Thymbra spicata Linnaeus
Common names: Spiked Thyme, Black Thyme [En], Thymbra en épi [Fr], Θύμβρα,
Σταχυώδης [Gr], Kekik, Karabaş kekik, Kara kekik Zahter, Sater [Tu]
Çeşme, İZMİR ● Turkey
Description: Perennial procumbent shrub, with ascending hardly pubescent branches. The height varies between 15-40 cm. The leaves of the sterile branches are small, decussate, and obtuse; those of the fertile branches are an inch long, linear, acute, stiff, flat or complicate, ciliated. The whorls are many-flowered, disposed in spikes, which are sometimes interrupted. Floral leaves and bracteas are broad-lancelolate, acute, coloured, ciliated and closely imbricated with the flowers, and covering the calyxes. Calyx is glabrous or ciliated on the nerves. Corolla are purple.
Biology : It blooms from June to August.
Habitat: dry sunny hillsides, dry meadows, forest clearings.
Distribution: Greece, Western Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Cyprus.
Uses: The plant is used from ages in the traditional medicine by Turks, Greeks, Egyptians and Romans to treat asthma and bronchitis.
In Turkey, dried herbs of Thymbra are used as herbal tea, condiment and folk medicine for treating asthma, colic, bronchitis, coughs in addition to uses in food industry for flavoring, aroma and preservation agents. Thyme oils are also used in flavour and food industries, mainly in the manufacture of perfumes and cosmetics, or for flavoring chocolates, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and cough medicines.
Many previous studies reported that the essential oils of Thymbra spicata, and their main phenolic constituents such as carvacrol and thymol that show remarkable antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial activities. (Baytop T., 1984; Shelef L.A., 1983)
The essential oils of Thymbra spicata are used for their cholesterol-reducer, antioxidant and liver protective effects.
Don G., 1831-1838. A general history of the dichlamydeous plants…, London,J.G. and F. Rivington.
İnan M., Kırpık M., Kaya D.A., Kırıcı S., 2011. Effect of Harvest Time on Essential Oil Composition of Thymbra spicata L. growing in Flora of Adıyaman. Advances in Environmental Biology, 5(2): 356-358. ISSN 1995-0756