Peppermint

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Mint (Mentha piperita) is a species that appeared spontaneously as a hybrid of the frog's spearmint (Mentha aquatica), spearmint (Mentha spicata) and Mentha longifolia. In our country it is cultivated on large areas. It grows well on the fertile soils of the loamy-sandy meadows with groundwater at a short distance. It is cultivated on all continents.
 



WHAT ARE ITS BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE COMPOUNDS?
  • Mint contains 0.5-4% volatile oil, the content of which varies depending on the variety, provenance, pedoclimatic conditions and the time of harvesting (e.g. the first harvest in the second year of vegetation gives the best volatile oil content);
  • The volatile oil has the following components: menthol, menthol esters, especially menthyl acetate and isovalerianate, menthone, menthofuran, other monoterpenes and small amounts of sesquiterpenes;
  • Mint leaves also contain flavonoids represented by luteolin glycosides, mentoside, lipophilic methoxylated flavones, tannins, polyphenol derivatives (rosmarinic or caffeic acid), triterpenes, a bitter principle, mineral and protein substances, lipids, enzymes;
  • Menthol and menthyl acetate is predominant in mature/aged leaves;


WHAT ARE ITS THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES?
  • The leaves and volatile oil of mint have an antiseptic, choleretic, local anesthetic, carminative action, due to menthol;
  • Menthol causes a relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, balancing the pressure between the stomach and the esophagus (administered as an infusion and especially the volatile oil);
  • The spasmolytic action is due to menthol and some components of the volatile oil, manifested by the relaxing action of the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • Menthol also has local anesthetic action, including antipruritic analgesic;
  • The antiemetic effect of mint is due to the anesthetic action on the gastric mucosa;
  • Tannins and menthol have an antiseptic action; tannins also have an antidiarrheal action;
  • Flavonoids have a choleretic action (extracted both by the volatile oil and by infusion);
  • The volatile oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal action and is very active against the herpes virus;
  • At the intestinal level, peppermint oil stimulates the transduction and diapedesis of nutrients, especially lipophilic ones, an action that is explained by increasing the irrigation of the mucosa and the activity of peristalsis

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