Agastache rugosa

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Korean mint
Agastache rugosa.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Agastache
Species: A. rugosa
Binomial name
Agastache rugosa
(Fisch. & C.A.Mey.) Kuntze[1]
  • Agastache formosana (Hayata) Hayata ex Makino & Nemoto
  • Elsholtzia monostachys H.Lév. & Vaniot
  • Lophanthus argyi H.Lév.
  • Lophanthus formosanus Hayata
  • Lophanthus rugosus Fisch. & C.A.Mey.

Agastache rugosa, known as Korean mint,[3] blue licorice, purple giant hyssop, Indian mint, wrinkled giant hyssop, Huo Xiang, Chinese Patchouli, is an aromatic herb in the mint family, native to East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Russian Primorye, Taiwan, and Vietnam).[4]


Korean mint leaf

Agastache rugosa is a perennial plant growing to 40–100 centimetres (16–39 in) tall, with square stalks that branch at the upper part.[5] The oval-cordate leaves are oppositely arranged, 5–10 centimetres (2.0–3.9 in) long and 3–7 centimetres (1.2–2.8 in) broad, with coarsely serrated margins.[5] Some leaves have hair and/or touches of white on the underside.[5]

In July to September, purple bilabiate flowers bloom in verticillasters that are 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) long and 2 centimetres (0.79 in) broad.[5] The calyx is 5–6 millimetres (0.20–0.24 in) long, with five narrow triangular lobes.[5] The petals are 8–10 millimetres (0.31–0.39 in) long, lower ones longer and the ones inside serrated. The stamens are didynamous, long, and exposed.[5] The fruit is schizocarp, with obovate elliptical mericaps of 1.8 millimetres (0.071 in).


Korean mint grows well in fertile, moisture-retentive soils and sun. The aroma becomes weaker in shady conditions.[5]

Korean mint can be propagated by both sexual and asexual means. The seeds gathered in autumn can be sown in the spring. One can also dig out the plant in autumn or early spring, divide the roots, and plant them at intervals of 30 centimetres (12 in).


There is one known cultivar Agastache rugosa 'Golden Jubilee', which has yellow-green foliage.[6]



Korean mint leaves on onggi


Agastache rugosa's Korean name is baechohyang (배초향), but it is more commonly known as banga (방아) in Southern parts of Korea, where the herb is extensively cultivated and consumed. In Southern Korean cuisine, the herb is used as an ingredient in varieties of dishes, such as buchimgae (Korean pancakes), chueotang (pond loach stew), and maeuntang (spicy fish stew).[7]


  • bangabuchimgae (방아부침개) – a type of buchimgae (pancake), made by pan-frying Korean mint leaves in a batter of wheat flour and egg. A generous amount of vegetable oil is used when pan-frying.
  • chueotang – a type of tang (soup), boiled with finely ground pond loach and filtered through a sieve. In southern Korea, the Korean mint leaves are boiled in the soup with the pond loach, and also served fresh to top the soup. Finely ground chopi (Korean pepper) is usually served together with the Koreran mint leaves.



It is called huò xiāng (Chinese: )[8] in Chinese and it is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.[9]

Chemical constituents[edit]

Chemical compounds found in the plant include:[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Agastache rugosa information from NPGS/GRIN". USDA. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  2. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  3. ^ English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 343. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2016 – via Korea Forest Service. 
  4. ^ "Taxon: Agastache rugosa (Fisch. & C. A. Mey.) Kuntze". Germplasm Resources Information Network. National Plant Germplasm System. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "배초향" [Korean mint]. Korea Biodiversity Information System (in Korean). Korea National Arboretum. Retrieved 25 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "Agastache rugosa 'Golden Jubilee'". Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  7. ^ 김, 민철 (20 October 2016). "향긋한 '토종 허브', 그 이름은 배초향" [Fragrant traditional herb, its name is baechohyang]. The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Agastache rugosa". Flora of China. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2008-02-19 – via 
  9. ^ "Agastache rugosa - Plants For A Future database report". Archived from the original on 3 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  10. ^ "Species Information". Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Archived from the original on 2004-11-10. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  11. ^ 4-Methoxycinnamaldehyde inhibited human respiratory syncytial virus in a human larynx carcinoma cell line Wang K.C., Chang J.S., Chiang L.C., Lin C.C. Phytomedicine 2009 16:9 (882-886)
  12. ^ Chemical composition of essential oil in stems, leaves and flowers of Agastache rugosa Yang D., Wang F., Su J., Zeng L. Zhong yao cai = Zhongyaocai = Journal of Chinese medicinal materials 2000 23:3 (149-151)

External links[edit]