- Thyme (Thymus)
(pronounced "time") is a genus of about 350 species of aromatic
perennial herbaceous plants and sub-shrubs to 40 cm tall, in the family
Lamiaceae and native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. A number of
species have different chemotypes. The stems tend to be narrow or even
wiry; the leaves are evergreen in most species, arranged in opposite
pairs, oval, entire, and small, 4-20 mm long.
- Thymus species are
used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera insect species
including Chionodes distinctella and the Coleophora case-bearers C.
lixella, C. niveicostella, C. serpylletorum and C. struella (the latter
three feed exclusively on Thymus).Thyme grows all over the world and
it's many differing varieties can be found from Greenland to Asia.
- Thyme also grows
in northern Africa and was used by the Egyptians in ancient times.
It is still used in cosmetics for its sweet, pungent fragrance. It
Grows in full sun in rocky or sandy soil with good drainage. In poor
soil, amend planting area with organic matter and sharp grit, or
grow in a raised bed. The plant prefers neutral to alkaline soil.
of thyme have been established successfully without herbicides by
transplanting the crop into an area covered with weed-suppressing
matting. Organic mulches can be used in a similar way. Thyme suffers
from few pests and diseases in Central Otago. However, in wetter
environments with imperfect soil drainage, root-rotting fungal
diseases have been implicated in plant death.
and dried thyme is used as a traditional culinary seasoning. The
essential oil is also extracted from the herb and used in both
perfumery and flavouring applications. It is also used to
fragrance soaps and detergents where its characteristic fresh,
antiseptic aroma is desired.
- The essential oil
of Thyme (Thymol) can cause adverse reactions if taken in it's pure
form, so use Thyme-based medications sparingly. Thyme is also known
as a stimulant. It stimulates the circulatory system, and can help
raise low blood pressure. It is also thought to help memory by
stimulating the chemical reactions in the brain.
- Essential oils
from aerial parts of Mentha piperita, M. spicata, Thymus vulgaris,
Origanum vulgare, O. applii, Aloysia triphylla, Ocimum gratissimum,
O. basilicum were obtained by steam destillation using a
Clevenger-type system. These oils were screened for antibacterial
and anti-Candida albicans activity using bioautographic method.
- Using a
multiple-method approach, antioxidant activity of aqueous tea
infusions prepared from oregano (Origanum vulgare L. ssp. hirtum),
thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) and wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum L.) were
tested in relation to their chemical composition. Total phenolic,
flavonoid, catechin and anthocyanin content was determined by
- The market demand
for thyme is rather high, yearly estimates running at about 500
tonnes in USA and 1000 tonnes in Europe. Owing to a general
popularity of the use of natural substances instead of synthetic
compounds, an increase in that demand is predictable.Many herbs were
cultivated in Babylon and Assyria: basil, mint, anise, coriander,
thyme, asafoetida, bay, rocket, saffron, and sage are all mentioned
in tablets from these civilizations.
The market rate of thyme is about Rs.20 per kg of green leaves and
Rs.140 per kg of dried leaves. There are about 40 farmers at present
in Udhagamandalam and Kodaikanal regions who are cultivating this
variety. From one hectare a net profit of Rs.1,20,000 can be
obtained even under rain fed conditions.
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