Pudina is the most popular kitchen herb in India along with Coriander. The scientific name of Pudina is Mentha spicata subsp. spicata, and it belongs to family Lamiaceae (The mint family). Pudina is commonly known as Garden mint in English. While other mint varieties are high maintenance, Pudina can be grown effortlessly in India.
Pudina is a beautiful tender looking aromatic herb. This perennial plant can grow up to 30 cm in height and mostly spreads horizontally. The plant is so prevalent in Indian gardens that sometimes it’s also found growing wild in places with moist soil. It is an integral part of kitchen gardens in India, where it is grown for culinary and medicinal properties.
Pudina can be easily propagated by root division during the rains. In a very tiny corner of your garden, the roots placed at the distance 4-6 inches can cover the whole area in about 3-4 weeks. Usually, Pudina is planted in wet soils under a tree, on raised beds or near irrigation channels of a garden. But it’s a good idea to grow Pudina separately in a container, grow-bag or a hanging basket.
Pudina can also be grown by sowing seeds. It’s simple, easy & gratifying.
Uses of Pudina in summers and beyond:
Pudina makes the most delicious ‘Chutney’ or a source when the leaves are ground fine in combination with raw mango or pomegranate seeds or lemon juice. This chutney has an amazing cooling effect on our body in summers. Menthol and peppermint oil is also extracted from Pudina leaves. Pudina flavour is very popular in food items like Pulao, Biryani & Parathas. Pudina leaves are used in garnishing dishes, lemonade and other refreshing beverages.
- Consuming Pudina leaves in summers will take care of the following:
- It prevents or cures the spasms caused due to dehydration.
- It relieves pains from the stomach and bowels that are caused due to gases.
- Pudina strengthens and gives tone to the stomach, reducing acidity & indigestion.
- It is used as an energy stimulant and tonic.
- Pudina significantly lowers the internal body heat.
Pudina is also used in the treatment of jaundice, inflammation of the prostate, gallstones, vomiting, painful menstrual periods, a disease of uterus, and infections of the throat.
- The essence of Pudina plant is used to cure a toothache & as a mouth freshener.
- Children who suffer from intestinal parasites (worms) are given Pudina tea as an aid.
- The crushed leaves of Pudina cool the external body heat when applied to the skin.
- The decoction of leaves is added to bath water for itching skin conditions that occur in summers.
Apart from this, Pudina on the whole, forms an integral part of many Ayurvedic & herbal medicines related to ailments mentioned above. Pudina reduces the effect of ‘Kafa’ & ‘Vata’ on the body.