Japanese Mint (Mentha Arvensis) is a perennial herb with creeping root stalk and an erect stem, 1-2 quadrangulate branched with short dense hair. Leaves are 2.5 – 5cm long, oblong-ovate. Flowers are in auxiliary whorls, none at the top. Plant rises to a height of 0.4-0.8 mtr. Branching freely, flowers appearing in May-June and again in September-November under cultivation. Pepper Mint (Mentha piperita), Bergamot Mint (Mentha citrata) and Spear Mint (Mentha Spicata) are also commercially cultivated though on a lesser scale. These species are morphologically variant to that of Japanese Mint.
Origin and Distribution
These aromatic perennial herbs are distributed mostly in the Northern hemisphere. In India, it is largely confined to North India in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. Temperate to tropical climate is suited for plant growth. Sunny weather with moderate rain is conducive to its luxuriant growth. A deep soil, rich in humus which can retain moisture, is suitable for mint cultivation.
Mint is used for flavouring meat, fish, sauces, soups, stews, vinegar, tea, tobacco and cordials. The mint oil is used for the production of natural menthol, dementhalised oil is for flavouring mouth washes, tooth paste and pharmaceutical preparations. In medicine, it is used against stomach disorders, rheumatism, in ointments for headaches, in cough drops, inhalations etc. The oil and dried plants are antiseptic, carminative, refrigerant, stimulant and diuretic.
Indian Name of Spices
Hindi : Pudina Bengali : Pudina Gujarati : Pudina Kashmiri : Pudyanu Malayalam : Puthina Marathi : Pudina Punjabi : Pudina Tamil : Pudina Telugu : Pudina Urdu : Pudina
Foreign Name of Spices
Arabic : Eqama Chinese : Pak hom ho Dutch : Pepermunt French : Meuthe anglaise German : Pfefferminze Greek : Menta Italian : Menta peperina Spanish : Menta/ Piperita Turkish : Nane