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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Pudina Paratha (ownchef.wordpress.com)
- Run Out Of Breath Mints On Purpose (thefrisky.com)
- Toothpaste and Beyond: The Commodity Journey of Mint Oil (spendmatters.com)