Himalayan Horsemint
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Himalayan Horsemint
P Native Photo: Narendra Joshi
Common name: Himalayan Horsemint, Horse Mint • Hindi: पौदीना Poudina • Ladakhi: Madaen, Marini • Nepali: तुलसी पाते Tulasi paate
Botanical name: Mentha longifolia subsp. hymalaiensis    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Mentha royleana Benth. subsp. hymalaı̈ensis Briq.

Himalayan Horsemint is a very aromatic perennial herb, with tiny lilac flowers borne in slender spikes which may be interrupted below. Spikes are borne at branch ends and form a lax densely hairy inflorescence. Flowering spikes are 2.5-8 cm long, 8-12 mm broad. Flowers are about 3 mm across, hairy outside, stamens protruding, with 5 triangular sepals, and lanceshaped bracts. Leaves are oblong to obovate to lanceshaped, 2.5-8 cm long, saw-toothed on the margins, with rounded base. Leaves are densely hairy, paler on the underside. Himalayan Horsemint is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to C Nepal, at altitudes of 1500-3800 m. Flowering: July-August.
Medicinal uses: In Jammu and Kashmir, India, the essential oil is used for flavoring confectionery. A tea from the leaves is taken as a cooling medicine. In Uttarakhand, the herb is used for gastrointestinal disorders, cough, colds, and chronic fever. In Nepal, the leaf juice is applied to cuts and wounds as an antiseptic; a leaf decoction is taken to relieve sore throat.

Identification credit: Amit Chauhan, Anzar Khuroo, Gurcharan Singh Photographed on Amarnath Yatra route & in Nubra Valley, Ladakh.

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