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Mentha arvensis Linn.


No documentation

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Pudina, pokok- pokok kepari

Peppermint, American wild mint, field mint, Japanese peppermint



Sundanese: Bijanggut, bujanggut

General Information


This herb belongs to the family Lamiaceae and does not grow wild in peninsular Malaysia, where it scarcely ever flowers. It is cultivated on damp soil. There are two varieties: Mentha arvensis var. arvensis (Europe, western Asia) and Mentha arvensis var. piperascens (eastern Asia). [1]

Plant Part Used

Entire plant, aerial parts, leaf and oil. [2]

Chemical Constituents

The Mentha arvensis leaf and oil contain acetaldehyde, amyl alcohol, methyl esters, limonene, β-pinene, β-phellandrene, cadinene, dimethyl sulphide, and traces of α-pinene, sabinene, terpinoline, trans-ocimene, g-terpinene, fenchene, α-thujone, β-thujone, citronellol and luteolin-7-O-rutinoside. [3]

M. arvensis consists of menthol (35-70%), menthone (15-30%), (-)-menthyl acetate (4-14%) and pulegone (1-4%).

Other chemicals include:

(+)-1,2-Epoxyneomenthyl acetate, (+)-8-acetoxy carvone, (+)-carvone, (+)-isomenthone, (+)-menthofuran, (+)-neomenthol, (+)-octan-3-one, (+)-piperitenone, (+)-piperitenone-oxide, (+)-piperitone, (-)-borneol, (-)-carvone, (-)-linalool, 1,8-cineol, p-menthen-3-one, 3’,4’,5,7-tetrahydoxy-flavone-7-α-L-rhamnosyl-β-D-glucoside, 3’,5,7-trihydroxy-4’-methoxy-flavone-O-β-D-glucoside, 3-methylpentanol, acacetin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, acetic acid, α,β-hexenic acid, α,g-hexenylphenyl-acetate, anisaldehyde, β-car-3-ene, β-caryophyllene, Calcium, camphene, caproic acid, carvomenthone, cineol, cis-isopulegone, cis-ocimene, Copper, D-3-octanol, diosmetin-7-O-β-D-glucoside, ethyl-amyl-carbinol, eugenol, formic acid, fulfural, germacrene-D, hesperidine, Iron, isomenthol, isopulegol, isopulegone, isovaleraldehyde, linalool-acetate, luteolin, Magnesium, Manganese, menthofurolactone, myrcene, neoisomenthol, neoisopulegone, octane-3-ol, p-cymene,  p-cymol, p-menthan-trans-2,5-diol, Potassium, raffinose, resin, rosmarinic acid, sabinene-hydrate, santene, Sodium, stachyose, tannin, trans-isopulegone, Zinc. [4]

And more recently, linarin ( acacetin-7-O-β-D-rutinoside)  was extracted from the flower of        Mentha arvensis. [5]

Traditional Use:

In Japan, this plant is valued as a home remedy for coughs and colds. It is used in small amount in the mixtures of lotions, ointments and creams to treat skin disorders. It acts as an antipruritic, an antiseptic, a counterirritant, a stimulant and an anaesthetic in treating dermatological cases. The entire plant, apart from the root, is used to treat coryza, fever, headache, rhinitis, cough, pharyngitis, arthralgia, neuralgia, abdominal colic, nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, diarrhea and prurigo. It is also claimed to be an emmenagogue. [2]

The aerial part is used in Chinese medicine as a cooling remedy for colds, influenza, headache, sore throat and eye inflammation. It is also used as a liver stimulant. [2]

The mint oil is used orally to treat flatulence, catarrhs of upper respiratory tract and gastrointestinal and gallbladder disorders. It is also used externally for the treatment of myalgia and neuralgic ailments. It has been reported to have been used in Chinese medicine to treat indigestion, nausea, sore throat, diarrhea, colds and headaches. [2]

The leaves are pounded with lime juice and the paste is applied to the forehead to relieve headaches. [2]

M. arvensis is a common flavoring agent in foods and beverages. In manufacturing, the oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics, and also as a flavoring agent in pharmaceuticals. [3]

The most common use of M. arvensis today is as a flavoring agent in a variety of oral products, including toothpastes, chewing gum and after-dinner mints. [6]

The plant is also used as an insect repellent. [7]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antibacterial activity

The effect of M. arvensis essential oils on the proliferation of Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enteriditis, Escherichia coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was examined in a study. The essential oils inhibited the proliferation of the above strains in liquid culture. They also exhibited antibacterial activity in phosphate-buffered saline. Thus, essential oils showed as potential antibacterial agents for inhibition of the growth of the pathogens. [8]

Radioprotective activity

A study to evaluate the radioprotective effect of M. arvensis was carried out on mice exposed to whole body gamma radiation. The results showed that the 10 mg/kg non-toxic dose of chloroform extract of M. arvensis provides the best protection against the radiation-induced sickness and mortality. [9]


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

When taken orally, the essential oils can cause heartburn, nausea and vomiting, and allergic reactions such as headache and flushing. Topically, it can also cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis. [3]

Use in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

Expecting mothers should avoid taking this herb because in large doses it can cause miscarriage. [7]

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

Likely safe when used orally in amounts commonly found in foods. [3]


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

  • Antacids can cause premature dissolution of enteric-coated M. Arvensis oil
  • Preliminary study suggests that M. Arvensis oil inhibits cyclosporine metabolism and may increase cyclosporine levels.
  • Preliminary evidence shows that M. Arvensis oil and leaf might inhibit cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2] substrates.
  • Preliminary evidence shows that M. Arvensis oil might inhibit cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19] Substrates, cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9] Substrates, and cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4] Substrates.
  • H2-Blockers can cause premature dissolution of enteric-coated M. Arvensis oil. H2-blockers include cimetidine, ranitidine, nizatidine and famotidine.
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs] can cause premature dissolution of enteric-coated M. Arvensis oil. [3]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation


    1. Mentha arvensis -Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accessed on 22 October 2007.
    2. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur.  Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. 2002; 2:136.
    3. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: accessed on 22 October 2007.
    4. Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
    5. Oinonen, P.P.,Jokela,J.K., Hatakka,A.I. & Vuorela,P.M. Linarin, a selective acetylcholinesterase inhibitor from Mentha arvensis. Fitoterapia 2006; 77:429-434.
    6. Boon, H. & Smith, M. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs. Robert Rose Inc., Ontario Canada. 2004; pp 227-231.
    7. Mentha arvensis -Plants For A Future database report, accessed on 12 June 2007.
    8. Imai, H. et al. Inhibition by the essential oils of peppermint and spearmint on the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Microbios. 2001; 106(Suppl 1]:31-9.
    9. Jagetia, G.C. & Baliga, M.S. Influence of the leaf extract of Mentha arvensis Linn. (mint] on the survival of mice exposed to different doses of gamma radiation. Strahlenther Onkol. 2002; 178: 91-8.

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