In the XXI century, there are discovered a lot of essential oils each with its different properties. These are chemicals biosynthesized by plants to cover a certain function.
We, after years of research and laboratory work, have managed to extract these oils and use them in our daily lives.
Speaking of such essential oils, there is one that is particularly interesting. It is known as thymol (2-ISOpropyl-5-methylphenol) and we can find it in some aromatic plants such as thyme (Thymus vulgaris) or the oregano (Origanum majorana).
If we pull biochemistry, the molecular structure of thymol would be this:
Properties of thymol
One of the main characteristics and properties of thymol as phenolic compound is its bactericidal, pesticide and fungicidal potential.
It also starts from the fact that once extracted, it does not have an unpleasant color or taste, so it is currently part of mouthwashes, mouthwashes and toothpaste. It has refreshing and, as we have said before, bactericidal action.
Thymol and its use in beekeeping
If you Google the term thymol as an essential oil, you’ll find plenty of references to beekeeping and bee breeding.
This is because this essential oil also has an effect against larger organisms (not just bacteria) and is an effective and ecological treatment against the parasite. varroa, a mite that produces the disease known as varroasis and that it wreaks real havoc on the fauna of the bees.
However, although thymol has zero residue, not totally harmless to bees. Although it has no insecticidal effect against them, they increase their aggressiveness, pillage, drift and increase their hygienic behavior.
Therefore, its use should be done under safe conditions, in stipulated dosage and frequency.
One of the extracts of thymol where more properties have been extracted is from red thyme (Thymus Zigis). This extract can be applied preventively and curatively against certain fungi and insects directly on plants.
Its potential in post-harvest. Applied thymol on the harvested fruits, they increased their life time and managed to reduce the development of common fungal spores in the post-harvest.
Thymol as a healing potential
Currently the thymol it can be found in herbalists and specialized shops, where it sells small jars of around 5-10 ml. Of all the properties you can find on the product label, we have summarized the following:
Digestive and oral system
- Heavy or slow digestions
Effects on the epidermis and hair
- Colds and ribbed
All this because thymol has bactericidal, carminative, disinfectant and immunostimulant effects.
The essential oils of thyme and Egyptians
It is a mystery today to know that the Egyptians they were a super advanced civilization for their time. In fact, many of the things they did so many years ago are still used today with the same or very few variations.
For example, they already knew the bactericidal properties of thyme. They used the extracts of this plant (thymol, especially) to preserve the mummies and prevent their rotting.
It was not until 1,719, when Caspar Neumann, a German professor and scientist, discovered thymol extract. Its synthesis occurred much later, in 1.842, by M. Lallemand. At that time, thymol was used to treat Ancylostomiasis (a parasitic worm that infected humans).
The potential in the fight against microorganisms and, in particular, to fight infections, was also combined with other essential oils. like lavender, with bactericidal effects.
Thyme to cure plants
In the fertilizer and phytosanitary market there are several kinds of thyme extracts (which carry thymol) applicable to plants. As we have mentioned, they have a preventive and curative effect against fungi and certain parasites. We can see a few examples:
Thyme extract 8%
This compound contains 8% thymol, and in question, 38% or more thyme oil. The rest is composed of structuring and innocuous materials.
Nothing more than the 8% concentration has fungicidal effects. It is applied with a dosage of 4-6 cc/L, fumigated and dissolved in water.
100% red thyme extract
When the percentage of thymol is increased, its fungicidal, bactericidal and pesticide effects increase. In fact, in low concentrations, and since we have commented on its use in beekeeping, it produces a softening of the cuticle of bees, which is not beneficial because it favors the entry of future pathogenic organisms.
Specifically, thyme extract, apart from carrying thymol also carries Carvacrol, another phenolic compound with a lot of potential.
It can be used both to prevent the attack of fungi and bacteria during culture (pre-production), or after harvest (post-production). It has preventive effect against:
Fusarium Spp Botrytis spColletotrichum sp Mycosphaerella sp Ascochyta sp Cercospora sp Stemphylium sp Pernospora sp and Pythium Spp.
It is applied in doses of 3-5 cc / L, fumigated on the plants or fruits, once they have been collected.