Thyme is a familiar name for everyone. Botanists and those who are associated in somehow with herbal plants or ordinary people who use of this plant in their daily life are familiar with it. This name is used for a group of plants that belong to the mint family (Labiatae), and include several species that the most famous ones are:
Mint family contains 200 genus and 3300 species, most of them usually have essential oil. They are often herbaceous plants and rarely have shrubs and curvy spices.
Zataria multiflora's English name is Wild marjoram and its botanical name is Zataria multiflora Boiss and its synonym is Zataria bracteata Boiss. Zataria multiflora is one of the best-known medicinal herbs of the mint family (Labiatea). It is a shrub to a height of 40-80 cm, spicy, with twisted branches, branches with white skin, fluffy, heart-shaped or circular-shaped Leaves, with an almost heart-shaped base with rounded head, a spike-shaped flower with a short calyx, its harvest time is in June when it is blossoming. This plant has many medicinal properties and in food, pharmaceutical, sanitary and cosmetic industries used a lot. Thyme has been used medicinally in traditional medicine in Iran and Europe. pliny recommends this plant as an antidote to snake bites and Marine animals poison, As well as headache treatment. The Romans burnt thyme because they believed that its smoke take away scorpion.
Plants called broad thyme, slim thyme and Zataria that are available in Attarian or Iranian market are different from Zataria multiflora However, due to similarities in certain combinations or similar appearance, are called the general Zataria. About these thymes, comments are offered:
Zataria is defined to some of species of thymus in Iran. This plant in large areas in North, West and center of Iran including Mazandaran, Gilan, Azerbaijan, Zanjan, Kurdistan, around Tehran and Qazvin grows. Thyme that is written in most of medicinal plants' books as the world's standard and the main species of herbal medicine is Thymus vulgaris which is cultivated in Iran limitedly. Most of plants that are supplied under the name of Thyme in Iran's market, in terms of species and genus are different but the effects of the drug are similar, that the mainly species is Zataria multiflora
Thyme is a short and ramous shrub that has thin and mutual leaves with single White flowers in umbrella shape.
The genus Zataria has a particular species which is called multiflora. This species, with the name of Persian thyme and avyshom and in southern Iran under the name of zataria multiflora, are known as wide leaf thyme and thyme and mainly are used in pharmaceutical and food industries. Zataria multiflora is a perennial shrub to a height of 40-80 cm. Small leaves are almost rounded and in the surface is covered with a large number of follicles. Stem of this plant is almost white; its Calyx is tubular oval and has five equal and small indentations to the length of about 2 mm. Plant powder is silvery green with aromatic smell and astringent and spicy taste. Microscopic features of plant Powder leaves are:
Secretory cells are surrounded by parenchyma cells of leaves .Parenchymal cells are in a type of ladder.
Xylems are ladder and spiral type.
The medicinal parts of the plant are its branches and dried leaves.
This plant has restricted distribution in the world and exclusively in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan grow. Its distribution in Iran is limited to areas of Isfahan, Lorestan, Khuzestan, Yazd, Fars, Kerman, Bandar Abbas, Baluchistan and Khorasan.
Planting and harvesting:
A - Planting:
Thyme will multiply by seed, cuttings and division of plant. Non-uniformity of the field coverage is always a problem in direct seed cultivation. Therefore another cultivation method is offered that includes production of transplanting seed in Greenhouse and transferring them into the farms. Thyme seeds within one to two weeks at a temperature of 12 -32° C germinate. Sometimes germination is accelerated by light. Thyme easily multiplies from 5 to10 cm cuttings in the spring. Hormone enhancer of root is may be useful for multiply. End of March is the perfect time for planting the seeds in nursery. And in the transfer time the height of transplants are from 10 to 15 cm.
Considering that Thymus will remain for a longtime in the land, planning for its fertilization is important. Before planting with enough consumption of composted manure (Approximately 20-30 tons) supplying nutrient must be ensured. In one study for evaluating the effects of nitrogen in different amounts on growth and amount of T.vulgaris essential oil within four seasons in Izmir It was found that dry matter yield of plant increased by increasing nitrogen. The amount of essential oil of flower from 0/.78 to 1/3%, and thymol from 26/87 to 58/57percent was variable. And nitrogen fertilizer didn’t have any significant effect on the total amount of essential oil and thymol percentage. Typically in the spring before planting 50 to 80 kg per hectare potassium oxide plus 40 to 60 kg nitrogen per hectare used for plants. From the second year, prior to weed every year in spring 30 to 50 kg N per hectare should be providing for Plants.
Fight against weeds is one of the operations of growing.
C - Harvest
Thymus harvest is a critical point in crop management of this plant. Generally, the best time to collect vegetative organs (leaves and young stems) Containing ingredients is the time when the plant is in flowering stage.
Harvesting time for Thymus in different regions is different and in one study in Karaj, suitable harvesting time for Thymus, flowering stage is cited. An appropriate height of harvesting, 10cm of soil surface has been reported.
Typically high volume of Thymus in a sun has been dried, but the quality of the final product has been very low. Artificial drying can be used to control product quality. In other words, a dryer with a pressurized airflow is suitable. Thymus should be dried at a lower temperature of 40 ° C to reduce waste of aroma during the vaporization and maintains its green color.Dried product to remove dust should pass the process of separating and sifting the leaves from the stems until a uniformity product be produced.
The most important chemicals:
Thymus essential oil can be extracted from the fresh aerial or dried Thymus by steam distillation system. Essential oil has been stored in the small glands of leaves. Function and quality of essential oil depending on the genetic structure of plant, Maturity stage, harvesting time, environment and extraction operations are different. The most important composition of the plant, is essential oil that is available at the amount of 1 -2.5 % in the leaves. The most important objects of essential oil are including thymol and carvacrol that respectively constitute 30-70 % of essential oil and 15-30% of the essential oil. Other components include linalool, Simon, Tymon and are alphapynen. These components and their conditions depend to the cultivation, harvest time and other geographical conditions.
In traditional medicine this plant is used as an antispasmodic, Pertussis therapy, bronchitis, lung infections, colds, flu and also it's used for the treatment of flatulence and muscle cramps. Today Thymus Vulgaris is used for treatment of asthma, repeated dry cough, emphysema and bronchitis. Also its brewed tea is used for the treatment of middle ear infection, nausea, flatulence. Thymus extract contains a substance called "thymol" which is useful for asthma .Thymus bath is helpful for patients with muscular pains, arthritis and rheumatoid. Thymus is an effective poultice for stings and insect bites. If Patients with asthma, kidney and bladder, joint pain, sciatica, uterine bleeding and abnormal discharge in women, use of this plant it will be effective in eliminating these diseases. This herb is contraindicated in pregnancy but not during lactation. Zataria multiflora is one of the Thymus vulgaris types that are used in the production of pharmaceutical products. Another use of thyme is taking it as a powder in some spices and pickles. Also directly or in combination with other herbs as an odor, taste, and anti flatulence in food industry is consumed.
Barij Essence Products From this plant:
Bronco Barij Syrup: for mucus and dry coughs cure (anti-tussive) from Zataria multiflora and marshmallow.
Lecorex Vaginal Cream: for the vaginitis therapy
Gastrolit Oral Drop and soft gelatin capsule: irritable bowel syndrome therapy
Eucalyptus Inhaler: From Zataria multiflora, myrtle and eucalyptus.