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aturalized Photo: Thingnam Anne
Common name: Peppermint • Hindi: विलायती पुदीना Vilayati pudina, पेपरमिंट Peppermint • Marathi: पेपरमिंट Peppermint • Tamil: புதீனா Pudina • Malayalam: കര്‍പ്പൂരത്തുളസി Karppoora-Tulasi • Telugu: మిరియాల ద్రావకము Miriyala dravakamu • Kannada: ಮೆರುಗು Merugu • Bengali: পুদিনা Pudina • Oriya: ପୋଦିନା Podina • Urdu: Pudina پودینہ, Lana لعناع • Assamese: পদুনা Poduna • Gujarati: ફૂદીનો Phudino • Nepali: पुदिना Pudina
Botanical name: Mentha x piperita    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Mentha piperata, Mentha piperita

Peppermint is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing up to 30–90 cm tall from rhizomes. Leaves are 4-9 cm long, 1.5-4 cm broad, dark green with reddish veins, and with a pointed tip and coarsely toothed margins. Leaves are very much like the mint leaves. The leaves and stems are usually slightly hairy. The flowers are purple, tiny, 6–8 mm long, 4-petalled, about 5 mm across. Sepal cup is tubular with 5 sharp, hairy teeth, purplish, irregular. Stamens are 4, short. They are borne in whorls around the stem, forming thick, blunt spikes. Peppermint is a hybrid mint, a natural cross between watermint (Mentha aquatica) and Spearmint (Mentha spicata). It is native to Europe, widely cultivated and naturalized world over, including the Himalaya. Flowering: July-October.
Medicinal uses: Peppermint is sometimes regarded as 'the world's oldest medicine', with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago. Peppermint has a high menthol content, and is often used as a flavouring in tea, ice cream, confectionery, chewing gum, and toothpaste. The oil also contains menthone and menthyl esters. It is the oldest and most popular flavour of mint-flavoured confectionery. Peppermint can also be found in some shampoos and soaps, which give the hair a minty scent and produce a cooling sensation on the skin.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Dhanulti, Uttarakhand.

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