Leaf Mint is a culinary herb used for flavoring and garnishing different cuisines. The herb is native to Europe and Asia. Mint is a natural source of menthol, and commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking. Varieties of mint like peppermint and spearmint are major essential oils used in flavoring prepared foods. Pudina plant is small in size but it might vary from place to place. Pudina is available throughout India and the seeds of Pudina plant are sown in between November or December and the plant is harvested in the month of March. Mint is found in the temperate Northern and Western Himalayas, cultivated in gardens in Konkan. An essential oil is obtained by steam distillation from the leaves, flowering tops and stems. Various types of Mint spps.
• Japanese Mint (M. arvensis var. Piperescens)
• Peppermint (M. Piperita)
• Spearmint (M. spicata)
Mint can also be used for medical purposes. Mint is used against stomach disorders, rheumatism, headaches; inhibiting growth of certain bacteria, relaxing muscles cough, in tooth paste, inhalations etc etc. There is a very good reason that mint is the flavoring of choice for toothpaste. It is an excellent breath freshener. When using mint tea as a breath freshener, increase the effectiveness by adding a pinch of anise, caraway or cinnamon.
The mint oil and dried plants are antiseptic, refrigerant, stimulant, carminative and diuretic. Oils from a variety of mint are popularly used in food and pharmaceutical industry. Pudina chutney is taken after finishing the food because it helps in quick digestion of food. Commercially, in India Pudina comes in the form of Pudina hara which thick green is colored syrup taken for gastric ailments. Pudina tablets (round shaped) are also available in the market and are normally given to a person suffering from vomiting, abdominal pain, cough problem and high fever.
Mint is basically used for garnishing or adding flavor. The mint leaves can be used fresh or dried, whole or chopped for flavoring soups, fish, meat, sauces, stews, vinegar. Mint can be added to drinks and fruit dishes as a garnish. It also makes a refreshing tea. The mint leaves can be used fresh or dried, whole or chopped for flavoring meat, fish, sauces, soups, stews, vinegar, tea, tobacco and cordials and also as a garnish. Mint is widely used to flavor food, make chutneys, savory snacks etc. It is highly used in while preparing curry in India. Mint extracts are also used to flavor certain soft drinks and cocktails.
• Toothpaste, powder and mouthwash
• Chewing gum
• Ice cream