R. Iran


Background and aims: Thymus vulgaris L. (Thyme) is an aromatic plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family, used for medicinal and spice purposes almost everywhere in the world. The aim of this study is to evaluate the botanical, microscopic characteristics, cultivation, biochemical compounds, and pharmacological effects. 
Methods: In review article, we reviewed published papers in Medline database, Scopus, PubMed, Science Direct, SID, Civilica and Magiran. 
Results: There are approximately 100 species of Thyme. The aroma mostly comes from the leaves, which is the part of the herb most commonly used. The leaves are generally used fresh or dried. Thymus vulgaris L. has a chemical polymorphism with 6 different chemotypes that show marked spatial segregation in nature. In general, phenolic chemotypes of Thymol and Carvacrol, which occur at the end of the biosynthetic chain, have a significantly lower proportion of their oil composed of their dominant monoterpene than nonphenolic chemotypes Geraniol, alpha-Terpineol, and Linalool. This is due to the presence of high amounts of precursors gamma-Terpinene and p-Cymene in the oil of phenolic chemotypes, Flavones (e.g. Apigenin, Luteolin, 6-Hydroxyluteolin) and their glycosides methylated flavones (e.g. Cirsilineol, Eriodictyol, Thymonin). Thyme pharmacological effects are such as antifungal and antibacterial, spasmolytic and antitussive, expectorant and secretomotor. 
Conclusions: In this review study, it was showed that Thyme plant considered as an important medicinal herb and used in pharmaceutical considerable commercial value.


Main Subjects

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