Yerba buena

Family • Labiateae - Mentha arvensis Linn. - MINT, PEPPER MINT - Po-ho

Scientific names

Mentha arvensis Linn.
Mentha crispa Blanco

Common names

Ablebana (If.)
Herba buena (Tag.)
Hilbas (Tag.)
Hierba buena (Span.)
Karabo (Surigao del Norte)
Brook mint (Engl.)
Marsh mint (English)
Mint, peppermint (Engl.)
Tule mind (Engl.)
Wild mint (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Naana al hind.
BENGALI: Podina.
BURMESE: Bhudina.
DANISH: Agermynte .
DUTCH: Akkermunt .
FINNISH: Peltominttu, Pelto-minttu, Rantaminttu.
FRENCH: Baume des champs, Menthe des champs, Menthe du japon.
GERMAN: Ackerminze, Feldminze, Kornminze, Minze.
GUJARATI: Phudno, Pudina.
HINDI: Pudinah.
ITALIAN: Menta selvatica, Minta.
JAPANESE: Mensa arubenshisu, Menta arubenshisu, Youshu hakka.
KANNADA: Chetnimaraga, Chetnimaragu.
MALAYALAM: Putiyina.
MARATHI: Pudina.
PERSIAN Pudinah.
POLISH: Mięta polna.
PORTUGUESE: Hortelã-comum, Vique (Brazil).
TAMIL: Puthina.
TELUGU: Pudina.
SANSKRIT: Pudina, Putiha.
SPANISH: Menta japonesa, Menta silvestre.
SWEDISH: Åkermynta.
URDU: Pudinchkohi.

Hierba buena is a prostrate, smooth , much-branched, usually purplish, strongly aromatic herb, with stems growing up to 40 centimeters long, with ultimate ascending terminal branches. Leaves are elliptic to oblong-ovate, 1.5 to 4 centimeters long, short-stalked with toothed margins, and rounded or blunt tipped. Flowers are hairy and purplish to bluish, borne in axillary headlike whorls. Calyx teeth are triangular or lanceolate and hairy; the corolla is also hairy.

Yerba buena

– Native of Europe.
– Introduced by the Spaniards.
– Widely cultivation to some extent in all parts of the Philippines.
– Thrives well at high elevations; rarely flowers in lowlands.

Yerba buena2

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Influence of the Leaf Extract of Mentha arvensis Linn. (Mint) on the Survival of Mice Exposed to Different Doses of Gamma Radiation / Ganesh Chandra Jagetia and Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga / Strahlentherapie und Onkologie,Volume 178, Number 2, February, 2002 / DOI 10.1007/s00066-002-0841-y

(2) Anti-Candida activity of Brazilian medicinal plants / Marta Cristina Teixeira Duarte / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Vol 97, Issue 2, 28 February 2005, Pages 305-311 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.11.016

(3) Antifertility investigation and toxicological screening of the petroleum ether extract of the leaves of Mentha arvensis L. in male albino mice / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00362-7 / Journal of Ethnopharmacology V ol 75, Issue 1, April 200

(4) Postcoital antifertility effect of Mentha arvensis./ Contraception. 1981 Nov;24(5):559-67.

(5) Assessment of reversible contraceptive efficacy of methanol extract of Mentha arvensis L. leaves in male albino mice / Nidhi Sharma and D Jacob / Journal of Ethnopharmacology • / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(01)00364-6 Volume 80, Issue 1, April 2002, Pages 9-13

(6) Potentiating Effect of Mentha arvensis and Chlorpromazine in the Resistance to Aminoglycosides of Methicillin – Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / Henrique D M Couthinho, Jose G M Costa et al / In Vivo March 1, 2009 vol. 23 no. 2 287-289

(7) Volatile constituents of different parts of cornmint (Mentha arvensis L.) / B R Rajeswara Rao, A K Bhattacharya et al / Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Volume 14, Issue 5, pages 262–264, September/October 1999 / DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1026(199909/10)14:5<262::AID-FFJ766>3.0.CO;2-6

(8) Linarin, a selective acetylcholinesterase inhibitor from Mentha arvensis / Palvl P Olnonen, Jouni K Jokela et al / Fitoterapia, Volume 77, Issue 6, September 2006, Pages 429-434 / doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2006.05.002

(9) Sorting Mentha names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 – 2020 The University of Melbourne.

