Introduction of Bo He:Herba Menthae or Peppermint.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Peppermint, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source 3 plant species, ①.Mentha haplocalyx Briq., ②.Mentha haplocalyx Briq.var.piperascens(Malinvaud)C.Y.Wu et H.W.Li., ③.Mentha x piperta L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these three plants, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these three plants, the features of the herb Peppermint, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Herba Menthae(Peppermint).

dried leaves of Peppermint Pin Yin Name: Bò He.
 English Name: Peppermint.
 Latin Name: Herba Menthae.
 Property and flavor: cool, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Herba Menthae is the dried aerial part of Mentha haplocalyx Briq., used (1).to disperse wind and heat in the treatment of wind-heat affliction, (2).to clear the head and eyes for relieving headache and conjunctivitis, (3).to promote eruption in the treatment of measles, and (4).to soothe the liver for alleviating hypochondriac and thoracic pain. The herb is commonly known as Herba Menthae, Peppermint, Bò He.

 Botanical source: The herb Herba Menthae (Peppermint) is the whole herb or leaves of the (1). Mentha haplocalyx Briq., or (2). Mentha haplocalyx Briq.var.piperascens (Malinvaud) C.Y.Wu et H.W.Li., or (3). Mentha x piperta L., they are plants of the Mentha spicata L. genus, the Labiatae family (Lamiaceae, mint family) of the Lamiales order. These 3 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Mentha haplocalyx Briq.

 potted growing shrubs of Mentha haplocalyx Briq. Botanical description: Mentha haplocalyx Briq is also known as M. haplocalyx Briq., M.aruensis L.var.haplocalyx Briq., M.aruensis auct.non L., Mentha canadaensis L., a perennial aromatic herb, stems are upright, it grows up to 30~80 cm high, with decumbent rhizome, reaching 13 cm deep into the soil, crispy, easily broken. The stem is sharp prismatic, many-branched, and glabrous on four sides or is covered with slightly inversed pilose, the corner and part near to nodes have conspicious hairs. Simple leaves are opposite; petioles are 2~15 mm long; leaf blade shape varies much, lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate to an elliptical shape, 2~7 cm long, 1~3 cm wide, the apex is sharp pointed or acuminate, the base is cuneate to orbicular(subrotund), the edge above base is sparsely thick and big dentate serrate, lateral veins are in 5~6 pairs, the upper surface is deep green, the undersurface is light green, both surfaces have pilose and yellow glandular scales, densely on the undersurface.

 Verticillaster grows axillarily, spherical, diameter in flowering is about 18 mm, toward stem apex, the internode length, leaf and inflorescence gradually turn smaller; Peduncle has several bractlets, linear-lanceolate, not over 2 mm long, with tricholoma; Pedicels (flower stalk) are thin and slender, 2.5 mm long, slightly covered with pilose or nearly glabrous; calyx is tubular campaniform (bell-shaped), 2~3 mm long, outside is covered with pilose and glandular scales, with 10 veins, 5 calyx teeth, narrowly triangular subulate, about 0.7 mm long, edge has cilia; corolla is mauve (lilac) to white, limbus has 4 lobes, upper lobes are 2-lobed at apex, bigger, other 3 lobes are nearly equal in size, corolla throat inside is covered with slight pubescence; 4 stamens, front pair is longer, usually stretching out of corolla or is wrapped inside the corolla tube, filaments are thready, glabrous, anther is ovoid, 2-loculed, anther cells are parallel; style is slightly protruding out of stamen, apex is nearly equal, 2-lobed, lobes are subulate (diamond shape).

 Nutlets are long ovoid, 0.9 mm long, 0.6 mm wide, yellow-brown or pale brown, with a small crypt (pits). Its flowering period is from July to September, the fruiting period is from October to November.

 Growth characteristics: The plant grows on the brook ditch sides, roadsides, and wild in the mountains, in the area at altitudes of up to 3,500 meters. The plant is cultivated and distributed in northern, eastern, central, west, and southwest areas of China.

