Monday, 24 August 2015

Plants belonging to the genus Thymus as antibacterial agents: From farm to pharmacy

Volume 173, 15 April 2015, Pages 339–347


Plants belonging Thymus genus has been used as antibacterial from ancient times.
Thymus plant oils and extracts might have beneficial role against bacterial infections.
High efficacy and safety make them interesting alternative to synthetic drugs.


In traditional medicine, plants have been used since ancient times for the prevention and/or protection against infectious diseases. In recent years, the use of herbal medicines and food supplements containing botanical ingredients, as alternative therapy for infectious diseases, has been intensified due to their high content of antimicrobial agents such as polyphenols, i.e. flavonoids, tannins, and alkaloids. Plants from the genus Thymus are important medicinal herbs, which are known to contain antimicrobial agents, and are rich in different active substances such as thymol, carvacrol, p-cymene and terpinene. In this review, we summarise the available literature data about the in vitroantibacterial effects of the main plants belonging to the genus Thymus. We also provide information about cultivation, chemical composition of the essential oils obtained from these plants, and their use for medicinal purposes.


  • Genus Thymus plants; 
  • Essential oils and extracts; 
  • Carvacrol; 
  • Thymol; 
  • Antibacterial activity

Corresponding author at: Department of Drug Sciences, Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology Section, University of Pavia, Via Taramelli 12, 27100 Pavia, Italy. Tel.: +39 0382 987388; fax: +39 0382422975.