THYME (Thymus vulgaris L)

It’s a perennial, suffruticose, grayish-green and very fragrant plant. Stems are woody, tortuous, quadrangular of a grayish-green color or deep dark red. They are erect, branched and 10-30 cm in height with plenty of leaves. The leaf is 4 mm to 12 mm long and up to 2 mm wide, sessile or short petiole. Leaves are sharp, very small, opposite, lineal and narrow. Limb is coriaceous, entire, from oval-shaped to lanceolate. Both sides are covered with gray or greenish-gray hairs. Margins are reflexed towards the abaxial surface. Central vein is depressed on adaxial surface and very prominent on the abaxial one. The essence comes out from the pores found all over their tiny surface.

Flowers are small, white or pink, grouped in axillary or terminal glomerulus. Calyx is divided into two lips (this is the characteristic that gives this family its name: Labiatae). Calyx is green, and is commonly found with purplish spots. It’s tubular, bilabiated, it is with two upper lips at the apex. The uppermost one is turned back and ends up in three triangular and wide teeth. The lower one is longer and has two ciliate teeth. After blooming the calyx tube is closed by a crown of rigid and long hairs. Usually, the corolla is about twice as longer as the calyx and is of a pinkish or whitish color. It is bilabiate and the upper lip is flat, no convex. Androecium is formed by 4 stamens, (didynamous: two long and two short), exerted (protruding out of the corolla). Gynoecium has a bicarpellate ovary which gives a loment. There are many different varieties. It belongs to the Lamiaceae (=Labiatae) family.

It is original from the Western Mediterranean zone. Thyme grows spontaneously throughout the Mediterranean region and Central Europe, the Balkans, and from the Caucasus region to the Arabian Peninsula, reaching some parts of Eastern Africa (Ethiopia). It’s abundant and grows mostly in arid, stony soil. It takes wide areas to grow. It starts blooming on March and is harvested when blooming; it is April or May. While the plant is blooming, which lasts almost half a year, its characteristic scent is intensified.

Part used
Flowering tops (leaves and flowers).


Internal use
> Digestive disorders: slow and heavy digestion, chronic gastritis, meteorism, gastrointestinal spasms, biliary dyskinesia, colitis, malodorous feces, lack of appetite.
> Intestinal parasites.
> Respiratory disorders: cold, flu, pharyngitis, irritating cough, bronchitis, asthma, emphysema.
> Asthenia and convalescence.
> Kidney disorders: cystitis, urethritis, pyelonephritis.
> Menstrual pain, salpingitis.
> Due to its antiviral properties, it can be used to prevent herpes zoster relapse.

External use
> Skin disorders: dermatitis, furuncles, skin infections, ulcers, dermatomycosis, hematomas, burns, athlete’s foot, etc.
> Hair loss, alopecia.
> Oral infections (mouthwashes) halitosis, stomatitis, toothaches.
> Rheumatic pain, contusion, sprains.
> Gynecological disorders: Vaginitis. 
> Other: conjunctivitis, otitis, rhinitis, sinusitis.

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