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Thymus vulgaris
Tanacetum parthenium
Taraxacum officinale
Trigonella foenum-graecum


 

 

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Untitled Document Thymus vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae/Labiatae)

Local names
Common thyme, farigola, garden thyme, herba timi, herba thymi, mother of thyme, red thyme, rubbed thyme, ten, thick leaf thyme, thym, Thymian, thyme, time, timi, tomillo, za’ater

Description
An aromatic perennial sub-shrub, 20–30 cm in height, with ascending, quadrangular, greyish brown to purplish brown lignified and twisted stems bearing oblong-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate greyish green leaves that are pubescent on the lower surface. The flowers have a pubescent calyx and a bilobate, pinkish or whitish, corolla and are borne in verticillasters. The fruit consists of 4 brown ovoid nutlets

Plant material used
dried leaves and flowering tops

Chemical assays
Herba Thymi contains not less than 1.0% volatile oil, and not less than 0.5% phenols. Volatile oil is quantitatively determined by water/steam distillation, and the percentage content of phenols expressed as thymol is determined by spectrophotometric analysis. Thin-layer chromatographic analysis is used for thymol, carvacrol, and linalool

Major chemical constituents
Herba Thymi contains about 2.5% but not less than 1.0% of volatile oil. The composition of the volatile oil fluctuates depending on the chemotype under consideration. The principal components of Herba Thymi are thymol [1] and carvacrol [2] (up to 64% of oil), along with linalool, p-cymol, cymene, thymene, α-pinene, apigenin, luteolin, and 6-hydroxyluteolin glycosides, as well as di-, tri- and tetramethoxylated flavones, all substituted in the 6- position (for example 5,4'-dihydroxy-6,7-dimethoxyflavone, 5,4'-dihydroxy- 6,7,3'-trimethoxyflavone and its 8-methoxylated derivative 5,6,4'-trihydroxy- 7,8,3'-trimethoxyflavone)

Dosage forms
Dried herb for infusion, extract, and tincture.

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
None.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Thyme extract has been used orally to treat dyspepsia and other gastrointestinal disturbances; coughs due to colds, bronchitis and pertussis; and laryngitis and tonsillitis (as a gargle). Topical applications of thyme extract have been used in the treatment of minor wounds, the common cold, disorders of the oral cavity, and as an antibacterial agent in oral hygiene (3, 5, 8, 15, 16). Both the essential oil and thymol are ingredients of a number of proprietary drugs including antiseptic and healing ointments, syrups for the treatment of respiratory disorders, and preparations for inhalation. Another species in the genus, T. serpyllum L., is used for the same indications

Uses described in traditional medicine
As an emmenagogue, sedative, antiseptic, antipyretic, to control menstruation and cramps, and in the treatment of dermatitis

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Spasmolytic and antitussive, Expectorant and secretomotor, Antifungal and antibacterial

Contraindications
Pregnancy and lactation (See Precautions, below).

Warnings
No information available.

Precautions
General
Patients with a known sensitivity to plants in the Lamiaceae (Labiatae) should contact their physician before using thyme preparations. Patients sensitive to birch pollen or celery may have a cross-sensitivity to thyme.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
Thyme essential oil did not have any mutagenic activity in the Bacillus subtilis rec-assay or the Salmonella/microsome reversion assay. Recent investigations suggest that thyme extracts are antimutagenic and that luteolin, a constituent of thyme, is a strong antimutagen against the dietary carcinogen Trp-P-2.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
The safety of Herba Thymi preparations during pregnancy or lactation has not been established. As a precautionary measure, the drug should not be used during pregnancy or lactation except on medical advice. However, widespread use of Herba Thymi has not resulted in any safety concerns.

Nursing mothers
See Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects, above.

Other precautions
No information available concerning drug interactions, drug and laboratory test interactions, paediatric use, or teratogenic effects on pregnancy.

Adverse reactions
Contact dermatitis has been reported. Patients sensitive to birch pollen or celery may have a cross-sensitivity to thyme.

Posology
Adults and children from 1 year: 1–2g of the dried herb or the equivalent amount of fresh herb as an oral infusion several times a day; children up to 1 year: 0.5–1g. Fluid extract: dosage calculated according to the dosage of the herb. Tincture (1 : 10, 70% ethanol): 40 drops up to 3 times daily. Topical use: a 5% infusion as a gargle or mouth-wash

 

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