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Advice against Health Hazards

Is it necessary to have sugar?

Most of us label sugar as the biggest evil today. We try our best to eliminate it from our diets and feel guilty whenever we ocassionally give in. But did it ever occur to you if these white crystals that were once an inseparable part of our daily diets, may not be that big an evil as they are touted to be? Well, the question did occur to us and we started digging further...

It is surprised to know that World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends having 6-12 teaspoons of sugar every day, much contrary to what most nutritionists and health experts believe.

Let us first distinguish between different kinds of sugars, artificial sweeteners, sugarcane extracted crystallized sugar and natural sugars (sugar we get from our foods and fruits).

Crystallized sugar: This is the sugar we consume on a daily basis. We add a spoonful in our milk, tea, coffee, desserts and often foods like dals and subzis.

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Artificial sweeteners: These are sweeteners like stevia, saccharin, sucrose and aspartame, most commonly renamed as “sugar-free” substitutes for dietary sugar.

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Natural sugars: All vegetables, seeds, fruits have natural sugar content in them. These vary from food to food and are often the safest kind of sugar to be consumed.

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We most commonly consume sugar which comes from Sugarcane or Beetroot is actually beneficial for us.

However, the processed and packaged foods which contain sugar extracted from high fructose corn syrup, is the dangerous kind and should be avoided as much as possible.

According to maney nutritionist we don’t require sugar. “Our body processes glucose from sugar but the same glucose can be extracted from starch, protein and fats that we consume, when required by the body. One should focus on including high fiber diet, which has complex carbohydrates.”

The theory of not consuming sugar has been given in many diets such as GM diet to reduce weight. But this negatively affects our body since our body needs glucose to generate energy.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Herbs & Plants

Fragaria x ananassa

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Botanical Name: Fragaria x ananassa
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. × ananassa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Fragaria grandiflora.

Common Name: Strawberry or Garden strawberry

Habitat : It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit (which is not a botanical berry, but an aggregate accessory fruit) is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. It is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in such prepared foods as preserves, fruit juice, pies, ice creams, milkshakes, and chocolates. Artificial strawberry flavorings and aromas are also widely used in many products like lip gloss, candy, hand sanitizers, perfume, and many others.

Description:
Fragaria x ananassa plants are rosette-forming perennials which spread by thin runners (stolons) growing to 0.3 m (1ft). The leaves are trifoliate, dark green but paler and haired on the undersides, on long petioles emerging from the crowns. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jun to August. The flowers have yellow centers, with the 5 petals white or occasionally pink, borne underneath the foliage canopy. The fruits need no describing.

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Strawberry varieties vary remarkably in fruit size, colour, flavour and shape, the degree of fertility, season of ripening, liability to disease and constitution of plant. Some vary in foliage, and some vary materially in the relative development of their sexual organs. In most cases the flowers appear hermaphroditic in structure, but function as either male or female.

Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced when plants grow in such a position. Strawberries appreciate a mulch of pine or spruce leaves. The strawberry is widely cultivated in temperate areas for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties that can supply fruit from late spring (under cloches) to late autumn. Most strawberry varieties are day-length sensitive and only flower at certain times of the year. However, a number of cultivars have been selected that are not sensitive to day-length and can produce fruit for most of the summer. These cultivars are normally referred to as ‘remontants’. The blossom can be damaged by late spring frosts. Oat straw should not be used as a mulch since this can infect the strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm. Strawberry plants are very subject to virus diseases, these are usually spread by an aphid. Plants tend to degenerate after a few years and need to be replaced. Seed is a safe means of propagation though, since this species is of hybrid origin, the seed will not breed true. Strawberries are a good companion plant, growing well with bush beans, spinach, borage, lettuce and pyrethrum.

Propagation :
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. This is a hybrid species and seed will not breed true, though this is the only way to develop new varieties. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

Fruit – raw. Fruits of the best cultivars are sweet and succulent with an exquisite flavour. Strawberries are a very popular fruit and are widely available in the summer. The fruit of some cultivars is up to 3cm in diameter. Young leaves – raw.