 Mentha haplocalyx Briq has a strong adaptability to the environment, it can grow in areas at altitudes lower than 2,100 meters above sea level, and in the areas at low altitudes, its essential oil and menthol content are higher. The plant prefers a warm, moist climate. Its rhizome can sprout to seedlings at 5~6 °C (Celsius, or 41~42.8 degrees Fahrenheit), the suitable temperature for plant growth is 20~30 °C (Celsius, or 68~86 degrees Fahrenheit), the rhizome has a strong tolerance to cold, if the soil keeps certain humidity, it can pass winter in the area with low temperature -30 ~ -20 °C (Celsius, or -22 ~ -4 degrees Fahrenheit). The plant prefers sunlight, and should better not be cultivated in a shaded place, the plant has no strict requirement in soil, but better choose loose, fertile, moist sandy soil or oily sandy soil. The soil pH (pH scale:acidity-basicity) value better be 5.5~6.5, but it can be planted in subalkaline soil.

 dried leaves and segments of peppermint herb Characters of herbs: The stem of the herb is a square column with opposite branches, 15~40 cm long, and 0.2~0.4 cm in diameter. The surface is purple-brown or light green, the edges and corners are covered with fuzz, and the internodes are 2~5 cm long; the herb is crisp, and the fracture surface is white, and hollow in the pith part. Leaves are opposite, with short petioles; the leaves are wrinkled and curled, and the intact leaves are lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate, and elliptical shape, 2~7 cm long, and 1~3 cm wide, the edge above the base has sparse crude and thick dentate sawteeth, lateral veins are in 5~6 pairs; the upper surface is deep green, the undersurface is light green, both surfaces have pilose, concave point glandular scales on under surface are visible under a magnifying glass. The upper part of the stem usually has axillary verticillaster inflorescence, the calyx is campanulate (bell-shaped), the apex is 5-toothed, calyx teeth are narrowly triangular subulate, slightly covered with pilose; many corolla, mauve (lilac). After rubbing, the herb has a special fragrance, and tastes pungent, and cool. The herb of a better grade has many leaves, green and a strong fragrance.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.prompt the skin telangiectasis, induce perspiration, and antipyretic; ②.anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-pruritic effect; ③.relieve gastrointestinal spasms and promote the secretion of respiratory glands; ④.analgesic, etc.

 Medicinal efficacy: Dispelling wind and clearing heat, clear head and refreshing eyes, inducing perspiration and promoting eruption, clear and benefit throat, detoxification, dredge liver and dispel melancholy.

 Administration of Herba Menthae (Bò He): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Herba Menthae (Bò He)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 3~9 grams, better add later in decoction; ②.wayer decoction, should not boil for too long, 0.8~2 qian (about 2.4~6 grams), or prepare to finely ground herb powder and prepared to pill, powder. Externally:extract juice or water decoction, apply; ③.water decoction, 3~6 grams, should not boil for too long, better add later, or prepared to pill, powder.Externally:extract juice or water decoction, apply.

(2).Mentha haplocalyx Briq.var.piperascens(Malinvaud)C.Y.Wu et H.W.Li.

 some shrubs of Mentha haplocalyx Briq.var.piperascens growing in a cluster Botanical description: Mentha haplocalyx Briq.var.piperascens(Malinvaud) C.Y.Wu et H.W.Li.: the botanical appearance is similar to the Mentha haplocalyx Briq. The main differences are: leaves are ovate to oblong, 2~5 cm long, with glandular spots on both surfaces. Calyx lobes are narrowly triangular, and ciliate. Corolla is lilac or white. Nutlets are 0.7 mm long.

(3).Mentha x piperta L.

 three growing plants of Mentha x piperta L in the sun Botanical description: The plant, Mentha x piperta L is commonly known as Peppermint, Mentha balsamea Wild., black mint (M.piperta var.vulgaris Sole) and white mint (M.piperta var.officinalis Sole), perennial herb with aroma and a cool taste. Rhizomes have bracts, and has nodes on the top end, each having two opposite buds and bud scales. The stems are prismatic, and upright, with hairs on the upper part, and the lower part only has a few hairs along the edges. Leaves are opposite, oblong-lanceolate to elliptic, 8~10 cm long, 3~5 cm wide, apical is pointed, the leaf surface is flat, leaf color is green to dark green, reticulated veins sink, leaf edge serration is deep and sharp, the petioles are 1~2 cm long, covered with hairs. Umbrella inflorescences are axillary, the calyx is tubular campanulate (bell-shaped). The mint was first discovered and named by Carl Linnaeus (Carolus Linnaeus, 1707~1778, Swedish naturalist and explorer who was the first to frame principles for defining natural genera and species of organisms and to create a uniform system for naming them) when he took a sample in England; Linnaeus considered this plant to be a new species but has reached a consensus in the academic community to classify peppermint as a hybrid plant. This species is a hybrid of Spearmint (Mentha spicata) and Watermint (Mentha aquatica).



 QR codeURL QR code:
 URL QR-code 

  • 1.Introduction of Bo He:Herba Menthae or Peppermint.

 Last edit and latest revision date:
   cool hit counter