Thyme (Thymus serpyllum L.)

Thyme is a small shrub that belongs to the Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family. Other names: thyme, chime, creeping thyme, chabor, Bogorodskaya grass


Fragrant subshrub with a leafless creeping, woody stem, from which erect or ascending flower-bearing leafy branches up to 15 cm in height, rounded or indistinctly tetrahedral, pubescent under the apical capitate inflorescence. The leaves are small, up to 1 cm long, cross-opposite, arranged in pairs on short petioles, oval or oblong-oval, entire, glabrous, only at the base of the leaf along the edge with white cilia. The flowers are quite small, collected in a dense capitate inflorescence, pink-violet, two-lipped, with a flat upper and 3-lobed lower lip. The calyx is also two-lipped. It blooms in June-August. Thyme grows on sandy places, slopes, hills, along roads, in fields and fallows, in dry pine forests and between shrubs, growing in tufts that are clearly visible during the flowering period.

Harvesting, description of raw materials:

For medicinal purposes, thyme herb – Herba Serpylli is used. Raw materials are harvested during flowering, cutting off the aerial part. Dry outdoors in the shade. Then the raw material is threshed, sifted through wire sieves, obtaining a mixture of leaves and flowers. The smell of raw materials is peculiar, fragrant, the taste is bitter-spicy, slightly burning.

Contains active substances:

Thyme herb contains essential oil (up to 0.6%), a small amount of tannins, flavonoids, ursolic and oleanolic acids, bitterness and other substances. The essential oil contains phenols (up to 60%): thymol, carvacol, hydrocarbon cymol, and terpenes.

Medicinal use:

In medical practice, a decoction and liquid extract of thyme herb is used as an expectorant for bronchitis, as an analgesic for sciatica and neuralgia inside and out in the form of aromatic baths and compresses. The liquid extract is part of the product “Pertussin”, which is widely used in children’s practice for coughs and whooping cough as an expectorant. In folk medicine, an aqueous decoction of the herb is drunk for colds, coughs, stomach pains, low acidity, stomach ulcers, headaches , with bronchitis, shortness of breath, heart disease, nervous diseases, as a diuretic, with edema, tumors, with liver diseases, anemia, goiter, rheumatism, for “cleansing” the blood, with uterine bleeding, for abdominal pain, insomnia, before childbirth. 

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