Common thyme – wild thyme (harvesting and storage)

Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family.

For therapeutic purposes, threshed grass is used.

It grows wild in Spain and southern France. In Ukraine, it is cultivated in the state farms of Soyuzlekrasprom in the southern steppe regions. Plantation is used for 4-5 years.

Common thyme is an upright shrub up to 40-50 cm high with a taproot branched root. Stems are numerous, woody in the lower part, tetrahedral, with shortened lateral shoots, grayish with pubescence. The leaves are opposite, short-petiolate, oblong-lanceolate or obovate with a whole edge turned down, covered with glands on both sides. Flowers in the axils of the leaves in false semi-whorls, forming racemose inflorescences. The flowers are small, with a two-lipped pinkish or purple corolla and a two-lipped five-toothed bell-shaped calyx. There are four stamens, one pistil with an upper four-parted ovary. The fruits are oblong-rounded, smooth, grayish or brown-brown four-nuts.

Blooms in June – July. The fruits ripen in August – September.

Raw materials are harvested at the beginning of mass flowering (July) with hay mowers, cutting at a height of 10-15 cm from the soil plane. In the southern regions of Ukraine, two collections of raw materials can be carried out – the first in the flowering phase, the second at the end of September – October. The mowed mass is raked by a tractor rake into windrows.

Raw materials are processed fresh for essential oil or dried in the open air, under sheds, spreading a thin layer (5-7 cm) on tarpaulins or fabrics and stirring occasionally. The end of drying is determined by the fragility of the stems. The dried raw materials are threshed and then the coarse stems are separated. The yield is 1-4 t/ha.

According to FS 42-811-73, the raw material consists of leaves and flowers with an admixture of crushed parts of stems up to 1 mm thick. Leaves 5-10 mm long, 2-5 mm wide. The color of the stems is greenish-brown, the leaves are brownish-green above, light green below. Corolla pinkish-purple. The smell is fragrant (thymol). The taste is spicy.

No more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: stems thicker than 1 mm – 2, crushed parts (passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 0.5 mm) – 7, organic impurities (parts of other plants) – 2, mineral impurities – 2.

The essential oil content must be at least 1%.

Packed in 50 kg bales and 20 kg bags. It is stored in the group of essential oil raw materials in dry, well-ventilated rooms in a packaged form on pallets or racks. Storage period up to one year.

The herb contains an essential oil, the main component of which is thymol. The liquid extract of the herb and the product Pertussin are used as an expectorant and antimicrobial agent for bronchitis and whooping cough. Thymol obtained from the essential oil is used as an antiseptic, antihelminthic and antifungal agent, and the essential oil is used as a local pain reliever and in the perfume industry.

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