Description : Mints are aromatic, almost exclusively perennial, rarely annual, herbs. They have wide-spreading underground and overground stolons and erect, square, branched stems. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, from oblong to lanceolate, often downy, and with a serrated margin. Leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow. The flowers are white to purple and produced in false whorls called verticillasters. The corolla is two-lipped with four subequal lobes, the upper lobe usually the largest. The fruit is a nutlet, containing one to four seeds.
While the species that make up the Mentha genus are widely distributed and can be found in many environments, most grow best in wet environments and moist soils. Mints will grow 10–120 cm tall and can spread over an indeterminate area. Due to their tendency to spread unchecked, some mints are considered invasive
Mint oil also known as peppermint oil is obtained by steam distillation of fresh flowering tops of Mentha Piperita containing not less than 50 percent of total I-menthol. The active constituent of mint oil is menthol. The other constituents are enthone, menthofuran, and jasmine (responsible for pleasant flavour). It is used as a carminative, stimulant, aromatic, counter-irritant and also as a mild antiseptic. It is popularly used as a flavouring agent in tooth pastes, chewing gums, essence and perfumes.
Health Benefits :
Mint composes numerous plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease-preventing and health promoting properties. Total antioxidant strength (ORAC) of fresh peppermint herb is 13,978 µmol TE/100 g.
The mint herb contains no cholesterol; however, it is rich in essential oils, vitamins and dietary fiber, which helps to control blood cholesterol and blood pressure inside the human body.
The herb parts contain many essential volatile oils like menthol, menthone, menthol acetate. These compounds effect on cold-sensitive receptors in the skin, mouth and throat, the property which is responsible for the natural cooling-sensation that it initiates when inhaled, eaten, or applied on the skin.
The essential oil, menthol also has been analgesic (painkiller), local anesthetic and counter-irritant properties.
Research studies have also been suggested that the compounds in the peppermint relax intestinal wall and sphincter smooth muscles through blocking calcium channels at cell receptor levels. This property of mint has been exploited as an anti-spasmodic agent in the treatment of “irritable bowel syndrome” (IBS) and other colic pain disorders.
Peppermint-herb is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium. 100 g fresh herb provides 569 mg of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper works as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide-dismutase.
Further, it is rich in many antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin-C and vitamin E. The leaves of mint also contain many important B-complex vitamins like folates, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6); and the herb is an excellent source of vitamin-K.
|Odour||:||Strong Penetrating Peppermint Odour and pungent taste|