Mentha piperita is most widely cultivated in the US and more that 3000 tons of peppermint oil is produced in the US.
There are more than 34 varieties of Mentha. We will focus on 2 major commercial varieties:
- Mentha x piperita – Peppermint
It is a sterile triple hybrid between Mentha aquatic and Mentha spicata (this is a hybrid as well).
- Mentha spicata – Spearmint (garden mint)
It is a hybrid between Mentha suaveolens and Mentha longifolia.
Features and Benefits (based on home remedies) of Mint
Major constituents of peppermint are 30-40% menthol, 115-25% menthone and 10% menthyl acetate.
Spearmint contains 50% carvone. Spearmint use is limited to oral hygiene and chewing gum flavor.
- Treat digestive disorders
- Mask unpleasant taste of other foods
- Management of irritable bowel syndrome
- Helps in the ailments of gall bladder. Can prevent formation of gall stones if incorporated in daily lifestyle. Fresh leaves (4) should be chewed after every meal
- Useful in upper respiratory tract problems
- Prevents the onset of colds and flu (fresh whole leaves)
- The oil is antimicrobial
- Oil is anti-viral
- Mildly anesthetic. Peppermint oil is used to manage toothaches
- Ointments containing peppermint oil are used to manage headaches and other joint aches
- Fresh leaves are used to whiten teeth
- Breath freshener (spearmint)
- The potted herb repels insects and other pests
- The crushed leaves and scattered around to alleviate moods and increase focus
- Fresh leaves are used to enhance memory. Facilitates memory recall
- Controls nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancies
- Manages taste loss in chemotherapy
- Peppermint oil had been used to manage acne. Reduces itching