Micromeria fruticosa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Micromeria fruticosa
Micromeria fruticosa.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Micromeria
Species: M. fruticosa
Binomial name
Micromeria fruticosa

Micromeria fruticosa, commonly known as White micromeria or White-leaved Savory, is a dwarf evergreen shrub endemic to Israel and the eastern Mediterranean.[1] It is a member of the genus Micromeria, of the Lamiaceae family. It is known as zuta levana (זוטה לבנה or זוטא לבנה) in today's Modern Hebrew and ashab a-shai (عشب الشاي) in Arabic.[2]

The Bedouins of Israel, however, call it by the Arabic name, qurniyya (Arabic: القورنِيه‎‎), believed to be a cognate of the Hebrew qoranit, an aromatic herb described in the Mishnah.[3] The plant's aromatic leaves (resembling mint) are used in making decoctions (herbal teas).

Taxonomy & nomenclature[edit]

Plant properties[edit]

The plant, which contains a high concentration of the monoterpene essential oil known as pulegone, as well as isomenthol, is known for its medicinal properties. In folk remedies, it has been used in treating ailments such as abdominal pains, diarrhoea, eye infections, heart disorders, high blood pressure, weariness, exhaustion, colds and open wounds.[4] Other usages include making a poultice from the boiled leaves and applying it unto burns and skin infections, or drinking an infusion from its leaves for relieving stomach aches, or gargling with the same for treating bad breath odors and gum infections.[5]


  1. ^ Dudai et al. Developmental Control of Monoterpene Content and Composition in Micromeria fruticosa(L.) Druce, Annals of Botany, Volume 88, Number 3, Pp. 349-354, Oxford Journals
  2. ^ Micromeria fruticosa, Wildflowers of Israel
  3. ^ See p. 149 in: Witztum, Allan (1992). "Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic Names for Plants in the Mint Family". Lĕšonénu: A Journal for the Study of the Hebrew Language and Cognate Subjects: 147–151. JSTOR 24345785. (registration required (help)).  (Hebrew)
  4. ^ Dudai, Larkov, Ravid, Putievsky and Lewinsohn, Developmental Control of Monoterpene Content and Composition in Micromeria fruticosa (L.) Druce, Annals of Botany, Volume 88, Number 3, Oxford 2001, p. 349
  5. ^ Nissim Krispil, Medicinal Plants in Israel and Throughout the World - the Complete Guide, Or Yehuda (Israel) 2000, p. 92