Strawberries are often used to flavor other foods, such as ice cream. Apart from its interest as a dessert fruit, the strawberry draws interest due to the peculiarities of its structure, its tendency towards variation, and the gardener’s success in exploiting this tendency.

Medicinal Uses:
Medicines made from Fragaria x ananassa is not known but it is highly delicious fruit. It has all the qualities & health benifits that fruits have.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fragaria+x+ananassa
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Horticulture/Fragaria_x_ananassa

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Bergamot

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Botanical Name: Monarda citriodora/Citrus aurantium ssp. bergamia
Family :Rutaceae — (rue family)
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. aurantium x C. medica
Other Name : The bergamot orange is unrelated to the herbs of the same name, Monarda didyma and Monarda fistulosa.Citrus bergamia syn C.b. rutaceae syn C. aurantium var. bergamia
The name BERGAMOT is shared by unrelated perennial plants of the Monarda species.
Parts Used: Flowers, ripe fruit peel.

Habitat:Originally Asia. Today also cultivated in the Ivory Coast and Reggio di Calabria in southern Italy. Italian Bergamot is preferred. Extensively cultivated in southern France and Italy for a long time, it is believed the orange blossom as a symbol for marriage originated there.

Description:
A tree of the citrus family which is similar in appearance to Bitter Orange aka Seville Orange (C. aurantium), but with wider leaves and a more aromatic rind on the fruit. Both Neroli oil from the flowers, and Bergamot oil from the rinds, are obtained by distillation.Bergamot grows on small evergreen trees which blossom during the spring.

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Leaves – The bergamot tree has an evergreen and a relatively light-green foliage, close to the one of the lemon tree. (Citrus limon)
Flowers – Flowers are white, star-shaped, and strongly fragrant. Branches are often thorny.
Fruits – The bergamot, or orange bergamot, is a citrus fruit that looks like a slightly flattened and small lemon. Its skin is yellow to orange-yellow. The bergamot is seldom eaten raw, but is rather candied or processed to get the essential oils it contains
Fragrance: Subtle orangey, citrus scent. Somewhat spicy.

Companion plant
Bergamot’s aromatic roots are thought to mask other nearby plants from pests that attack their roots, and so are sometimes grown as a companion in vegetable gardens.

Religious importance
It is believed that this herb is used in the rituals and spells for money and success.


USES:

In food
An essence extracted from the aromatic skin of this sour fruit is used to flavour Earl Grey tea and confectionery. One Italian food manufacturer produces a commercial marmalade using the fruit as its principal ingredient. It is also popular in Greece as a preserve, made with bergamot peel boiled in sugar syrup.

As a scent
Bergamot peel is used in perfumery for its ability to combine with an array of scents to form a bouquet of aromas which complement each other. Approximately one third of all men’s and about half of women’s perfumes contain bergamot essential oil. Bergamot was a component of the original Eau de Cologne developed in 17th century Germany – in 1704 the bergamot was first used to make the now famous “Eau de toilette” from the bergamot fruit by scooping out the pulp and squeezing the peel into sponges. 100 bergamot oranges will yield about 3 ounces of bergamot oil.

Companion plant
Bergamot’s aromatic roots are thought to mask other nearby plants from pests that attack their roots, and so are sometimes grown as a companion in vegetable gardens.

Medicinal Uses:
The strongly acidic fruit of the bitter orange stimulates the digestion and relieves flatulence. An infusion of the fruit is thought to soothe headaches, calm palpitations and lower fevers. The juice helps the body eliminate waste products, and, being rich in vitamin C, helps the immune system ward off infection. If taken to excess, however, its acid content can exacerbate arthritis. In Chinese herbal medicine, the unripe fruit, known as zhi shi, is thought to regulate the quick helping to relieve flatulence and abdominal bloating, and to open the bowels. The distilled flower water is antispasmodic and sedative.

In sunscreens:

In the past psoralen – extracted from bergamot oil – has been used in tanning accelerators and sunscreens. Psoralens penetrate the skin, where they increase the amount of direct DNA damage. This damage is responsible for sunburn and for an increased melanin production.

