December 2013 archive

Bo He aka Field Mint

Bo He aka Field Mint
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Alternate Names
Pharmaceutical: Herba Menthae Haplocalycis
Botanical: Mentha Haplocalyx Briq.
Japanese: hakka
Korean: bakha
Common: Field mint, menthe

Also known as mentha, mint is considered to be acrid, cool, and aromatic in nature and greatly affects the lung and liver meridians. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver meridian filters all of the emotions and specifically deals with anger, frustration and stress. When we experience more stress than our liver meridian can process our qi becomes stagnant and, in the Liver meridian, this can lead to depression. Mint enters the Liver meridian and helps to get the qi moving again in a healthy way, helping to alleviate depression.

Continue reading below to learn what Acupuncture Today says about mint:
Mint is an herb belonging to the labiatae family, specifically mentha haplocalyx Briq. It consists of a squarish stem and elliptical, scaled leaves. Both the leaves and stem are covered with tiny white hairs. The plant has an aromatic odor and an acrid taste. Both the leaves and stem are used in herbal preparations, as is mint oil.

Mint oil contains dozens of chemicals, acids and compounds, including leucine, menthol and aspartic acid. Together, these substances are responsible for many of mint’s healing properties. Studies have shown that mint can inhibit bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus albus and streptococcus, and viruses such as herpes simplex and vaccinia. Other research shows that it facilitates the flow of mucus in the trachea, and can improve the absorption rates of salicylic acid (the main ingredient in aspirin).

In traditional Chinese medicine, mint is considered to have pungent, aromatic and cool properties. It is associated with the Lung and Liver meridians, and is used to expel wind heat, clear the head and eyes, clear up rashes, and remove liver qi stagnation. Taken orally, mint is used to treat diarrhea and painful menstruation, promote perspiration and dissipate body heat. It is also taken as a means of stimulating the nervous system. In addition, the German Commission E has approved the internal use of mint oil for a variety of conditions, including flatulence, gastrointestinal and gallbladder disorders, and catarrhs of the upper respiratory tract, and external use for myalgia and neuralgia.