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Pudina: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and more!

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more

Introduction:   

Pudina, scientifically known as Mentha spicata, is an aromatic herb belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is called Spearmint in English and is widely used in Indian and Italian cooking. It is one of the best mints used for flavour. The herb originated in Europe.1 Fresh and dried plant and essential oils derived from Pudina are widely used in the food, cosmetic, confectionery, chewing gum, toothpaste, and pharmaceutical industries.2 It is grown worldwide for commercial uses as a flavouring agent for food and to be used in medicines.3 The plant is commonly called Pudina in Hindi.4

Nutritional value of Pudina: 

Pudina has good nutritional value owning to the number of dietary components present. Moreover, it is a good source of many micronutrients and macronutrients.  

pudina benefits

Nutritional component Value 
Water 85.6 g 
Energy 44 Kcal 
Protein 3.29 g 
Total lipid 0.73 g 
Carbohydrate 8.41 g 
Fibre (total dietary) 6.8 g 
Calcium 199 mg 
Iron 11.9 mg 
Potassium 458 mg 
Sodium 30 mg 
Zinc 1.09 mg 
Copper 0.24 mg 
Manganese 1.12 mg 
Phosphorus 60 mg 
Magnesium 63 mg 
Figure 1: Nutritional value of Pudina per 100 grams5  

It also contains vitamins like      

Vitamin Value 
Vitamin C 13.3 mg 
Thiamine 0.078 mg 
Riboflavin 0.175 mg 
Niacin 0.948 mg 
Pantothenic acid 0.25 mg 
Vitamin B 6 0.158 mg 
Folate, total 105  µg 
Vitamin A 203  µg 
Figure 2: Vitamins present in Pudina per 100 grams5  

Did you know?

  • Pudina has been found to have antimicrobial properties, which may help fight against certain bacteria and fungi. source: usa.gov
  • Pudina has a cooling effect on the body and is often used to soothe digestive issues like indigestion and bloating. source: usa.gov
  • Pudina oil is used in aromatherapy for its invigorating scent and potential benefits for mental clarity and focus. source: usa.gov
  • Pudina can help relieve symptoms of nasal congestion and respiratory disorders. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Pudina has been found to have potential anti-cancer properties. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Properties of Pudina:

The properties of the Pudina herb are given below.

  • It may act as carminative (for removal of gas from the stomach)
  • It may show the antispasmodic property (used to relieve muscle spasms)
  • It may show diuretic activity (causes the kidneys to make more urine)
  • It may show antibacterial property
  • It may show antifungal property
  • It may show antioxidant agent (minimize the damage caused by oxidants)2
  • It may show anti-diarrhoeal activity
  • It may show anti-asthmatic activity
  • It may help reduce fever
  • It may help manage colds
  • It may help manage weight
  • It may act as an antidote (medication given to counteract a particular poison)
  • It may enhance digestive aid activity.3

Also Read: Chia Seeds: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Potential Uses of Pudina

Based on my observations, it is possible that pudina (mint) may possess antiyeast properties. This means that it has the potential to inhibit the growth or activity of yeast organisms. The specific components present in pudina may help to disrupt the yeast’s normal functioning, thereby reducing its ability to cause infections or overgrowth.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Because of the various properties of pudina, it may show potential uses against different disease conditions. Some of the potential uses of pudina are given below.

Potential uses of pudina for digestion:

Pudina is recommended as per traditional Iranian medicine to be included in daily diets to avoid flatulence (gas build-up in the stomach). Pudina may also help clean up toxins from the gut (these are the end products of gastric digestion) and strengthens the stomach. It may also be effective in dyspepsia (indigestion) symptoms such as appetite, bloating, belching (burping), and nausea.5 A decoction of pudina leaves may be used to relieve common digestive problems.3 However, if you suffer from digestive issues, you should consult your healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Also Read: Simple Home Remedies For Indigestion

Potential uses of pudina for diabetes

It’s important to exercise caution when consuming Mentha piperita (peppermint) and spearmint teas, as excessive intake may lead to iron depletion and potentially result in anaemia. These teas have the potential to interfere with iron absorption in the body, which can be detrimental to your overall health.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Administration of pudina extract showed a significant reduction in blood glucose levels during animal studies. When tested on diabetic rats during animal trials, pudina leaf extract showed a remarkable improvement in blood glucose and cholesterol levels.3 These antidiabetic properties of pudina have been observed in animal trials, and more studies are required to consolidate the use of pudina in humans. If you have diabetes, you must follow your doctor’s advice and prescribed treatment.

Potential uses of pudina for cancer:

In laboratory studies, the extract of pudina leaves showed strong anticancer activity against various cancer cells. In lab studies, extracts from pudina leaves slowed the growth of breast and mouth cancer cells.3 However, more studies are required to support the use of pudina during cancer. Therefore, you are advised not to use Pudina or other herbs to manage disease conditions.

