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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 728065, 8 pages
Research Article

Essential Oils Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Three Thymus Species

Department of Biology, Lorestan University, P.O. Box 465, Khoram-Abad, Iran

Received 17 January 2011; Revised 4 April 2011; Accepted 27 April 2011

Academic Editor: Vassya Bankova

Copyright © 2012 Hamzeh Amiri. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The essential oils of three wild-growing Thymus species, collected from west of Iran during the flowering stage, were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Under the optimum extraction and analysis conditions, 44, 38, and 38 constituents (mainly monoterpenes compounds) were identified in T. kotschyanus Boiss. and Hohen, T. eriocalyx (Ronniger) Jalas, and T. daenensis subsp lancifolius (Celak) Jalas which represented 89.9%, 99.7%, and 95.8% of the oils, respectively. The main constituents were thymol (16.4–42.6%), carvacrol (7.6–52.3%), and γ-terpinene (3–11.4%). Antioxidant activity was employed by two complementary test systems, namely, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free-radical scavenging and β-carotene/linoleic acid systems. Antioxidant activity of polar subfraction of T. daenensis subsp lancifolius (Celak) Jalas was found to be higher than those of the others in DPPH assay, while nonpolar subfraction of T. eriocalyx (Ronniger) Jalas has most antioxidant activity in β-carotene/linoleic acid test ( 1 9 . 1 ± 0 . 1 μg/mL and 9 6 . 1 ± 0 . 8 % inhibition rate, resp.).