Mentha arvensis in cultivated field
Botanical Name:Mentha arvensis L.
English Name:Japanese Mint
Mentha arvensis is an annual herb reaching up to 50cm in height. The leaves are aromatic, short stalked, surface undulating in opposite pairs, simple, 2–6.5 cm long and 1–2 cm broad, hairy, and with a coarsely serrated margin. Flowers are white tingled with violet- pink color, borne in clustered whorls. It is an exotic species, introduced from Japan and is now under extensive cultivation in Terai and lower foothill region of Nepal. However, it can be cultivated up to the altitude of 1500m.
Cornmint oil or Mentha oil is extracted from steam distillation of aerial parts of Mentha arvensis. In an average, the plant yields 5% of essential oil.
The leaves are applied in the forehead to relieve the headache and cold and cough.
Cornmint oil has wide variety of uses in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, perfumery and as an food additive. It is used to prepare medicine that is used to cure cold and cough. It has antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, anesthetic properties. It is used to manufacture soaps, detergents, toothpastes, mouthwashes, perfumes etc. It is also used in flavoring foods and beverages.
Appearance:Slightly thick liquid
Colour:Faint Pale yellow
Aroma:Strong, fresh menthol/mint odour
Specific gravity:0.8940 to 0.9015 at 25° C
Optical rotation:[-] 15.5° to [-] 45.0° at 25° C
Refractive index:1.4590 to 1.4750 at 25° C
Acid number:0.3 to 5
Ester number: 20 to 40
Ester number after acetylation:29
Solubility :Soluble in 1.2 to 2.5 vol. of 70% alcohol.
Menthol is the key active constituents of the essential oil. Similarly it contains menthone, α-pinene, ρ-menthone, menthyl acetate, iso-menthone, thujone, phellandrene, piperitone, menthofuran, limonene, α-terpineol, camphene, β-caryophyllene, germacrene D.