About the Author
Conditions of Use
Common Names: Peppermint, hortela, mint, menta, mentha montana, menthe, nane
Part Used: Leaves, whole herb
| PLANT DESCRIPTION |
Stimulant, tonic, vermifuge, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, stomachic, carminative, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, choleretic
1,8-cineole, acetaldehyde, acetic-acid, alpha-amorphene, alpha-cadinene, alpha-carotene, alpha-copaene, alpha-gurjunene, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-terpineol, alpha-thujone, alpha-tocopherol, aluminum, amyl-alcohol, amyl-valerate, anethole, azulene, benzoic-acid, beta-betulenol, beta-carotene , beta-caryophyllene, beta-copaene, beta-ionone, beta-pinene, beta-thujone, beta-ylangene , betaine, bicycloelemene, bisabolene, cadinene, calcium, camphene, carvacrol, carveol, carveol-acetate, carvone, caryophyllene-oxide, cedrene, cedrol, choline, chromium, cineole, cinerol, cinnamic-acid-methyl-ester, cis-piperitol, cis-roseoxide, cis-sabinol, citronellol, cryptone, flavons hymenoxin, iron, isoamyl-phenylacetate, isobutyric-acid, isomenthol, isomenthol-acetate, isomenthone, isomenthyl-acetate, isopulegol-acetate, isorhoifolin, isovaleraldehyde, isovaleric-acid, isovaleric-acid-n-octyl-ester, jasmone, lavandulol, ledol , limonene, linalool, luteolin, menthol, menthone, menthoside, menthyl-acetate, menthyl-isovalerate, menthyl-valerate, myrcene, myrtenol, neoisomenthol-acetate, neomenthol, neomenthone, neomenthyl-acetate, nerolidol, nevadensin, octan-3-ol, p-cymene, p-cymol, pectin, pent-cis-2-en-1-ol, perillyl-alcohol, phellandrene, phenylethanols, phenyl-propyl-pyridines, phosphorus, pinene, piperitenone, piperitone, piperitone-oxide, pulegone, pyridine, rosmarinic-acid, sabinene, sabinene-acetate, sabinene-hydrate, salvigenin, sideritoflavone, silicon, terpinolene, thymol, trans-piperitol, trans-roseoxide, vanillin, viridiflorol, xanthomicrol
1. "There are 25-30 species of Peppermint. It is a stimulant, a tonic, and helps digestive system disorders. Studies have found that it is effective for the treatment of conditions such as dysentery. It is an anti-diarrheal agent, a vermifuge (a substance that works well against worms) working especially well against hookworms, and it is often used to stimulate bile flow. Peppermint's antispasmodic properties have produced a total and immediate resolution of blockage of Oddi's sphincter (located in the intestinal tract) in animal studies. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, Peppermint is used to treat rheumatism. Laboratory research studies with Peppermint have found antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial activity."
REFERENCED QUOTES ON PEPPERMINT
2. "Peppermint is known in Columbia as "heirba buena" or the "good herb" and has been classically used as a digestive aid. It helps stimulate the stomach, cools indigestion, relieves flatulence, strengthens and soothes the bowels and helps with cramping. Peppermint also stimulates excretion of saliva and warms the entire system. It stimulates menstruation, the bronchioles and sinuses. It is said to help with diverticulitis, insomnia, headaches, nausea, nerves, morning sickness and congested lungs."
3. "Peppermint works on the salivary glands, the first process in digestion. It acts as a sedative to the stomach and helps strengthen the bowels. Peppermint strengthens and soothes the bowels, helping to avoid cramping."
4. "Peppermint oil is the most extensively used of all the volatile oils, both medicinally and commercially. The characteristic anti-spasmodic action of the volatile oil is more marked in this than in any other oil, and greatly adds to its power of relieving pains arising in the alimentary canal. From its stimulating, stomachic and carminative properties, it is valuable in certain flatulence and colic.
5. Peppermint, Increases stomach acidity. Irritates mucous membranes and the gastrointestinal tract. Use for chills, colic, fever, nausea, diarrhea, heart trouble, rheumatism, convulsions, spasms, and headaches."
6. "These [peppermints] relax the muscles of the digestive tract and stimulate bile flow, so are useful for indigestion, flatulence, colic, and similar conditions. They reduce nausea and can be helpful for travel sickness; they also promote sweating in fevers and influenza."
13. "Peppermint is used medicinally to treat indigestion and intestinal colic, as well as colds, fever, and headache. The pharmacology of peppermint focuses almost entirely on its menthol components. Peppermint and menthol possess carminative, antispasmodic, and choleretic properties, and are also used as an external analgesic and nasal decongestant. The mechanism behind peppermint oil's antispasmodic effects has recently been determined. Researchers believe that peppermint oil's inhibition of isolated smooth muscle contractions occurs via blockage of calcium influx into the muscle cells. Researchers hypothesize that the clinical effectiveness of peppermint oil in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome results from inhibition of the hyper contractility of intestinal smooth muscle, thereby returning the muscle to its proper tone. The pharmacological effects of peppermint and peppermint oil are useful in a number of clinical situation; the most notable include irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal colic, gallstones, musculoskeletal pain, and the common cold."
14."Peppermint is one of the most popular tonic herbs known to modern man. Its use as a flavoring agent is well known. Medicinally, it is mainly used to aid the various processes of digestion: combating gas, increasing the flow of bile, healing the stomach and liver, etc. The active constituents are found in the essential oil, mainly menthol and carvone.