(10) In vitro study on the antimicrobial effect of hydroalcoholic extracts from Mentha arvensis L. (Lamiaceae) against oral pathogens / | Rafael Guerra Lund, Rosana Serpa, Patrícia da Silva Nascente, Gladis Aver Ribeiro, Rogério Antonio Freitag, Francisco Augusto Burkert Del Pino / Acta Scientiarum. Biological Sciences 2012 34(4)

(11) Hepatoprotective activity of Mentha arvensis Linn. leaves against CCL4 induced liver damage in rats / Kalpana Patil*, Alka Mall / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (2012)S223-S226

(12) In vitro antioxidant activity of leaves of Mentha Arvensis linn / Kowti, Rajesh; kumar, B. P. Satish; Harsha, R.; Dinesha, R.; mohammed, Irfan A; Gowda, S. S. Thammanna; Hareesh, A. R. / Journal of Pharmacy Research;Aug2010, Vol. 3 Issue 8, p1951

Yerba buena2.5Constituents 
– Plant yields a volatile oil (0.22%) containing pulegone, menthol, menthene, menthenone and limonene.
– Study showed the shoot leaf gave the highest yield of oil, 0.62%; while the stems had negligible yield. Menthol was the major component of all the oils. Other oils identified were: B-caryophyllene oxide, a-phellandrene, terpinolene, limonene, menthone and pulegone.
– Phytochemical screening of powdered plant samples (root, stem, and leaves) yielded alkaloids, polyphenols, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, cardiac glycosides, and diterpenes.

Yerba buena3

– Carminative, stimulant, stomachic, aromatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, sudorific, emmenagogue.
– Oil is rubefacient and stimulant.
– Tops and leaves are carminative.

Yerba buena4Parts utilized
Leaves and stems.

Yerba buena5

– Cultivated as a spice for cooking.
– Leaves used for tea.
– Used in salads to provide flavor.
– Used as a flavoring in confections and dentrifices.
– One of the oldest household remedies known.
– In the Philippines, tops and leaves are considered carminative; when bruised used as antidote to stings of poisonous insects.
– Mint is used in neuralgic affections, renal and vesical calculus.
– Used for stomach weakness and diarrhea.
– Decoction and infusion of leaves and stems used for fever, stomach aches, dysmenorrhea, and diuresis.
– Pounded leaves for insect bites, fevers, toothaches, headaches.
– Crushed fresh plants or leaves are sniffed for dizziness.
– Powdered dried plant as dentrifice.
– Crushed leaves are applied on the forehead and temples for headaches.
– For toothaches: Wet a small piece of cotton with juice expressed from crushed leaves; apply this impregnated cotton bud to the tooth. Boil 6 tbsp. of leaves in two glasses of water for 15 minutes; strain and cool. Divide the decoction into 2 parts and take every 3 to 4 hours.
– For flatulence: Boil 4 tbsp of chopped leaves in 1 cup water for five minutes; strain. Drink the decoction while lukewarm. Facilitates expulsion of flatus.
– Alcohol or ether extract used as local anesthetic for affections of the nose, pharynx, and larynx.
– Used for obstinate vomiting of pregnancy.
– An alcoholic solution of menthol has been used as inhalation for asthma. Menthol is also used as local anesthesia for headache and facial neuralgia.
– Decoction or vapor from menthol used with lemon grass as febrifuge. Also used in hiccups.
– Plant used as emmenagogue; also used in jaundice.
– Dried plant used as dentrifice.
– Leaves and stems used as carminative, antispasmodic, and sudorific.
– Infusion of leaves used for indigestion, rheumatic pans, arthritis and inflamed joints.
– For coughs, boil 6 tbsp of chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 mins; cool and strain. Divide the decoction into three parts; take 1 part 3 times a day.
– Diluted essential oil used as wash for skin irritations, burns, pruritus, scabies, ringworm and as mosquito repellent.
– For arthritis, warm fresh leaves over low flame; then pound. Apply pounded leaves while warm on the painful joints or muscles.
– As mouthwash, soak 2 tbsp chopped leaves in 1 glass of hot water for 30 minutes; strain. Use the infusion as mouthwash.
– Peppermint oil is often used in pharmaceutical preparations to subdue unpleasant medicinal smells.
– Menthol derived from the essential oil is used in pharmaceutical, perfumery and food industries.

