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PEPPERMINT - Mentha piperita

Usable part of the herb - mint leaves - Folia Menthae piperitae.

Family Lamiaceae

Description. Mint is a perennial herb with horizontal rhizome, from which to develop several four-keeled and branched stems up to 1 m tall. The leaves are dark green, with short handles, opposite, oblong, sharply toothed, tapered at the top, covered with small hairs . With a magnifying glass on the underside of the leaves can be seen essential oil glands which produce essential oil. Peppermint has a small red-purple flowers, gathered in dense clusters at the tips of stems. The fruit consists of 4 ovate, monocotyledon, red-brown nuts. Peppermint is a honey plant. The whole plant has a pleasant smell and peppery taste. In our country grow about 10 species of the genus Mint, but essential oils, obtained from them, or contain, or not contain very little menthol, which is the most valuable component of peppermint oil. Propagation is by vegetative cuttings that develop from vegetative buds aboveground

Distribution. Cultivate as oleaginous plant mainly in Rose Valley, Karlovo, Kazanlak, Plovdiv, Troyan and elsewhere across the country.

Drugs. The leaves of mint - Folia Menthae piperitae.stems.

Leaves were collected at the beginning of flowering (through July-August). It cut down the entire aboveground part of the morning or evening and leaves immediately detach. Spread out in a thin layer and dried in the shade or in a drying oven at temperatures up to 30 ° C. Dried leaves of mint are with dark green color on the top, and the bottom is a pale green. They have a peppery taste and aromatic odor. They are stored in a shady, well-ventilated, dry place. Moisture can contain no more than 14%.

Chemical composition. Mint leaves contain 1-3% essential oil with a composition of about 50% menthol, 4-11% esters of menthol, menthol 7-25%, maintenon, piperiton, cineol, mint, flanders, ʆ-foam, lemon pulegone and other free acids, 5-10% menthofuran. The herb also contains 3.5-12% tannins, bitter substance, nicotinic acid and its amide, coffee and chlorogenic acid karotonoidi, flavone glycosides and others.

Action and use. Peppermint oil in small doses increases appetite, works well with feeling sick, removes spasms especially in stomach colics, intestines and bile duct, the gases expelled in flatulence, stimulates the excretion of the liver and pancreas and act astringent and anti-inflammatory. Gallbladder increasing bile secretion and acting painkiller. Because of those actions, the herb is good in the treatment of functional disorders of the stomach and bile ducts, cholelithiasis, chronic pancreatitis, indigestion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Menthol induces reflex expansion of coronary vessels with angina (involved in the composition of validol). It acts more antiseptic and analgesic in inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract, bronchitis and bronchiectasis (assuming internally in the form of inhalations). Peppermint oil applied in the form of alcohol solution acts as a local anesthetic in neurodermatitis.

Folk medicine recommends mint with more dizziness, insomnia, headache, melancholy, epilepsy, apoplexy. A decoction of the leaves of mint is used for bathrooms with nerves excitment, gargle for sore gums, toothache and bad breath. Potion red wine (1:10) applied to skin inflammation and itching of the skin.

Usage. Phytotherapy prescribed drugs internally in the form of infusion. Two teaspoons peppermint pour 200 ml. boiling water. Allow to soak for 20 minutes. After straining the infusion of mint is taking sips 3 times daily 200 ml. 1 hour before meals.

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