The volatile ingredients of peppermint make it an ideal choice for invigorating the mind, for improving the mood and relaxing a tension-filled, anxiety-ridden nervous system. These properties of the oils have been experimentally verified, as have the spasmolytic, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
The spasmolytic property of peppermint has been established through comparisons with a wide variety of convulsant drugs, including acetylcholine, histamine, serotonin, anaphylaxotocin. The smooth muscle spasmolytic effect is exerted primarily on the neuromuscular junction. Peppermint extract has been found to decrease the tone of the lower esophagus sphincter so that the escape of air is made easier."
18."Peppermint oil has long been an extremely popular flavoring agent in products ranging from chewing gum to after-dinner mints. It is probably the most widely used carminative, acting in the broad sense defined by Schilcher(40). The German Commission E has found peppermint or its volatile oil to be effective as a spasmolytic (particularly useful for discomfort caused by spasms in the upper digestive tract), a stimulant of the flow of bile, an antibacterial, and a promoter of gastric secretions(46). On the other hand, in 1990, the United States Food and Drug Administration declared peppermint oil to be ineffective as a digestive aid and banned its use as it nonprescription drug for this purpose in this country(47). What this actually means is that the FDA was not presented with evidence proving the efficacy of peppermint as a digestive aid. As previously explained, this would not be financially feasible in this country. It does not mean that peppermint oil is an ineffective aid to digestion."
40. Schilcher, H,: Deutshe Apotheker Zeitung 124:1433-1443 (1984).
46. Brundesanzeiger (Cologne, Germany): November 30, 1985; March 13, 1986
47. Blumenthal, M.: HerbalGram No, 23:32-33, 49 (1990).
This is a large, cosmopolitan family of 180 genera and some 3500 species, primarily annual or perennial herbs but with some shrubs or climbers; a few are small trees. The centre of distribution is the Mediterranean area where occasionally they are dominant members of the flora. Some 60 genera are cultivated in America. The family is classified in eight groups based on highly technical characters. It is closely related to the Verbenaceae. Most of the economically important species are employed because of their essential oils and bitter principles. Lavender, pachouli, rosemary, sage, spearmint, peppermint, basil, thyme, marjoram, savory, oregano, pennyroyal, catnip, bee balm, horehound, yerba buena, hyssop and others are important as herbs or spices or in perfumery, medicine or other minor applications. The family is easily recognized because of the zygomorphic flower, one lobe of the corolla of which is altered into a lip. The stem is usually square. Most of the species grow in open areas, but some occur as undershrubs; while a few occur in rain-forests, many are adapted to xerophytic conditions.
The mint family is noted for the accumulation of an assortment of mono-, sesqui-, di- and triterpenes; caffeic acid and flavones are also present. The flavonoids (Zinchenko, 1969), cloeons and rouleonones (Eugster, 1983), tannins and cinnamic acids (Litvinenko, 1975) and the pharmaceutical uses (Wagner, 1977) of the family have been reviewed. Alkaloids have been reported (Kudryasheva, 1979).
The 25 to 30 species of mints-erect, branching herbs, twining shrubs or trees comprise this genus. Many are perennials with leafy runners, stolons or underground rootstocks. Almost all have essential oils and half a dozen species are cultivated. All are native to north temperate regions, Australia and South Africa. About half of the species are native to or naturalized in North America.
Two recent reviews of the constituents, their chemistry, bioactivities and medicinal importance have appeared (Baslas, 1983, 1983a).
The Tikunas take one-half cupful of leaf-decoction thrice daily to treat diarrhea. A Tikuna treatment for stomach ache consists of a hot leaf-decoction in single-cup doses.
Baslas, R. K., Herba Hung. 22 (1983) 85 (C. A. 100:99837w).
Baslas, R. K., Herba Hung. 22 (1983a) 97 (C. A. 101:167075u).
Eugster, C. H., Rad. Jugoslav. Akad. Znan. Umjet. 398 (1983) 29 (C. A. 98:212785h).
Kudryasheva, 0. I., N. G. Popov et al., Rast. Resur. Tadzhikistana i Introd. Polezn. Rast., Dushanbe (1979) 5 (C. A. 93: 91904g).
Litvenenki, V. L., T. P. Popova et al., Planta Med. 27 (1975) 372.
Wagner, H., Rev. Latinoam. Quim. 8 (1977) 16.
Zinchenko, T. V. and V. A. Bandyukova, Farm. Zh. (Kiev) 24 (1969) 49 (C. A. 71:3588z).
ETHNOBOTANY: WORLDWIDE USES
Elsewhere ||Ache(Head), Anesthetic, Anodyne, Antiseptic, Astringent, Cancer, Carminative, Dyspepsia, Medicine, Migraine, Nausea, Tooth whitener, Sclerosis, Stimulant, Tumor |
Mexico ||Bronchitis, Ache(Stomach), Carminative, Cold, Colic, Navel, Spasm, Stomachic, Vermifuge |
Turkey ||Antidote, Antiseptic, Aphrodisiac, Astringent, Carminative, Cholagogueue, Spasm, Stimulant, Stomachic |
US ||Carminative, Colic, Dyspepsia, Liqueur, Massage, Medicine, Myalgia, Nervine, Preventative(Dyspepsia), Rheumatism, Stimulant, Stomach, Stomachic, Tea |
* The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant
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Last updated 12-17-2012