Pudina

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Volatile Oils

Pudina consists of dried leaves and flowering tops of Mentha spicata Linn., belonging to family Labiatae.


PUDINA

 

 

Synonyms

 

Spearmint, Garden mint, Mackerel mint, Our lady’s mint, Green mint, Sage of Bethlehem.

 

Biological Source

 

Pudina consists of dried leaves and flowering tops of Mentha spicata Linn., belonging to family Labiatae.

 

Geographical Source

 

It is originally a native of the Mediterranean region and was later introduced into Britain.

 

History

 

Mint is mentioned in all early mediaeval lists of plants; it was grown in English gardens and cultivated in the Convent gardens during the ninth century. The Ancients believed that mint would prevent the coagulation of milk, to scent their bath water and as a restorative, as we use smelling salts today. Mint was so universally esteemed, that it was found wild in nearly all the countries to which civilization has extended. In America for 200 years, the mint was known as an escape from gardens, growing in all moist soils and proving on occasion troublesome like a weed. In the fourteenth century, mint was used for whitening the teeth, and its distilled oil is still used to flavour toothpastes, and in America, it is used especially, to flavour chewing gums, confectionery, and also perfume soap.

 

 

Cultivation and Collection

 

Mint does well in almost all soil (though in dry, sandy soils it is occasionally difficult to grow) but should be planted in the cool and damp condition. As the plant is perennial, creeping stems propagations are used by lilting the roots in February or March, the stems are divided into small pieces and planted in shallow trenches, covering with 2 inches of soil. The distance between each plant is six inches within the rows and 8 inches between the rows. Cuttings can be taken at almost, any time during the summer and the young shoots are chosen for cutting. Good topdressing of soil is to be done, to obtain good mint or the plantation should be remade every three years. For liberal topdressing of short, decayed manure, such as an old hotbed or mushroom beds are added. When it commences to grow, or better still, perhaps, after the first or second cutting, will ensure luxuriant growth. When the plants are breaking into bloom, the stalks should be cut a few inches above the root, on a dry day (after the dew has disappeared) and before the hot sun takes any oil from the leaves. All discoloured and insect-eaten leaves should be removed and the stem tied loosely into bunches and hung to dry on strings in the usual manner directed for bunched herb. The bunches should be nearly equal in length and uniform in size to facilitate packing, if intended for sale and placed when dry in airtight boxes to prevent reabsorption of moisture. The leaves may also be stripped from the stems as soon as thoroughly dried and rubbed through a fine sieve, so as to free it from stalks as much as possible, or pounded in a mortar and then powdered, stored in stoppered bottles or tins rendered airtight.

 

Characteristics

 

From creeping rootstocks, erect, square stems rise to a height of about 2 feet, with very short-stalked, lance-shaped, acute-pointed, wrinkled, bright green leaves. It has fine-toothed edges and smooth surfaces, the ribs very prominent on the lower surface. Leaves are sessile, lanceolate to oblong, acute apex, and coarsely dentate margin. The flowers are densely arranged in whorls in the axils of the upper leaves, forming slender, cylindrical, tapering spikes, pinkish in colour. The plant has characteristic taste and odour.

 


                         Mentha spicata

 

Chemical Constituents

 

It contains about 0.5% volatile oil containing carvone. It also contains limonene, phellandrine, dihydrocarveol acetate, esters of acetic, butyric, and caproic or caprylic acids. The drug also contains resin and tannins.

 



Uses

 

The drug is used as spice, flavouring agent, carminative, digestive, spasmolytic, stimulant, and as a diuretic. Pudina is chiefly used for culinary purposes. Sweetened infusion is an excellent remedy for infantile trouble and also a pleasant beverage in fevers, inflammatory diseases, etc.

 

Marketed Products

 

It is one of the ingredients of the preparation known as Rheumatil gel (Dabur).

 

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