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Thyme. Thymus vulgaris.

Botanical name:

Thyme. N. F. IV. Thymus. Common or Garden Thyme.—"The dried tops of Thymus vulgaris Linné (Fam. Labiatae), collected when the plant is in flower." N. F. It is extensively grown in the United States for flavoring purposes. It is also used to some extent in medicine. The N. F. description is as follows: "Stems quadrangular, about 0.5 mm. in diameter, grayish-brown or purplish in color, pubescent, nodes from 5 to 20 mm. apart, occasionally with the opposite leaves attached; leaves linear, linear-lanceolate, or ovate-oblong, from 0.5 to 4 mm. in length and from 0.5 to 2 mm. in breadth, summit acute, base obtuse tapering into a petiole from 0.5 to 2 mm. in length, margin revolute, upper surface grayish-green, puberulent, with numerous one-celled, thick-walled, non-glandular hairs; lower surface grayish, pubescent, with non-glandular, one- to four-celled, thick-walled, rough simple hairs, up to 0.135 mm. in length and usually curved at the first joint in the bases; numerous compound glandular secreting hairs, with short one-celled stalk occurring chiefly on the upper surface and depressed in the cuticle, which give the leaf a glandular-punctate appearance; inflorescence in about twelve-flowered axillary whorls; flowers polygamous, calyx tubular, about 4 mm. in length, ovoid or slightly curved on the lower side near the base, from nine- to twelve-nerved, pubescent, the throat bearded with longitudinally striated, straight simple hairs up to 1 mm. in length, bilabiate, upper lip three-toothed, lower lip with two hairy, ascending, attenuate divisions, corolla about twice as long as the calyx, purplish, smooth within, slightly pubescent without, upper lip emarginate, lower spreading and three-lobed, stamens slightly didynamous and exserted, stigma bifid; nutlets about 0.5 mm. in diameter, spheroidal and finely tuberculate. Odor agreeable, aromatic; taste aromatic and warming. Thyme yields not more than 14 per cent. of ash." N. F.

Thyme owes its therapeutic virtues to its volatile oil. (See Oleum Thymi.). It is occasionally used in domestic medicine, like other aromatic plants, in the form of a hot infusion as a diaphoretic. Fluidextract of Thyme N F. IV is made with a menstruum of 10 volumes of glycerin, 25 volumes of alcohol and 65 volumes of water followed by 1 volume of alcohol and 3 volumes of water. The dose is one fluidrachm (4 mils).


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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