These substances were known to be photocarcinogenic since 1959, but they were only banned from sunscreens in 1995. These photocarcinogenic substances were banned years after they had caused many cases of malignant melanoma and deaths. Psoralen is now used only in the treatment of certain skin disorders, as part of PUVA therapy.

Witchcraft
Bergamot was said to be used by Italian calabrian wiccas that used the fruit in potions to make women fertile, men impotent, or to get rid of warts or blemishes. Today there is a well-known pagan cult that worship the god given name of the Bergamot. On their talismans is a bergamot orange.

In hoodoo rootwork, bergamot is used to control or command, and for this reason is used in a variety of spells and formulas in which a practitioner might wish to subdue another person.

Bergamot Oil (Citrus bergamia) – A light greenish-yellow liquid with a fresh sweet-fruity, slightly spicy-balsamic undertone. Blends well with lavender, neroli, jasmine, cypress, geranium, lemon, chamomile, juniper, coriander and violet. Contains 0.2-0.5% furocoumarin (as bergaptene). If used straight, it has severe phototoxicity. Avoid sunlight after use on skin. To avoid phototoxicity use in dilutions of less than 1%. Otherwise non-toxic and relatively non-irritating.
Extraction: Cold pressed from the peels.
Country of Origin: Italy

MEDICINAL USES:
*Antiseptic, appetite stimulant.
*Bitter, aromatic; relieves tension; antispasmodic; digestive aid.
*Oil is considered sedative and healing.
*Orange blossom water has been used for infant colic.
*Bergamot oil has been used in douches and baths for vaginal infections.
*Formerly, the dried flowers were used in infusion form as a mild nervous stimulant.

This herb also known as Oswego tea and Bee Balm is good for the treatment of nausea, vomiting, cold and flu. If used in oil form is an effective treatment for Gingivitis, lost appetite, acne, coughs, fevers, tension, stress, and depression.


AROMATHERAPY:

Bergamot oil is considered sedative and healing and used for stress related problems, depression and anxiety. Neroli oil is considered stimulant and aphrodisiac. Both are used for skin conditions.

COSMETIC:
Increases tanning (do NOT apply directly to skin – photosensitivity)
Oil used in perfumery, diffuser (aromatherapy), massage, bath.

CULINARY:

Bergamot oil is used to flavor Earl Grey tea; also hard candy, tobacco, some chewing gum, baked goods and desserts.
Orange blossom water is used in desserts such as blancmange and in pastries.

Toxicology:
In one study, oil of bergamot has been linked to certain phototoxic effects (due to the chemical bergaptene) and blocking the absorption of potassium in the intestines.

Bergamot is also a source of bergamottin which, along with the chemically related compound 6’,7’-dihydroxybergamottin, is believed to be responsible for the grapefruit juice effect in which the consumption of the juice affects the metabolism of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs.

BITTER ORANGE (Citrus aurantium ssp amara): The peel is CONTRAINDICATED with stomach or intestinal ulcers; NOT given to children (possible toxic effects); NOT with ultraviolet or sun therapy (increased photosensitivity).

CAUTION:Because bergamot EO contains bergaptene and bergamotine, it needs to be used with care when applied to the skin. These two chemicals can produce over pigmentation of the skin when exposed to the sun or even just light. Do not apply bergamot oil to skin in greater than .5 to 1% diluted form in a base oil. It increases PHOTOSENSITIVITY.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://earthnotes.tripod.com/bergamot_h.htm
http://www.wellbeingsonline.com/Aroma-pedia/Bergamot.htm
http://www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/herbal-encyclopedia/ayurveda-encyclopedia-b.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergamot_orange
http://coolexotics.com/plant-9.html#
http://www.candbsupplies.ca/essentialoils.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Ajwain

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Botanical Name:Carum Coptium
Family : Umbelliferae; Apiaceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Apiales
Genus:    Trachyspermum
Species:T. ammi

Synonyms:  T.copticum. Ammi copticum. Carum copticum.
Other names: .
Carom, omoum,Ajowan, Bishop’s Weed , Seeds Of Bishop’s Weed,Wishep’s weed or Ajova Seed, is an uncommon spice except in certain areas of Asia. It is the small seed-like fruit of the Bishop’s Weed plant, (Trachyspermum ammi syn. Carum copticum), egg-shaped and grayish in colour. The plant has a similarity to parsley.

