Botanical Name(s): Mentha Arvensis, Pipertia
Family Name: Lamiaceae
Species: M. piperita
Popular Name(s): Field Mint, Corn Mint, Japanese Mint, Wild Mint, Pudina.
Parts Used: Whole Plant, Oil.
Habitat: Found through out India.
Podina is an herbaceous perennial herb that grows to a height of 10 to 60 cm. This downy herb has running rootstocks and a rigid branching stem. The lanceolate oblong leaves are simple and sharply toothed, paired in opposites with minute hair. They are 2 to 6.5 cm in length and 1 to 2 cm in width. The pale purple flowers (sometimes white or pink) are found in clusters at the stem where each flower measures 2 to 4 mm in length. The plant is native to the temperate regions of Europe, western and central Asia (eastern Siberia and east of the Himalayas) and North America. It is commonly known as pudina in Hindi.
(+)- volatile oil, carvone, limonene, 1,8-cineole, trans-carveol, linarin, pulegone, menthol, menthene, menthenone.
Uses & Benefits of Podina
- Podina is used as a carminative and an expectorant.
- The plant is highly effective in treating headaches, rhinitis, cough sore throat, colic, prurigo and vomiting.
- It serves as a good blood cleanser, since it is antiseptic and anti-bacterial.
- Podina plays a significant role in alleviating swollen gums, mouth ulcers and toothaches.
- Crushed and bruised pudina leaves are used in treating insect bites.
- The decoction and infusion of its leaves and stems helps in fever, stomachaches, dysmenorrheal and diuresis.
- Fresh leaves of podina are crushed and sniffed for dizziness. Crushed leaves are also applied on the forehead and temple, to cure headaches.
- For toothaches, boil 6 tablespoons of pudina leaves in 2 glasses of water, for 15 minutes. Strain and cool the water. Divide it into two parts and take each part after 3 to 4 hours.
- Boil 6 tablespoons of chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water, for 15 minutes. Cool and strain. Divide the decoction into 3 parts and consume three times a day. This will help in treating coughs.
- For treating arthritis, take some fresh leaves and heat on low flame. Pound them and apply on the painful joints or muscles, when still warm.
- Soak 2 tablespoons of chopped leaves in a glass of hot water for 30 minutes and strain. Use the infusion as a mouthwash.
- The menthol extracted from the plant is used in preparing balms.
- It is used as a flavoring agent in many culinary preparations.
- Mint oil is not safe for infants and children, especially when applied around the nose, as it can cause serious breathing problems.
- The oil should not be used by pregnant and breast-feeding women and people with liver disease or damage, asthma and gall bladder conditions, like inflammation, gallstones or a blocked bile duct.
- When applied directly on the skin, mint oil can allergic skin reactions, flushing, headache and vocal cord spasms.