Thymus vulgaris, “Thyme” in English and “Thym” in French, belongs to the Lamiaceae botanical family. A 0.3 m tall shrub on average, it is native, in various subspecies and forms, in central and southern Europe, the Balkans and the Caucasus. Its natural habitat is dry slopes, rocks and maquis.
The fragrance of its leaves makes it an aromatic in cooking and an ingredient for perfumes.
Its essential oil is used medicinally as an expectorant and bronchospasmolytic in bronchitis, whooping cough and generally, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract. It is used externally as a hyperaemic and antibacterial. In folk medicine it is a stomachic and carminative, a diuretic, urinary disinfectant, and vermifuge.
Its essential oil (1 to 2.5%) contains mainly the isomeric monoterpenes thymol and carvacrol; tannins, flavonoids and triterpenes.