Thymus vulgaris essential oil: chemical composition and antimicrobial activity

J Med Life. 2014;7 Spec No. 3(Spec Iss 3):56-60.


The study was designed to determine the chemical composition and antimicrobial properties of the essential oil of Thymus vulgaris cultivated in Romania. The essential oil was isolated in a yield of 1.25% by steam distillation from the aerial part of the plant and subsequently analyzed by GC-MS. The major components were p-cymene (8.41%), γ-terpinene (30.90%) and thymol (47.59%). Its antimicrobial activity was evaluated on 7 common food-related bacteria and fungus by using the disk diffusion method. The results demonstrate that the Thymus vulgaris essential oil tested possesses strong antimicrobial properties, and may in the future represent a new source of natural antiseptics with applications in the pharmaceutical and food industry.

Keywords: GC-MS analysis; antimicrobial activity; essential oil; thyme.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cyclohexane Monoterpenes
  • Cymenes
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Monoterpenes / analysis
  • Oils, Volatile / analysis*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Thymol / analysis
  • Thymus Plant / chemistry*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Cyclohexane Monoterpenes
  • Cymenes
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • 4-cymene
  • Thymol
  • gamma-terpinene