A small (up to 50 cm tall) subshrub of the labiophyllum family. The stem is erect or erect, very branched, woody in the lower part; branches are herbaceous, thin, four-sided, grayish-pubescent. The leaves are small (5-10 cm long), opposite, short-petiolate, elongated-lanceolate, grayish, densely pubescent, entire, with speckled glands and edges rolled down, very fragrant. The flowers are small, irregular, in axillary umbels, forming false rings, collected in loose panicles; corolla double-lipped, purple-pink, less often white. The fruit consists of four one-seeded nut-like lobes. Blooms in June – July.
Distribution . The homeland of common thyme is the western regions of the Mediterranean coast. In the south of Ukraine, it is cultivated as an essential oil plant.
Procurement and storage . For medicinal purposes, fresh (for extraction of essential oil — Oleum Thymi) or dried thyme herb (Herba Thyrni vulgaris) is used. Harvesting is carried out in two periods: the first cut – during the period of mass flowering of the plant, the second – one and a half to two months before the end of the growing season. The cut grass is dried, threshed, and then the flowers and leaves are separated from the stems on a sieve, which are discarded. The finished raw materials are stored in a dry, well-ventilated room. The shelf life is 3 years.
Chemical composition . Common thyme herb contains essential oil (0.8-1.2%), flavonoids (luteolin, luteolin-7-glucoside, luteolin-7-diglucoside), triterpenic (ursolic, oleanolic, thymic), oxycinnamic and other acids. The composition of the essential oil includes thymol (up to 42%), carvacrol, cymol, pinene, borneol, caryophyllene, linalool and other terpenoids.
Pharmacological properties and use . Thymol and pertussin are used in scientific medicine. Externally, thymol is used for disinfection of the oral cavity, pharynx and nasopharynx, for the treatment of fungal skin lesions, in dental practice. Internally, it is prescribed as an antiseptic for diarrhea and flatulence to reduce intestinal fermentation and as an anthelmintic for hookworm, trichocephalosis, and nekatorosis. Pertusyn is used as an expectorant for bronchitis and whooping cough. Galenic products of common thyme are used for the same diseases as preparations of flat thyme.
Medicinal forms and applications .
1. Pertussinum is taken 1 tablespoon (for children – from half a teaspoon to 1 dessert spoon) 3 times a day.
2. Thymol (Thymolum) is used for disinfection of the oral cavity, pharynx and nasopharynx (rinsing with a 0.05-0.1% solution), for the treatment of epidermophyta and actinomycosis (in the latter case, a 10% oil solution of thymol is mostly used, which fill a widely distended cavity of abscesses), for analgesia of dentin (as part of Hartmann’s liquid), for diarrhea and flatulence (take 0.1 g orally 2-3 times a day) and as an anthelmintic. For hookworm 1-2 days before treatment, during treatment and for 1-2 days after treatment, semi-liquid dishes without fats and alcohol are prescribed. On the eve of treatment, a saline laxative is given. In the morning of each day of treatment on an empty stomach, thymol is given in capsules or in powder with sugar in the following daily doses: children aged 2-5 years — 0.2-0.5 g, 6-8 years — 0.6-0.8 g, 9 —10 years— 1 — 1.2 g, 11 — 15 years— 1, 2-2 g, at the age of 16-20 – 2.5-3 g, 21-50 years – 4 g, older than 50 years – 3 g. Thymol is not prescribed for children under 2 years of age. Daily doses are divided into 4 parts and given one after the other with breaks of 15-20 minutes. After an hour and a half, they give a saline laxative. Treatment is carried out 3 days in a row. Repeating the course of treatment is allowed after 2-3 weeks. The course of trichocephalosis treatment consists of 5-6 day cycles. The daily dose of thymol for an adult is 0.75-1 g. The entire dose is taken in the morning on an empty stomach. On the sixth day in the evening, a saline laxative is prescribed (castor oil is contraindicated). After 6 days of reception, they take a break for 6 days. Children are prescribed the product at the rate of 0.05 g for each year of life per reception (according to the given scheme). The highest doses of thymol for adults when taken orally: single 1 g, daily 4 g. Thymol is contraindicated in decompensation of cardiac activity, diseases of the liver and kidneys, ulcerative diseases of the stomach and intestines, during pregnancy. Thymol is also used as a preservative for some pharmaceutical products.