Spearmint: Biological Source, Medicinal Uses, Morphological Features and MCQs

SPEARMINT

1. Biological source:

• It is also known as garden mint, common mint, mackerel mint and lamb mint.
• It belongs to the lamiaceae family.
• The biological source of spearmint is its fresh or dried leaves.
• The botanical name of spearmint is Mentha spicata.

2. Morphological features:

• It is a perennial herbaceous plant.
• It is upto 30-100 cm tall.
• The stems and foliage are variably hairless to hairy.
• Rhizomes are wide-spreading and fleshy underground .
• Leaves are 5-9 cm long and 1.5-3 cm broad.
• Leaves have a serrated margin.
• The shape of stem is square shaped .
• It produces flowers in slender spikes .
• The color of flowers are pink or white .
• Flowers are 2.5-3 mm long and broad.
• The name “spear” is because of its pointed leaf tips.
• Branches are angular, glabrous and slightly pubescent.
• Leaves are opposite in arrangement and oblong .
• Leaves have rough surface.
• It has lax .
• Leaves are shortly petiolate.

3. Chemical constituents:

• The chemical constituents of spearmint are essential oil which is present upto 1 to 3%.
• It also contain menthol, flavonoids .
• It contains caffeic acid derivatives including some amount of romarico acid.
• The most active ingredient of this mint is L- carvonewhich is responsible for it odor.
• It also contain limonene.
• It also have some amount of betaburboneno and cis and trans form of carvil acetate.
• Other chemical constituents of spearmint are caryophyllene and 1- 8 cineole.
• It also composed of trans dihirocarvol and sabinene hydrate.
• It contains vitamins and antioxidants.
• It also composed of vital nutrients.
• It is rich in limonene but contain less amount of menthol.

4. Uses:

• It show antispasmodic and carminative activity.
• It is used as antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
• It also have antimicrobial effect.
• This plant has neuro depressive effects.
• It also has insecticide property.
• It is used as an ingredient in toothpastes, mouthwashes and cosmetics.
• it is used to get relieve from nausea and indigestion.
• It also help to treat gas problem and headache.
• It is used to treat toothache,cramps and sore throat.
• By the application of it topically on the skin it helps to get rid from swelling due to nerve or muscle pain.

5. Adulteration:

Abitol,benzyl alcohol,benzyl benzoate and dipropylene glycol are common adulterants of spearmint.

6. MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS:

1. What is the botanical name of spearmint?
(a) Mentha spicata
(b) Physotegia virginiana
(c) Petunia
(d) Dianthus chinensis

2. What is the biological source of spearmint?
(a) Leaves
(b) Fruits
(c) Bark
(d) Roots

3. Match the following with respect to the chemical constituents of plants.
I. Vinca                                                A. Ephedrine
II. Ephedra                                         B. Vincristine
III. Opium                                           C. Limonene
IV. Spearmint                                     D.Protopine
(a) I-A,II-B,III-C,IV-D
(b) I-B,II-A,III-D,IV-C
(c) I-C,II-B,III-D,IV-A
(d) I-D,II-C,III-A,IV-B

4. Choose incorrect statement with respect to the medicinal uses of plants.
i. Spearmint used to treat jaundice.
ii. Opium is used to treat constipation .
iii. Ephedra is used to treat asthma.
iv. Vinca is used to treat lymphomas.
(a) Both i and ii
(b) Only i
(c) Both iii and iv
(d) Only iv

5. What are the common adulterants of spearmint?
(a) Indigo dye
(b) Abitol
(c) Benzyl alcohol
(d) Both b and c

6. Leaves of spearmint are
(a) Opposite in arrangement
(b) Shortly petiolate
(c) Oblong
(d) All of the above

7. Spearmint contain the properties of
(a) Antifungal
(b) Antispasmodic
(c) Anti-inflammatory
(d) All of the above

8. Spearmint is used to treat
(a) Gas problem
(b) Indigestion
(c) Sore throat
(d) All of the above

9. What are the chemical constituents of spearmint?
(a) Menthol
(b) Flavonoids
(c) Betaburboneno
(d) All of the above

10. Amount of essential oil spearmin contain is
(a) 2-5%
(b) 1-3%
(c) 4-5%
(d) 8-9%

ANSWERS:
1. (a)
2. (a)
3. (b)
4. (b)
5. (d)
6. (d)
7. (d)
8. (d)
9. (d)
10. (b)

REFERENCE:

Evans W.C, Editors. Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy , New York, Saunders, Elsevier;2009, p. 266.

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