Mentha arvensis

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Mentha arvensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. arvensis
Binomial name
Mentha arvensis
L.
Mentha arvensis - põldmünt Keila.jpg

Mentha arvensis (field mint (पुदीना/ Pudina,"Podina" in Hindi), wild mint or corn mint) is a species of mint with a circumboreal distribution. It is native to the temperate regions of Europe and western and central Asia, east to the Himalaya and eastern Siberia, and North America.[1][2][3]

Description[edit]

Wild mint is a herbaceous perennial plant generally growing to 10–60 cm (3.9–23.6 in) and rarely up to 100 cm (39 in) tall. It has a creeping rootstock from which grow erect or semi-sprawling squarish stems. The leaves are in opposite pairs, simple, 2–6.5 cm (0.79–2.56 in) long and 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) broad, hairy, and with a coarsely serrated margin. The flowers are pale purple (occasionally white or pink), in whorls on the stem at the bases of the leaves. Each flower is 3 to 4 mm (0.12 to 0.16 in) long and has a five-lobed hairy calyx, a four-lobed corolla with the uppermost lobe larger than the others and four stamens. The fruit is a two-chambered carpel.[3][4][5] [6]

Subspecies[edit]

There are six subspecies:[1]

  • Mentha arvensis subsp. arvensis.
  • Mentha arvensis subsp. agrestis (Sole) Briq.
  • Mentha arvensis subsp. austriaca (Jacq.) Briq.
  • Mentha arvensis subsp. lapponica (Wahlenb.) Neuman
  • Mentha arvensis subsp. palustris (Moench) Neumann
  • Mentha arvensis subsp. parietariifolia (Becker) Briq.

The related species Mentha canadensis is also included in M. arvensis by some authors as two varieties, M. arvensis var. glabrata Fernald (in reference to North American plants) and M. arvensis var. piperascens Malinv. ex L. H. Bailey (in reference to eastern Asian plants).[7][8]

Uses[edit]

In Europe, wild mint was traditionally used to treat flatulence, digestional problems, gall bladder problems and coughs. The Aztecs used it for similar purposes and also to induce sweating and they used the infusion to cure insomnia. The oil was extracted and rubbed into the skin for aches and pains. The Native Americans also used it in several traditional ways. Nowadays it is used in many countries for various ailments. Mint extracts and menthol-related chemicals are used in food, drinks, cough medicines, creams and cigarettes.[9]

Chemical substances that can be extracted from wild mint include menthol, menthone, isomenthone, neomenthol, limonene, methyl acetate, piperitone, beta-caryophyllene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, tannins and flavonoids.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Euro+Med Plantbase Project: Mentha arvensis
  2. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Mentha arvensis
  3. ^ a b Flora of NW Europe: Mentha arvensis
  4. ^ Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2
  5. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  6. ^ "Corn mint: Mentha arvensis". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  7. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Mentha canadensis
  8. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (1947). CRC World dictionary of plant names: Common names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synyonyms, and Etymology. III M-Q. CRC Press. p. 1659. 
  9. ^ a b "Mentha Arvensis Piperascens". Boston Healing Landscape Project. Boston University School of Medicine. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 

External links[edit]