Mexican mint or Plectranthus amboinicus is a perennial plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family. It is native to Southern and Eastern Africa. The medicinal herb grows in other tropical parts of the world as well.

Mexican mint has many colloquial names including Spanish thyme, French thyme, Ajwain Patta, Karpooravalli, country borage, and so on.

Karpooravalli leaves are edible and it is used to flavor various meat, fish, and vegetable dishes, soups, stews, etc. The dried-powdered extract of Mexican mint and its essential oil are potent therapeutic agents and may treat many health problems.

Recent scientific research has established the medicinal properties and beneficial effects of Mexican mint for human health.

Mexican mint is a potential remedy for arthritis symptoms, respiratory diseases, skin allergy, fever, stomach disorders, kidney problems, eczema, psoriasis, and cancer.

Read on to learn the chemical constituents, therapeutic values, and health benefits of Indian borage or Mexico mint.

Mexican Mint Nutrient Facts and Therapeutic Values

Mexican mint is a rich source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and mineral contents. The herb contains Vitamin B (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate), Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and numerous monounsaturated and polyunsaturated Fatty acids. [4]

Some of the major bioactive constituents in Indian borage are Rosmarinic acid, Thymoquinone, Salvianolic acid L, carvacrol, thymol, γ-terpinene, undecanal, Shimobashiric acid, Δ-3-carene, camphor, etc.

These phyto components show powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-rheumatic, anxiolytic, and anti-cancer effects.

Potential Health Benefits of Mexican Mint

1. Mexican Mint May Be an Effective Remedy for Rheumatoid Arthritis.Rheumatoid-Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects around 1% of the human population all over the world. The autoimmune disease causes severe pain and dysfunctions of the joint.

A 2010 clinical research in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine investigated the potential benefits of Mexican mint in treating arthritis.

The bioactive components in the herb (a dose of 5000 mg/kg) showed anti-rheumatic effects in blocking proinflammatory cytokines in the animal model arthritis.

The researchers concluded that Mexican mint may be a promising natural ingredient in producing arthritis drugs.

2. Mexican Mint May Relieve Respiratory Disorders and Fever.Essential Oils for Fever Relief in Kids

Indian borage has been a folk remedy for the common cold, sore throat, cough, sinus pressure, nasal congestion, phlegm, stuffy nose, and other respiratory problems in different parts of the world.

Numerous medical researches have confirmed the potent expectorant quality of the herb.

Researchers Tonia Rabe and Johannes van Staden investigated 26 Plectranthus species that are used as traditional remedies in South Africa. Plectranthus amboinicus or Mexican mint is a traditional remedy for coughs, colds, and fever in the region.

People consume a hot water infusion of the Mexican mint leaf to relieve respiratory problems.

The researchers found out the Methanolic extracts, flavonoids, and diterpenes in Mexican mint have powerful antibacterial effects against cold and flu.

In another 2001 Ethnobotanical survey in Brazil, the researchers studied the medicinal uses of various plants by the Afro-Brazilian populations. Mexican mint was one of the important herbs and the people chewed its fresh leaves or drank the leaf infusion to treat cough.

3. Mexican Mint May Treat Numerous Skin Inflammations.

Mexican mint has numerous benefits for the skin. Ethnobotanical reports suggest that the herb and its extracts in various forms may treat insect bites, wounds, eczema, psoriasis, skin allergy, swelling, redness, and so on.

Modern scientific research tested the sesquiterpenoids, monoterpenoids, diterpenoids, and phenolic compounds of Mexican mint to establish their therapeutic values.

The chemical constituents showed significant anti-inflammatory effects against various skin inflammations.

4. Mexican Mint May Relieve Anxiety.

Karpooravalli is a potential remedy for anxiety and stress.

A 2012 study in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research investigated the anti-anxiety effects of Mexican mint herb in rats.

In the study, aqueous and alcoholic extract of the herb could inhibit the natural fear of the rats. The researchers anticipate having further clinical research on the anxiolytic effects of Mexican mint in humans.

5. Mexican Mint Has Anti-Cancer Effects.Essential Oils for Cancer

Recent medical research has confirmed the anti-cancer effects of different parts of the Mexican mint herb.

A 2013 scientific article published in the Journal of Chemistry states the cytotoxic activity of Mexican mint stem extracts against human breast cancer cells.

The researchers found the methanolic extract of the herb’s stem to have exhibited the most potent anticancer and antiproliferative effects.

The hydroalcoholic extracts of Mexican mint leaves have antitumor effects as well.

6. Mexican Mint Is a Diuretic and May Relieve Kidney Problems.

Indian borage can help your kidney and lymphatic system function properly.

A 2010 animal study in Pharmacognosy Research journal states the potent diuretic effects of Mexican mint leaves extracts.

In the study, the phytoconstituents of the ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Indian borage showed a significant increase in the urination volume of the rats. The herb effectively released the excess salt, toxins, and water (electrolytes) from the animal body.

Mexican mint may be an effective remedy for kidney problems in humans as well.

How to Use Mexican Mint Herb

Traditional uses of Mexican mint include consumption of fresh leaves, infusion or tea, syrup, and application of the Mexican mint essential oil.

Mexican mint is edible. It has many health benefits apart from the great flavor. You can consume the herb raw or cooked to reap the therapeutic benefits.

You can boil some Mexican mint leaves to prepare tea and syrup. These tinctures can be an effective remedy for respiratory diseases.

Mexican mint essential oil retains the essence and all the phytochemicals of the herb. Inhalation and topical massage of the aromatic oil can help you relieve anxiety, skin inflammations, and arthritis pain.

Bottom Line

Mexican mint is a powerful therapeutic herb. It has wide medicinal uses in the folk remedies of India, Brazil, Africa, and North America.

Recent medical science studies have investigated the phyto-constitutes of the herb and discovered its numerous therapeutic values.

Indian borage may be an effective remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders, kidney problem, respiratory diseases, anxiety, and breast cancer.

Mexican mint is generally safe. However, if you are a pregnant or nursing mother it is wise to consult a doctor before consuming the herb.

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