PUTIHA (Mentha arvensis)
Ancient scriptures on Ayurveda for not appear to have included potiha in the pharmacopoeia. However, later, many slokas are available describing the medicinal properties of this plant. The plant was well known to the Greeks and Romans, being used as a food flavor and as a medicine. In ayurveda the plant is recommended in many ailments, like loss of appetite, vomiting, flatulence, worms, cough, hiccup, asthma, Dysurea, menstrual disorders etc.
The plant grows is Western Himalayas at an altitude 1500-3000 meters. It is cultivated at heights from 300-1200 meters in Jammu and Kashmir. It is an erect, branched, aromatic herb, growing upto 60 cm in height. The leaves up to 5 cm long, simple, opposite, leafstalk small, margins toothed. The flowers are small, lilac, in small bunches, borne on axils of leaves. The perennial has an agreeable aroma.
The botanical name of putiha is Mentha arvensis and it belongs to family Labiatae, Lamiaceae. The main constituents of oil are esters-menthyl acetate as menthol and ketones as methone. Detection of pinene, pinene, limonene, octan-3-01, menthion, neomenthol, 1- menthol, isomenthol, pulegone and piperitone in essential oil by GLC. Determination of linalool, geraniol, and citral, linalyl acetate, geranyl acetate, nerol, pinene, citro-nellol, limonene, pinene and piperitone in essential oil by GC.. From fresh leaves 1- methyl-B-D-glucoside isolated.
Putiha is pungent in taste, pungent in the post digestive effect, and has hot potency. It alleviates vata and kapha doshas. It possesses light, dry and sharp attributes. It is fragrant, appetizer and improves the taste sensation. It is used in the diseases like anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting, abdominal pain and worms
The whole plant of putiha is used for medicinal purpose. Externally, the essential oil of the plant is beneficial for dressing the wounds, as it has antibacterial as well as antifungal activities. It is salutary as deodorant in foul ulcers and wounds. The juice of leaves is an effective gargle in ailments of the oral cavity viz. halitosis, dental caries etc.
Internally, the plant is useful in vast range of diseases. It is very widely used throughout India, as a home remedy and in medical practice. It is used as an expectorant, uterine tonic, in the diseases of the liver and spleen, asthma and for pain in the joints. The leaves and stem are made into an infusion, as a carminative and antispasmodic. An infusion with tea and lemon grass is used for general well being, carminative action and in fever. Putiha is a keen stimulant for digestive system and is used in various ailments like loss of appetite, flatulent, dyspepsia, nausea and vomiting. In worm infestations, associated with abdominal pain, the juice of leaves is given along with ginger juice and salt. In dysuria, it is beneficial as it has diuretic activity. The fresh juice of leaves is given by itself, to alleviate vomiting. The cold infusion of putiha is extremely rewarding in oligomenorrhea and dysmenorrheal. It is a valuable bitter tonic in general debility. It is salubrious in scorpion sting, as an antitoxin. The whole plant fresh juice is helpful in cardiac debility and hiccup. As an adjunct, it is useful in hepatopathy, splenopathy and jaundice.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparation