Mentha (Bohe)-Mentha haplocalyx-Herba Menthae

Mentha (Bohe)

Mentha haplocalyx Briq. (Fam. Lamiaceae)
Mentha haplocalyx Briq. (Fam. Lamiaceae)

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Menthae
Botanical Name: Mentha haplocalyx Briq. (Fam. Lamiaceae)
Common Name: Mentha, Peppermint, Cornmint, Field mint.
Source of Earliest Record: Xinxiu Bencao.
Part Used & Method of Pharmaceutical Preparations: The entire plant, including leaves, is gathered in any season. The leaves can be picked two or three times each year, dried in a shady place and then cut into pieces.
Properties & Taste: Pungent and cool.
Meridians: Lung and liver
Functions: 1. To disperse wind-heat and clear the head and eyes; 2. To promote liver qi, allowing it to flow freely; 3. To bring rashes to the surface.
Indications & Combinations:
1. Wind-heat exterior syndrome manifested as fever, headache, mild aversion to wind and cold, sore throat and red eyes. Mentha (Bohe) is used with Platycodon root (Jiegeng), Arctium fruit (Niubangzi) and Chrysanthemum flower (Juhua).
2. Early stage of measles with slight rash. Mentha (Bohe) is used with Arctium fruit (Niubangzi) and Pueraria root (Gegen).
3. Stagnation of qi in the liver manifested as a full sensation and pain in the chest and costal region. Mentha (Bohe) is used with White peony root (Baishao) and Bupleurum root (Chaihu) in the formula Xiaoyao San.
4. For headache, inflammation of the eyes including conjunctivitis, sore throat, and ulcers in the mouth due to Wind Heat, it is used with Flos Chrysanthemi Morifolii ( Ju Hua), Herba Schizonepetae Tenuifolia ( Jing Jie), Folium Mori (Sang Ye), or Radix Platycodi ( Jie Geng).
5. For measles at the initial stage, incomplete eruption of measles due to Wind Heat, and pruritus, it is used with Periostracum Cicadae (Chan Tui), Herba Schizonepetae Tenuifolia ( Jing Jie), Fructus Arctii (Niu Bang Zi), and Fructus Forsythiae Suspensae (Lian Qiao) in “The Six-Ingredient Decoction” (Liu Wei Tang).
Cautions & Contraindications:
1. Do not decoct it over a long period of time. When used in herbal formulas, it should be decocted after the other herbs.
2. Not to be used in patients with spontaneous sweating due to an Exterior Deficiency.

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