Study Findings
• Radioprotective: Study of mint extract on mice showed benefit with pretreatment of mice with reduction in the severity of symptoms of radiation sickness and mortality.
• Anti-candida: A study of essential oils and ethanolic extracts of leaves/roots of 35 medicinal plants in Brazil screened for anti-Candida activity. Mentha arvensis was one of 13 essential oils that showed anti-candidal activity.
• Anti-fertility / Male Contraceptive: A study of the ether extract of MA on male mice showed reduction of number of offspring, with decrease in testes weight, sperm count and motility, among others. Results suggest that the ether extract of MA possess reversible antifertility properties.
• Reversible Male Contraceptive Effect:Study of aqueous extract solution in male mice caused inhibition of fertility while maintaining normal sexual behavior. All induced effects returned to normalcy within 30 days of withdrawal of 60-day treatment.
• Post-coital Antifertility Effect: A study on the uterotonic fraction of MA caused significant interruption in pregnancy in rats, pronounced in the post-implantation period.
• Antibiotic Resistance-Modifying: A report on the ethanol extract of MA showed a potentiating effect of the extract on gentamicin and presents a potential against bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
• Potentiatiing Effect with Chlorpromazine Against Bacterial Resistance: Study showed extracts of M arvensis could be used as a source of plant-derived natural products with resistance-modifying activity, such as in the case of aminoglycosides – a new weapon against bacterial resistance to antibiotics, as with chlorpromazine.
• Anti-Gastric Ulcer: Study of various extracts of Mentha arvensis showed a protective effect against acid secretion and gastric ulcers in ibuprofen plus pyloric ligation-induced and 90% ethanol-induced ulcer models.
• Herbal Liniment / Analgesic: M arvensis provides potent analgesic action and is used externally in rheumatism, neuralgia and headaches. In an herbal liniment where it was combined with four other medicinal plants, the liniment was found effective in ligament or muscle injury pain (sprains, strains, spasms, tennis elbow, etc), less so in osteoarthritis of the joint and periarthritis of the shoulder. No adverse reactions were reported. Efficacy was noted better in synergism with oral or parenteral analgesics.
• Volatile Constituents / Menthol: Study showed the shoot leaf gave the highest yield of oil, 0.62%; while the stems had negligible yield. Menthol was the major component of all the oils. Other oils identified were: B-caryophyllene oxide, a-phellandrene, terpinolene, limonene, menthone and pulegone.
• Linarin / Anti-Acetylcholinesterase: Flowers extract of M arvensis yielded linarin (acacetin-7-0-b-D-rutinoside), with selective dose-dependent inhibitory effect on acetylcholinesterase.
• Anti-Allergic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study on anti-allergic activity using a histamine inhibitory assay showed the ethanol extracts of leaf and root markedly inhibited the release of histamine from mast cells. On anti-inflammatory testing using a histamine-induced paw edema model, all extracts showed anti-inflammatory effect suggesting the presence of compounds capable of inhibiting histamine release from the mast cells and/or block histamine receptors.
• Effect on Haloperidol-Induced Catalepsy: Study in mice suggested Mentha arvensis significantly reduced oxidative stress and cataleptic score induced by haloperidol. Results suggest it can be used to prevent the drug-induced pyramidal side effects.
• Antifungal Activity / Leaves / Study Against Oral Pathogens: Study evaluated hydroalcoholic extracts for antimicrobial activity against oral pathogens: Streptococcus mutans, S. sobrinus and Candida albicans. Results showed antifungal activity against C. albicans and a potential use for human antifungal use. Results showed no antibacterial effect.
• Hepatoprotective / CCl4-Induced Liver Damage:Study evaluated various extracts of leaves against carbon tetrachloride induced liver damage in rats. Results showed a hepatoprotective effect with significant reductions of liver enzymes almost comparable to silymarin. Hepatoprotection was confirmed by histopathological examination. Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids, steroids, triterpenoids, alkaloids, glycosides, carbohydrates, tannins, phenolic compounds.
• Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of an ethanol extract of leaves of M. arvensis through various assays:TBAR, DPPH, NO radical scavenging, superoxide radical scavenging and phosphomolybdonum method. Results showed significant dose-dependent antioxidanat activity in all the assays.
• Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of leaves of M. arvensis against Ascardia galli which resembles the nematode Ascaris lumbricoides. Results showed a petroleum ether extract with maximum anthelmintic activity probably through both blocking of energy metabolism and worm paralysis.

Commercially: Analgesic tablets, tea.