Research: SAJED and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 233

Abstract

SAJED and COLLEAGUES, (1)Biotechnology Research Center and School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran review the ethnopharmacology, pharmacology, toxicology, modern pharmaceutical uses and phytochemistry of Zataria multiflora,  and highlights the gaps in our knowledge deserving further research.

Background

Zataria multiflora Boiss. (ZM) is a thyme-like plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family that grows wild only in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This plant with the vernacular name of Avishan-e-Shirazi (Shirazi thyme) in Iran is a valuable medicinal and condimental plant. It has several traditional uses as an antiseptic, carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, diuretic, anesthetic, anti-spasmodic and analgesic.

Methodology

All relevant databases were searched for the terms "Zataria", "Zataria multiflora", "Shirazi thyme" and "Iranian thyme" without limitation up to 24th October 2012. Information on Zataria multiflora was collected via electronic search using Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science and SID (for articles in Persian language), and local books on ethnopharmacology.

Results

ZM has played an important role in Iranian traditional medicine. In light of the modern pharmacological and clinical investigations, ZM is a valuable medicinal and condimental plant that has anti-microbial, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic and anti-nociceptive properties. The oil of ZM contains high percentages of oxygenated monoterpenes, in particular thymol and carvacrol, and exhibits excellent anti-microbial properties.

Conclusion

Overall, antimicrobial property appears to be the most interesting studied biological effect of ZM. The lack of a comprehensive phytochemical analysis of ZM is an important limitation that can be noted regarding most of the previous studies.

References

Sajed H(1), Sahebkar A, Iranshahi M. Zataria multiflora Boiss. (Shirazi thyme) - an ancient condiment with modern pharmaceutical uses. J Ethnopharmacol. 145(3):686-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.12.018. Feb 13 2013. Epub Dec 22 2012.

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