RGUHS J. Pharm. Sci. Vol No: 12 Issue No: 1 eISSN: pISSN:2249-2208
Among the several plants, Mentha Piperita Linn, commonly known as peppermint, is an important medicinal herb that belongs to the family called Laminaceae. It’s one of the ancient medicinal herb or species majorly used in food, medicines, and cosmetics. The leaf of this drug has been proven useful in relief of common cold; decreases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome; digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence, and dyspepsia. The herb is used as analgesic topically and helps to treat the minor headache. M. Piperita is in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list, but this herb has its own few side effects. The peppermint oil leads to burning sensation in heart or irritation in perianal region so that it’s contraindicated in patients who suffer from bile duct obstruction, inflammation in gall bladder, and sever damage in liver and precaution should be taken in patients with gastrointestinal tract (GIT) reflex. Menthol and their derivatives are not used directly under the nose of small children and infants due to the risk of apnea.
Keywords: Mentha Piperita, Peppermint, Phytoconstituents, Medicinal benefits, Pharmacological actions
Herbal medicines are now an integral part of standard healthcare, so that they are used both in ongoing research and traditionally. Herbal medicinal compounds are the major source for phytochemicals; hence, they are rich in bioactive substance. The herb is hybrid between spearmint (Mentha Spicata L.) and water mint (Mentha aquatic L.) containing wide range of antioxidant properties and phytochemicals are capable for neutralizing the free radicals that results in slowing down of various chronic disease progression, which is associated with oxidative stress. The plants that have several phytoconstituents in addition to polyphenols highly act as antioxidants and are less toxic compared to synthetic ones, and this property makes the herb of great interest to the food industry. The herb is also of great interest for medicinal use, because of its medicinal benefits, such as antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, antiemetic, etc.1,2
Mentha Piperita commonly known as peppermint is an important medicinal herb that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. It is one of the oldest medicinal known species found in eastern and western countries. The main aim to cultivate this plant is to produce peppermint oil (waxy white crystalline monoterpine substance, solid at room temperature) around the world. India plays a dominant role in the production of mint oil and menthol in the world market. Cultivation of peppermint is usually best with good supply of water; as the herb is hybrid so it is sterile, and its plantation is done in the months of December and January last week. Peppermint is rhizomatous perennial herb, about 30-90 cm in height.3
M. Spicata Linn (spearmint), M. Aquatica Linn (watermint), M. Rotundifolia Linn, M. Longifolia Linn, M. Piperita Linn, and M. Arvensis Linn.4
Vernicular Names for Mentha Piperita English name: brandy mint or peppermint; Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bengali, and Punjabi names: Pudina; Kashmiri name: Puduyanu; Malayalam name: Puthina; Chinese name: Po Ho; Dutch name: Peppermint; French name: Menthe; Italian and Mexico names: Mentha Piperita.3
The herb is mainly indigenous to Europe and widely spreads in all over the world. It is found in Australia, Asia, Galapagos islands, New Zealand, United States, and India.5
Cultivation and Harvesting
Cultivation of peppermint is usually best with good supply of water (moist) and in shaded locations. Plantation of herb is done in the month of last week of December to last week of January (8-10 cm long, 40-60 cm spacing, and 400-450 kg Stolon’s/ha) by selecting young shoots from old stocks and dibbled into the ground around 1.2- 1.4 feet apart. Harvesting is done twice in the month of June and October on bright sunny days.3
Usually square erect or ascending, slightly branched, and upper portion always quadrangular (Figure 1).
They are wide spreading and fresh with fibrous roots in the herb.
It is 6-8 mm long, purplish, occurs in thick, terminal, spicoid racemes of verticillasters. Each flower shows tubular calyx with 5 sharp, hairy teeth along with purplish, irregular, 4 cleft corolla, 4 short stamens, 4-celled ovary, and projecting style ending with bifid stigma in the herb (Figure 2).
They are opposite, petiolate having 4-9 cm long and 1.5- 4 cm broad, pointed, and dark green on the upper surface of the herb (Figure 3).