Habitat :It originated in the eastern Mediterranean, possibly Egypt, and spread up to India from the Near East.

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Description:  Ajwain is often confused with Lovage seed; even some dictionaries mistakenly state that ajwain comes from the lovage plant

Ajowan looks like wild parsley (similar to caraway, celery and cumin seeds) and is a native of India. It is grown throughout the country in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal. It is also grown in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Egypt. The striped seeds are used as the spice.

Botany

Ajowan is an erect, glabrous or minutely pubescent, branched annual  plant that grows upto 90 cm. Stems are striate and leaves are distant and pinnately divided. Small white flowers are on terminal or seemingly lateral pedunculate, compound umbels. The fruits are ovoid, greyish brown, aromatic cremocarps with single seed.

Cultivation

Ajowan grows on all kinds of soil but does well on loams or clayey loams, both as a dry crop and under irrigation. Seeds are sown from September to November. The plants flower in about two months and the fruits become ready for harvesting when then flower heads turn brown. They are pulled out, dried on mats and the fruits are separated by rubbing by hands or feet.

Aroma and flavour

The sensoric quality of ajowan is similar to thyme, but stronger and less subtle. The essential oil (2.5 to 5% in the dried fruits) is dominated by thymol (35 to 60%); furthermore, a-pinene, b-cymene, limonene and e-terpinene have been found.

History:
Ajwain originated in the Middle East, possibly in Egypt. It is now primarily grown and used in the Indian Subcontinent, but also in Iran, Egypt and Afghanistan. It is sometimes used as an ingredient in berbere, an Ethiopian spice mixture

Recipes:

Ajwain flavour chicken,Palda,Fried Bhindi,Papdi,Jalebi Paratha and Amritsari Fish.

Culinary use:
Usage of ajowan is almost confined to Central Asia and Northern India. Ajowan is particularly popular in savoury Indian recipes like savoury pastries, snacks and breads. For example, the Bengali spic mixture panch phoron is sometimes enhanced with ajowan. Ajowan enjoys, however, some popularity in the Arabic world and is found in berebere, a spice mixture of Ethiopia which shows both Indian and Arabic heritage. In Southern Indian cuisine (which is predominantly vegetarian), tadka-like preparations are not only applied to dried lentils and beans, but also to green vegetables.

Herbal dishes of Chattisgarh, India is Ajwain Ka Halwa.   Material required: Ajwain, Cow ghee, Gud and Ata(wheet flower)

Method: Cow ghee is taken in a pan, Ajwain, gud and ata  are required to be roasted  till the color  turns redish and then water or milk is added. It is served hot.

Medicinal and Other use:
Ajowan is much used as a medicinal plant is ayurvedic medicine for its antispasmodic, stimulant, tonic and carminative properties. The seeds are used to ease asthma and indigestion. It is also widely used to treat diarrhoea and flatulence. In the West, thymol is used in medicines against cough and throat irritation. The thymol content makes ajowan a potent fungicide.

Ajwain holds a reputed position as medicinal herb in different systems of medicine in India.  According to Ayurveda, its seeds are hot, bitter, pungent, stomachic, appetizer, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, carminative, laxative and cure ascites, abdominal tumours, spleen enlargement, piles, vomiting, abdominal pain, good for heart and toothache etc. According to Unani system of medicine, the seeds are bitter and hot, carminative, diuretic, good in weakness of limbs, paralysis, chest pains etc. it is useful in treatment of ear boils, liver spleen, hiccup, vomiting, dyspepsia, kidney troubles, inflammation etc. Ajwain Ke Halwa is a sweet preparation popular among the senior natives and traditional healers of Chhattisgarh.  It is not prepared by the natives.  The senior natives and traditional healers are aware of above mentioned medicinal uses of Ajwain but they prepare Ajwain Ke Halwa only for female patients having gynaecological troubles.  This preparation is considered as a boon for these patients.

