Carvacrol-rich plants in Turkey
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Carvacrol is a phenolic monoterpene isomeric with thymol. While thymol is crystalline, carvacrol is a liquid with thymol-like characteristic odor. It is practically insoluble in water but freely soluble in ethanol and ether. It is the major constituent in the essential oils of plants known and used as "Kekik" in Turkey (oregano in Greece) [1-4]. In Turkey, such plants are used as condiment to impart a spicy flavor to food or as herbal tea. The carvacrol-rich oils are externally used by rubbing on skin to sooth rheumatic pain [5, 6]. Scientific evidence for such a use has recently appeared in the world literature, when carvacrol was found to inhibit prostaglandin-synthesis which is an important mechanism in pain-killing and antiinflammatory processes . The distillates of Origanum, Satureja, etc., after the oil is removed, are taken orally to cure stomach ulcers.