Fruit contains four ellipsoidal nutlets in the herb, which is pale purplish or pinkish in colour.6
The study based on phytochemical analysis confirmed that the aqueous extract of dried leaves of Mentha Piperita contains major constituents. Peppermint oil contains mainly menthol (46.32%), methyl acetate (12.10%), menthone (7.42%), menthofuran (13.18%), 1.8-cineole (6.06%), limone, pulegone, α-thujene, α-pinene, sabinene, and β-pinene.6,8 It also contains flavonoid glycosides, such as narirutin, hesperidin, isorhoifolin, diosmin, and rutinoside. Polyphenols, such as eriocitrin, rosmarinic acid, cinnamic acid, caffeic acid, and salvianolic acid are also present.8,9
Oil was extracted by harvesting the whole plant just before the flowering and above the ground. The oil can be extracted by the steam distillation procedure or with some organic solvent either by using fresh or dried plant. Due to some defect of the two procedures recently, the oil can also be extracted by using other techniques, such as supercritical fluid extraction, direct thermal desorption, atomization technique, and hydroalcoholic extraction method. Final yield was 0.1%-1.0%.10,11
effects Mentha Piperita leaves extract exhibited significant anticarcinogenic activity by arresting G1 cell cycle arrest and mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis, perturbation of oxidative balance in the treated animal dose and time dependently.12
Mentha Piperita aqueous extract has shown dosedependent anti-allergic activity by inhibiting compound 48/80-induced histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cell in animals.13
Methanolic extracts of these plants showed protective effects against hydrogen-peroxide-induced toxicity in PC12 cells, antioxidant activity, and neurochemical properties. Mentha Piperita produced significant protection of the PC12 cells against oxidative stress.14
Plant extract of Mentha Piperita showed antinociceptive effects against acetic acid-induced writhing and hot plate induced thermal stimulation on mice.
Extract of these plants showed anti-inflammatory activity against xylene-induced ear edema in mice and cotton pellet granuloma test in rats.15
Radio protective activity
The leaf extract of these plants showed radio protective properties against radiation-induced chromosomal damage in mice bone marrow.16
Peppermint essential oil-inhaled patient showed antituberculosis activity.17
Mentha Piperita leaves showed anti-tumor properties in mice.18
Peppermint oil and other leaf extract reported potential anti-bacterial action against both gram positive and negative bacteria that inhibits their growth.19
It has been reported that peppermint juice can reduce levels of glucose, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), and triglyceride in treated animals.20
Mentha Piperita leaves showed hepatic protective properties on animals by reducing side effects of arsenicinduced toxicity.21
The herb showed calcium channel inhibition activity in guinea pig, papillary muscle, and atrial, rat and their brain, synaptsomes due to presence of menthol and peppermint oil. Relaxation of GIT smooth muscle is also seen due to decrease in the calcium influx.22
Topical application of a methanol leaf extract of Mentha Piperita on mice (2.0 mg/ear) inhibited ear edema, which was induced by the 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol13-acetate.23
Mentha piperita reported vasodilation properties on some animals and it has lowering effects on systolic pressure and heart rate. Relaxation of bronchial smooth muscles is another effect of peppermint oil.24
Analgesic and coolant
Stimulation of cold receptor on the skin by peppermint oil leads to dilation of blood vessels, which in turn causes cooling and an analgesic effects.25
The entire herb has its own medicinal value. The dried peppermint leaves are used in tea that is helpful in treating cough and bronchitis along with oral mucosal and throat inflammation. Traditionally, the herb is used to overcome the problems, such as flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, anorexia, and morning sickness. The drug also acts as spasmolytic agent resulting in reduction of gas and abdominal cramps. Presence of menthol oil is used in the preparation of toothpaste and it also relieves menstrual cramps in women. Species, such as M. Piperita nowadays is used to treat Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gall bladder, and biliary tract diseases.3,26
It can be concluded that M. Piperita is a well-known herb in all over the world, because of its vast and numerous pharmacological benefits or potential. It has strong future in the world market for extraction of oil. Nowadays, this herb is very popular in Indian region too; hence, it has been cultivated to export volatile oil, because of its medicinal uses. Various formulations of this herb are also available in the market, such as Pudin Hara, Itch-guard, pudina plus capsules, peppermint gels, and peppermint creams etc.
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- Spirling LI, Daniels IR. Botanical perspectives on health peppermint: more than just an after-dinner mint. J R Soc Promot Health 2001:121(1):62-3.
- Rita P, Animesh DK. An updated overview on peppermint (Mentha Piperata L.). Int Res J Pharm 2011;2(8):1-10.
- Shah PP, Mello PMD. A review of medicinal uses and pharmacological effects of Mentha piperita. Nat Prod Res 2004;3(4):214-21.
