Promising ex situ essential oil from Thymus camphoratus (Lamiaceae)

Keywords: camphor thyme; morphological-anatomical structure of stems; simple and crooked non-glandular hairs; peltate and capitate glandular trichomes; essential oil; antimicrobial effect.


The search for new medical fines herbs among species of foreign flora is a relevant issue of today. The article describes the morphological-anatomical, phytochemical peculiarities and antimicrobial action of an endemic species of the Iberian Peninsula Thymus camphoratus Hoffmanns. & Link (Lamiaceae Martinov) introduced to the Botanical Garden of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. It was determined that the diagnostic peculiarities of medical herbal raw material (herbs) are the structure and woolliness of the stem, leaves and generative organs. Th. camphoratus is a small subshrub with the stele of the stem of bundle type. Leaf lamina is oval, with slightly bent downward, large-crenate margins. Their lower part is woolly with simple crook-like hairs, the upper part is almost bare. The lamina from both sides is densely covered by peltate essential oil-bearing trichomes, between which there are lots of capitate hairs. Peltate trichomes have 4–6 cellular head and are surrounded by 12–16 cells of the epidermis. The epidermis is formed of elongated cells, the stomatal apparatus is of diacytic type, the stromas are densely located on the abaxial side of the leaf. The mesophyll of the leaf is formed of palisade and spongy tissues with no essential oil containing reservoir. The calyx is tubular-campanulate with almost similar short teeth of the upper and lower lip, the corolla has two lips, light-violet, or pink. The perianth is uniformly, woolly externally with single-cellular simple and capitate essential oil-bearing hairs. The inflorescence is compound, raceme-like thyrsoid type. Its opposite, angle partial inflorescences are complex dichasia formed of 7 flower-bearing axes at different stages of development. Determination of qualitative composition of essential oils in the raw material of Th. camphoratus was performed using the method of gas chromatography with gas chromatograph Carlo Erba Vega on capillary columns DB-WAX, 30 m and GC-SCION 456, column SOLGEL-WAX, 60 m with mass spectrometric detector (GCMS) in the Calendula laboratory of the University of Prešov. The standards for the comparison of essential oils were provided by Extrasynthese Ltd. In the raw material, the content of essential oil equaled 0.40 ± 0.05% of air-dried mass, in which 48% was borneol and fenchol, and 20% – linalool and α-terpineol. Essential oil composition of the studied plants is different from the populations in Portugal, where the dominating constituents, except borneol and fenchol, were 1,8-cineol, α-pinene, camphene. The obtained essential oil exerts bactericidal properties against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pyogenes, Enterococcus faecalis and has slightly lower antimicrobial activity towards clinical isolates of these microorganisms. Against single-celled fungi Candida albicans, essential oil from the plants exhibited no inhibition of growth of their colony. According to the results of the conducted studies, it was determined that in the Botanical Garden, Th. camphoratus subsp. congestus was introduced, which due to the content of borneol and fenchol, that have bactericidal effect, can be used as an anti-inflammatory medical preparation.


Albano, S. М., Lima, A. S., Miguel, M. G., Pedro, L. G., Barroso, J. G., & Figueiredo, A. C. (2012). Antioxidant, anti-5-lipoxygenase and antiacetylcholinesterase activities of essential oils and decoction waters of some aromatic plants. Records of Natural Products, 6(1), 35–48.

Alves, M., Gonçalves, M. J., Zuzarte, M., Alves-Silva, J. M., Cavaleiro, C., Cruz, M. T., & Salgueiro, L. (2019). Unveiling the antifungal potential of two Iberian Thyme essential oils: Effect on C. albicans germ tube and preformed biofilms. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 10, 446.

Balouiri, M., Sadiki, M., & Ibnsouda, S. K. (2016). Methods for in vitro evaluating antimicrobial activity: A review. Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis, 6(2), 71–79.

Blažeković, B., Stanić, G., & Vladimir-Knežević, S. (2006). Morphology, anatomy and phytochemistry of Thymus vulgaris L. and Thymus pulegioides L. Farmaceutski Glasnik, 62(3), 121–130.

Boyko, A. A., & Brygadyrenko, V. V. (2016). Influence of water infusion of medicinal plants on larvae of Strongyloides papillosus (Nematoda, Strongyloididae). Visnyk of Dnipropetrovsk University, Biology, Ecology, 24(2), 519–525.

Boz, I., Navarro, L., Galeş, R., & Pădurariu, C. (2009). Morphology and structure of glandular hairs in development of Thymus vulgaris L. Scientific Annals of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, New Series, Section 2, Vegetal Biology, 55(2), 81–86.

Gomes, C. P., Vázquez Pardo, F. M., Paiva-Ferreira, R., Ramos, S., & Doncel, E. (2006). Biosystematic study of the subsection Thymastra (Nyman ex Velen.) R. Morales of the Thymus L. genus (Lamiaceae). Acta Botanica Gallica, 153(3), 355–364.

Gouyon, P., Vernet, P., Guillerm, J., & Valdeyron, G. (1986). Polymorphisms and environment: The adaptive value of the oil polymorphisms in Thymus vulgaris L. Heredity, 57, 59–66.