Ajowan is recommended for diarrhea, cholera, heartcare , stresscare . Oil extracted from the fruit contains cardiac depressive activity. Green Earth Products is engaged in manufacturing, exporting and global sourcing of a complete range of herbal extracts such as carum coptium (soft ext ratio 8:01). The healing & preventative effects of carum coptium have led to wide demand of this extract in the western societies. We export Carum coptium to various countries of the world.
In the Middle East, ajowan water is often used for diarrhoea and wind and in India the seeds are a home remedy for indigestion and asthma.  For reasons of both flavor and practicality its natural affinity is with starchy foods and legumes.  Because of its thymol content, it is a strong germicide, anti-spasmodic, fungicide, and anthelmintic.  Regular use of Ajwain leaves seems to prevent kidney stone formation.   It also has aphrodisiac properties and the Ananga Ranga prescribes it for increasing the enjoyment of a husband in the flower of his life

Ajwain is very useful in alleviating spasmodic pains of the stomach and intestines, in adults as well as children. Any colicky pain due to flatulence (gas), indigestion and infections in the intestines can easily be relieved by taking one teaspoonful of ajwain along with 2-3 pinches of common salt in warm water. Use half the dose in children. Mixed with buttermilk it is a good anti-acidic agent

For chronic bronchitis and asthma, mix ajwain with jaggery (gur). Heat the mixture to make a paste and take 2 teaspoonsful twice a day. However, diabetics should not take this preparation because of the sugar content. It helps to bring out the mucus easily. It also helps in chronic cold.

In an acute attack of common cold or migraine headache, put ajwain powder in a thin cloth and smell this frequently. It gives tremendous symptomatic relief according to some Ayurvedic experts.
If people who consume excessive alcohol develop discomfort in the stomach, taking ajwain twice a day, will be very useful. It will also reduce the craving and desire for alcohol.

Some Home Remedies:

# Chucking wishep’s weed into the mouth cures coryza and cough.
# If a pregnant woman takes wishep’s weed then it helps her in digestion of food, increases her appetite, controls her flatulation and her uterus gets purified.
# Grinding dry wishep’s weed and wrapping the powder thus formed in a piece of cloth and then smelling or sniffing this cloth, cures coryza.
# Taking powdered wishep’s weed along with powdered sesame, cures diabetes.
# If three “rattis” of the flowers of wishep’s weed and along with ghee and honey is taken thrice a day, it cures cough by clearing out the phlegms from the body.
# If wishep’s weed is taken with hot water, it cures cough too.
# If 3 gms of powdered wishep’s weed is taken with hot water, flatulation gets cured.
# If powdered wisheps weed is made into paste and then pasted on to a cold body, it regains temperature.
# If a bundle of wishep’s weed is heated on a heating pan and applying this heat on the cold hands and feet of a person suffering from cholera or asthma, helps in regarding the temperature
# Drinking warm water after having wishep’s weed, cures indigestion, flatulation, pain and excessive formation of saliva.
# If the oil of wishep’s weed is applied on the joints of a rheumatic patient and then trying a bundle filled with wishep’s weed is applied on it, gives relief from pain.
# The flower of wishep’s weed controls the intensity of Hysteria.
# Eating the flower of wishep’s weed controls the development of worms in the intestines.
# Use of wishep’s weed by a woman who has just given birth to a child, helps her in producing milk.
# If a bundle of wishep’s weed is kept in the vagina after the birth of a child, it gives protection against germs.
# If the oil of wishep’s weed is massaged on the part of the body having sweeling, it gives relief.

