Saturday, October 18, 2008

Herbs Containing Thymol or Carvacrol

Herbs Containing Thymol or Carvacrol
The establishment of aromatic profiles for members of this group is complicated by the considerable confusion over nomenclature. The botany of the plants in the family Labiatae, which are variously known as “thyme” of “origanum” is very involved; much of the misunderstanding is due to the fact that Spanish thyme is often origanum and vice versa and the term “marjoram” or the French word “marjolaine” is applied to several aromatic plants of different species. In commerce, the position is not improved as the essential oils from these various plants are often blended and offered under both names. However, there is now general agreement for the following nomenclature.

Thyme is Thymus vulgaris, L. or Thymus zygis, L. The essential oil from these plants has a total phenol content of 40 – 60% of which not less than 90% is crystallize thymol.

Wild thyme is usually regarded as Thymus serpyllum, L. and is not widely available except in Russia.

Origanum is Thymus capitatus and some other species of Thymus or Origanum the essential oil of which contains 60 – 75% of total phenols consisting mainly of noncrystallizable carvacrol.

Wild marjoram is either Origanum vulgarae, L. or Thymus masticina, L.

Sweet marjoram is Marjorana hortensis, the essential oil of which does not contain any phenols.

White thyme oil is not a prime essential oil from a different plant but it is redistillation of red thyme oil of commerce.
Herbs Containing Thymol or Carvacrol
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