Hrytsyna, M. R. (2013). Struktura ta henezys partsial’nykh sutsvit’ vydiv pidsektsiyi Isandra Franch. ex Murb. sektsiyi Fasciculata Murb. rodu Verbascum L. [Structure and genesis of the partial inflorescences of subsection Isandra Franch. ex Murb. section Fasciculata Murb. genus Verbascum L.]. Visnyk of the Lviv University, Series Biology, 62, 91–98 (in Ukrainian).

Hrytsyna, M. R., Hudz, N. I., & Svidenko, L. V. (2018). Identification of some species of the genus Thymus L. by macroscopic features of the leaf. In: Hanych, T. M. (Ed.). Contemporary aspects of human health: A collection of Proceedings of the XI International Interdisciplinary Conference. UzhNU, Uzhgorod. Pp. 208–212 (in Ukrainian).

Hrytsyna, M., Skybitska, M., & Salamon, I. (2019). Morphological and anatomical structural features of shoots of species of the genus Thymus L., introduced in Botanical Garden of Lviv National University Named After Ivan Franko. Agrobiodiversity for Improving Nutrition, Health and Life Quality, 3, 38–50.

Hudaib, M., Speroni, E., Pietra, A. M., & Cavrini, V. (2002). GC/MS evaluation of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) oil composition and variations during the vegetative cycle. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 29(6), 691–700.

Kryvtsova, M. V., Salamon, I., Koscova, J., Bucko D., & Spivak, M. (2019). Antimicrobial, antibiofilm and biochemichal properties of Thymus vulgaris essential oil against clinical isolates of opportunistic infections. Biosystems Diversity, 27(3), 270–275.

Kоrsakova, S. P. (1998). Ekoloho-biolohichni osoblyvosti i efirooliinist vydiv rodu Thymus L. na pivdennomu berezi Krymu [Ecology-bіologіcal peculіarіtіes and essentіal oіl of specіes of the genus Thymus L. on the Southern coast of the Crіmea]. The State Nіkіtsky Botanіcal Garden, Yalta (in Ukrainian).

Miguel, G., Simões, M., Figueiredo, A. C., & Barroso, J. G. (2004). Composition and antioxidant activities of the essential oils of Thymus caespititius, Thymus camphoratus and Thymus mastichina. Article in Food Chemistry, 86(2), 183–188.

Miguel, M. G., Costa, L. A., Figueiredo, A. C., Barroso, J. G., & Pedro, L. G. (2007). Assessment of the antioxidant ability of Thymus albicans, T. mastichina, T. camphoratus and T. carnosus essential oils by TBARS and micellar model systems. Natural Product Communications, 2(4), 399–406.

Poulose, A. J., & Croteau, R. (1978). Biosynthesis of aromatic monoterpenes. Conversion of γ-terpinene to p-cymene and thymol in Thymus vulgaris L. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 18, 307–314.

Salgueiro, L. R., Vila, R., Tomi, F., Tomas, X., Cañigueral, S., Casanova, J., Cunha, A. P., & Adzet, T. (1997). Composition and infraspecific variability of essential oil from Thymus camphoratus. Phytochemistry, 45(6), 1177–1183.

Senatore, F. (1996). Influence of harvesting time on yield and composition of the essential oil of a thyme (Thymus pulegioides L.) growing wild in Campania (Southern Italy). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 44, 1327–1332.

Svydenko, L. V., & Hlushchenko, L. A. (2016). Komponentnyi sklad efirnoi olii u formakh vydiv chebretsiu povzuchoho (Thymus serpillum L.) i bloshynoho (Thymus pulegioides L.) v umovakh Khersonskoi oblasti [Component composition of essential oil in the forms of species creeping thyme (Thymus serpylum L.) and broad-leaved thyme (Thymus pulgioides L.) in Kherson region]. Agroecological Journal, 2, 129–134 (in Ukrainian).

Tykhonenko, N. I., & Kotov, A. G. (2010). Do zaprovadzhennya monohrafiyi Derzhavnoyi Farmakopeyi Ukrayiny “Chebretsʹ” [On the matter of introduction of “Thyme” to the monograph State Pharmacopoeia of Ukraine]. Farmakom, Kyiv. Vol. 4. Pp. 31–38 (in Ukrainian).

Vaičiulytė, V., Butkienė, R., & Ložienė, K. (2016). Effects of meteorological conditions and plant growth stage on the accumulation of carvacrol and its precursors in Thymus pulegioides. Phytochemistry, 128, 20–26.

Zuzarte, M., Alves-Silva, J. M., Alves, M., Cavaleiro, C., Salgueiro, L., & Cruz, M. T. (2018). New insights on the anti-inflammatory potential and safety profile of Thymus carnosus and Thymus camphoratus essential oils and their main compounds. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 225, 10–17.

How to Cite
Hrytsyna, M. R., Kryvtsova, M. V., Salamon, I., & Skybitska, M. I. (2020). Promising ex situ essential oil from Thymus camphoratus (Lamiaceae) . Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems, 11(2), 315-322.