Click to learn more about Ajowan
Other Uses: The seeds are rich in essential oil, 30 – 35% of which is thymol, which is more commonly found in Thymus species. The essential oil is added to epoxy derivatives. It is used in perfumes.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

(http://www.harvestfields.ca/CookBooks/spice/ajwan.htmland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajwain and http://www.urday.com/spice.html)

http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/publish/journal/693.txt

http://www.greenearthproducts.net/asparagus-adscendens.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Trachyspermum+ammi

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Mentha arvensis

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Botanical Name : Mentha arvensis
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Mentha
Species:M. arvensis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Common Names:  Pudina,”Podina” in Hindi, wild mint or corn mint, Japanese Mint

Parts Used: Whole Plant, Oil

Habitat: Mentha arvensis is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, N. Asia and the Himalayas.   Found through out India and is grown all over the world.It grows in arable land, heaths, damp edges of woods.

Description:It is an herbaceous perennial plant growing  to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). The leaves are in opposite pairs, simple, 2-6.5 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, hairy, and with a coarsely serrated margin. The flowers are pale purple (occasionally white or pink), in clusters on the stem, each flower 3-4 mm long. It  is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to October, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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Cultivation :
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. This species tolerates much drier conditions than other members of the genus. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it also succeeds in partial shade. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Polymorphic. The whole plant has a very strong, almost oppressive, smell of mint. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near brassicas and tomatoes, helping to deter insect pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. A reasonably strong minty flavour with a slight bitterness, they are used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. An essential oil from the plant is used as a flavouring in sweets and beverages. The leaves contain about 0.2% essential oil

Properties Mint is tasty, relishing, and hot, an appetizer that eliminates the excessive formation of wind phlegm. It is beneficial in cough, indigestion, sprue, diarrhea, cholera, and chronic fever and eliminates the worm’s from the stomach. It also increases the digestive powers.

Medicinal Uses:

Anaesthetic; Antiphlogistic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Aromatic; Cancer; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Emmenagogue; Febrifuge; Galactofuge;
Salve; Stimulant; Stomachic.

Corn mint, like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. The whole plant is anaesthetic, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, galactofuge, refrigerant, stimulant and stomachic. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are a classical remedy for stomach cancer. Another report says that this species is not very valuable medicinally. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

The entire plant is antibacterial and antifibrile. It is effective in headache, rhinitis, cough, sore throat, colic, prurigo and vomiting. Menthol obtained from this is used in balms. It is also used as flavoring agent in culinary preparations.

Pudina or mint has various herbal and Ayurvedic medicinal value.
Mint is generally a sweet flavour imparting a cool sensation to the mouth. Peppermint has the highest concentrations of menthol, while pennyroyal is strong with a medicinal flavour.

Mint is refreshing, stimulative, diaphoretic, stomachic, and antispasmodic. It helps in colds, flu, fever, poor digestion, motion sickness, food poisoning, rheumatism, hiccups, stings, ear aches, flatulence and for throat and sinus ailments.

Both fresh and dried mint is used. Mint is used in a variety of dishes such as vegetable curries, mint recipe for chutney, fruit salads,vegetable salads,salad dressings, soup,desserts,juices, sherberts, etc.Peppermint is used to flavour toothpaste,mouth freshners and chewing gum.

  • A fresh juice extracted from the mint is very beneficial in cold.
  • If a semi liquid juice made from the powdered leaves of mint and basil is taken, it cures fever and its relapsing.
  • Mixed juice of mint and ginger cures ague. It also cures all types of fever by causing excessive perspiration. This juice is also beneficial in flatulationan and coryza.
  • A mixture made of six grams of mint, six grams of ginger juice and 1 gram of powdered rock salt, cures colic in stomach.

Other Uses :
Essential; Repellent; Strewing.

The plant is used as an insect repellent. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain. The leaves also repel various insects. An essential oil is obtained from the plant. The yield from the leaves is about 0.8%. The sub-species M. arvensis piperascens produces the best oil, which can be used as a substitute for, or adulterant of, peppermint oil. Yields of up to 1.6% have been obtained from this sub-species

Known Hazards :  Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/spices/mint.html
http://www.urday.com/spice.html)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_arvensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+arvensis