- Salehi B, Stojanović-Radić Z, Matejić J, Sharopov F, Antolak H, Kręgiel D, et al. Plants of Genus Mentha: From Farm to Food Factory. Plants (Basel) 2018;7(3):70.
- Fayed MAA. Mentha piperita L. - A promising dental care herb mainly against cariogenic bacteria. Univers J Pharm Res 2019;4(3):33-8.
- Ravindran PN. The encyclopedia of herbs and spices. CABI 2017;28:727.
- Marwa C, Fikri-Benbrahim K, Ou-Yahia D, Farah A. African peppermint (Mentha piperita) from Morocco: Chemical composition and antimicrobial properties of essential oil. J Adv Pharm Technol Res 2017;8(3):86-90.
- Inoue T, Sugimoto Y, Masuda H, Kamei C. Antiallergic effect of flavonoid glycosides obtained from Mentha piperita L. Biol Pharm Bull 2002;25(2):256-9.
- del Castilo MLR, Santa-María G, Herraiz M, Blanch GP. A comparative study of the ability of different techniques to extract menthol from Mentha piperita. J Chromatogr Sci 2003;41(7):385-9.
- Zeković Z, Lepojević Ž, Milić S, Adamović D, Mujić I. Supercritical CO2 extraction of mentha (Mentha piperita L.) at different solvent densities. J Serb Chem Soc 2009;74(4):417-25.
- Jain D, Pathak N, Khan S, Raghuram GV, Bhargava A, Samarth R, et al. Evaluation of cytotoxicity and anticarcinogenic potential of Mentha leaf extracts. Int J Toxicol 2011;30(2):225-36.
- Sroka Z, Fecka I, Cisowski W. Antiradical and antiH2 O2 properties of polyphenolic compounds from an aqueous peppermint extract. Z Naturforsch C J Biosci 2005; 60(11-12):826-32.
- López V, Martín S, Gómez‐Serranillos MP, Carretero ME, Jäger AK, Calvo MI. Neuroprotective and neurochemical properties of mint extracts. Phytother Res 2010; 24(6):869-74.
- Atta AH, Alkofahi A. Anti-nociceptive and antiinflammatory effects of some Jordanian medicinal plant extracts. J Ethnopharmacol 1998;60(2):117-24.
- Samarth RM, Kumar A. Mentha piperita (Linn.) leaf extract provides protection against radiation induced chromosomal damage in bone marrow of mice. Indian J Exp Biol 2003;41(3):229-37.
- Shkurupiĭ VA, Odintsova OA, Kazarinova NV, Tkrachenko KG. Use of essential oil of peppermint (Mentha piperita) in the complex treatment of patients with infiltrative pulmonary tuberculosis. Probl Tuberk Bolezn Legk 2006;9:43-5.
- Samarth RM, Panwar M, Kumar M, Kumar A. Protective effects of Mentha piperita Linn on benzo[a]pyrene-induced lung carcinogenicity and mutagenicity in Swiss albino mice. Mutagenesis. 2006;21(1):61-6.
- Singh R, Shushni MAM, Belkheir A. Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Mentha piperita L. Arab J Chem 2015;8(3):322-8.
- Barbalho SM, Damasceno DC, Spanda APM, da Silva VS, Martuchi KA, Oshiiwa M, et al. Metabolic profile of offspring from diabetic Wistar rats treated with Mentha piperita (peppermint). Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2011; 2011:430237.
- Sharma A, Sharma MK, Kumar M. Protective effect of Mentha piperita against arsenic‐induced toxicity in liver of Swiss Albino mice. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2007;100(4):249-57.
- Hills JM, Aaronson PI. The mechanism of action of peppermint oil on gastrointestinal smooth muscle: an analysis using patch clamp electrophysiology and isolated tissue pharmacology in rabbit and guinea pig. Gastroenterology 1991;101(1):55-65.
- Yasukawa K, Yamaguchi A, Arita J, Sakurai S, Ikeda A, Takido M. Inhibitory effect of edible plant extracts on 12‐O‐tetradecanoylphorbol–13‐ acetate‐induced ear oedema in mice. Phytother Res 1993;7(2):185-9.
- Khanna R, MacDonald JK, Levesque BG. Peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Gastroenterol 2014;48(6):505-12.
- Balakrishnan A. Therapeutic uses of peppermint - A review. J Pharm Sci & Res 2015;7(7):474-76.
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