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Progress in Essential Oils

By: Brian M. Lawrence
Posted: April 22, 2008, from the May 2008 issue of P&F magazine.

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  • From P&F Magazine
  • May 2008 issue, pg. 58—6 pages
  • 6 pages

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Thyme Oil

The main thyme oil of commerce that is produced from Thymus vulgaris L. is obtained solely from the thymol chemotype. An oil of T. vulgaris obtained commercially in Italy was determined by Giamperi et al. (2002) to contain the following components:

alpha-thujene (0.1%)

alpha-pinene (0.5%)

camphene (1.0%)

sabinene (0.5%)

beta-pinene (0.5%)

myrcene (0.1%)

p-cymene (15.0%)

limonene (0.6%)

1,8-cineole (0.3%)

(E)-beta-ocimene (0.1%)

gamma-terpinene (12.0%)

linalool (0.1%)

camphor (1.0%)

menthone (13.0%)

isomenthone (3.0%)

borneol (0.8%)

alpha-terpineol (0.6%)

methyl thymol (0.5%)

geraniol (2.0%)

thymol (47.0%)

carvacrol (0.1%)

geranyl acetate (0.2%)

beta-caryophyllene (0.1%)

alpha-humulene (0.1%)

gamma-muurolene (0.2%)

The occurrence of menthone and isomenthone is an anomaly. Neither compound exists in T. vulgaris oil; consequently, assuming that their characterizations by retention indices and mass spectra are correct, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the oil was either contaminated or adulterated.

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