Pudina (Mint), Botanical Name: Mentha Arvensis.
Mint plants are all members of the Lamiaceae family and the Mentha genus. These hardy perennials have been grown and used for centuries for qualities that lend themselves to decorative, culinary, medicinal and aromatic purposes. Mint plants are identified most readily by their distinctive rhizomes, stems, leaves and flowers.
Mint plants all propagate by means of rhizomes–long, vinelike, fleshy roots. Rhizomes are not easily discouraged by even several yards of garden cloth, which means that mints can be highly invasive in a garden. To keep the plants growing where they should be, and nowhere else, many growers confine them to containers, even underground. Mint plants prefer moist, loose soils but can withstand drier conditions.
The leaves of mint are well known in culinary circles for their sweet, cool taste. Mint lends a boost to drinks such as teas, mint julep and in mojitos. Mint jelly often flavors lamb dishes. Mint flavors everything from toothpaste to chewing gum to ice cream and candies. Fresh leaves garnish fruit and chocolate desserts. When steamed with vegetables such as peas, mint helps to enhance the flavor of the dish.
Other Uses for Mint
Mint is valued for its insect-repellent properties. Vegetable gardeners often place pots of mint among other crops to repel pests. Campers rub leaves on their skin and tents to drive away mosquitoes and ants. Crushed mint applied to an insect bite brings relief as well. Mint tea soothes upset stomachs and aids digestion.
Medicinal uses of Pudina :-
The dried leaves and flowering tops of the plant make the drug peppermint, this drugs use in treatment of vomiting and nausea. Bruished leaves are applied in headache and other pains.
Allergies: Mint plants contain an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent called rosmarinic acid which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symptoms, revealing a promising natural treatment.
Breast feeding: Although breastfeeding can offer significant benefits for both infant and parent, it can cause pain and damage to nipple. A study published in April 2007 in the International Breastfeeding Journal suggested that peppermint water is effective in preventing nipple cracks and nipple pain in first-time mothers who are breastfeeding.
Common cold: Mint contains menthol, a natural aromatic decongestant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus, making it easier to expel. Menthol also has a cooling effect and can help relieve a sore throat, especially when combined with tea.
Indigestion and gas: Mint is a calming and soothing herb that has been used for thousands of years to aid with upset stomach or indigestion. Mint is thought to increase bile secretion and encourage bile flow, which helps to speed and ease digestion (and which may also support healthy cholesterol levels. Peppermint tea is a common home remedy for flatulence.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): The use of peppermint oil has been found to be an effective and safe treatment for those suffering from abdominal pain or discomfort associated with IBS.
Gastric ulcers: In a study in animals, menthol was found to help protect the lining of the stomach from the negative effects of indomethacin and ethanol, giving it a potential role in preventing gastric ulcers associated with alcohol consumption and regular use of painkillers.
Pain relief: Applying peppermint extract externally has been found to increase pain threshold in humans.
Skin: When applied topically in oil, ointment or lotion, mint has the effect of calming and cooling skin affected by insect bites, rash or other reactions.
Oral health: Mint is a natural anti-microbial agent and breath freshener.
Nutritional breakdown of mint