STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Herb oil glands. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the underside of a thyme (Thymus vulgaris) leaf, showing the modified trichomes (hair cells, round, yellow) that contain the plant's oil. This essential oil is what gives thyme its unique fragrance. It contains thymol, an antiseptic, which is the main active ingredient in some mouthwashes. Before the advent of modern antibiotics, it was used to medicate bandages. Magnification x80 when printed 10 centimetres high.
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