Potential uses of pudina for inflammation (swelling):

The essential oil of pudina proved to be effective as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain reliever) agent in animal trials.3, which shows that pudina may help reduce inflammation and swelling and ease the pain. However, these properties have been observed during animal trials. More studies are required to support using Pudina for inflammation and pain.

Be careful when using or inhaling menthol, as it can have adverse effects on certain individuals. In sensitive individuals, menthol inhalation may lead to apnoea (temporary pause in breathing) and laryngospasm (sudden closure of the vocal cords). This can initially create discomfort and if left unattended, it can worsen to a life-threatening emergency!

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Potential uses of pudina for learning and memory:

Pudina extract showed learning and memory-enhancing benefits in animal and human studies. Oral administration of pudina extract improved mood, sleep quality and working memory.3It has also been reported that pudina improves sleep, mood, learning and memory in men and women having age-related memory impairment.3 However, more studies are required to understand the full extent effects of pudina on the brain. Therefore, if you experience any problems related to learning, memory, and sleep quality, you need to seek medical help.   

Other potential uses of pudina:

Pudina extract and honey combination may help manage earache. Placing pudina leaves on the tongue may help remove tongue coarsening (roughness of tongue and lack of taste). Chewing pudina leaves may help relieve toothache and drinking its extract can help arrest bleeding.5

Though some studies show the benefits of pudina in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of pudina on human health. 

Also Read: Kalonji: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

How to use Pudina:

Pudina leaves are widely used for culinary purposes such as

  • Fresh leaves, dried leaves and flowers of pudina are added to teas, certain beverages, and vinegar.1
  • Fresh pudina leaves can also be added to fruit salads, syrups, sauce (mint), candies, ice creams, and lamb dishes.1

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking pudina or any herbal supplements. Likewise, do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor. 

Side Effects of Pudina:

Some of the side effects associated with pudina use are given below.  

  • Pudina and its essential oils are safe when consumed in amounts like those found in foods. Side effects from pudina are infrequent. However, some people may be allergic to spearmint.7
  • Pudina, when applied to the skin, is possibly safe. Allergic reaction in people is a rare occurrence.7
  • The essential oils in pudina cause vomiting and diarrhoea if ingested in large quantities.1

Before using pudina for its health effects, you need to consult your healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis and treatment. It’ll help you avoid any unwanted side effects.

Also Read: Lemon Balm: Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects & More!

Precautions

Some general precautions associated with pudina use are given below.

1. Pregnancy

Pudina is possibly unsafe to consume during pregnancy. High doses may cause uterine damage.6

2. Breastfeeding

There is insufficient reliable information to determine whether pudina is safe to use while breastfeeding. To be safe, avoid using higher amounts of Pudina.6

3. Kidney disorders

Eating a large amount of Pudina might worsen existing kidney damage. Pudina tea might increase kidney damage in people, so it’s best to avoid it unless recommended by your Ayurvedic physician.6

4. Liver disease

Pudina tea might increase liver damage. So, using large amounts of pudina tea might worsen liver disease.7

If you want to take pudina for any of its properties, make sure to consult a healthcare provider as they will be able to guide you about the possible precautions you need to take to avoid any unwanted effects.

Also Read: Spearmint Tea Benefits: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

Interaction with other Drugs

Pudina shows moderate interaction with some drugs. You need to take precautions if you take these drugs

Medicines that Harm the Liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)

Pudina, when taken in higher amounts, can damage the liver. Some medicines can harm the liver as well. Using Pudina in high quantities along with these medications can worsen existing liver damage. It is advised not to use Pudina when taking drugs such as:

Acetaminophen (used for pain relief), carbamazepine (used for epilepsy), amiodarone (used for heart disease), isoniazid (INH) (used for tuberculosis), methotrexate (used for cancer), methyldopa (used for high blood pressure), fluconazole (used for fungal infection), itraconazole (used for fungal infection), phenytoin (used for epilepsy), lovastatin (used for high blood pressure), pravastatin (used for high blood pressure), erythromycin (used for bacterial infection), simvastatin are some examples of drugs that might affect the liver.6

Sedative Medicines

A chemical substance found in Pudina might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Sleep and drowsiness are common side effects of sedative medications. As a result, combining pudina with sedative medications may amplify the impact and produce additional sleepiness. Clonazepam, lorazepam, phenobarbital, and zolpidem7 are some examples of sedative drugs.6

If you are taking medication for any disease condition, make sure you have consulted your doctor about the possible interactions of the medication with other herbs and drugs. This will help you make well-informed choices and avoid unwanted herb-drug interactions. 

Also Read: What Causes Roaches: An Insight into Infestation Sources and Prevention

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Pudina?

Pudina is an aromatic herb widely used for its culinary benefits in foods.1

What are the benefits of Pudina leaves?

Mint leaf has man-effective properties; it may aid in gas relief from the stomach. It has shown benefits in diabetes, inflammation, and cancer in several animal trials. It may also help in enhancing memory and mood improvement.3,6 However, you are advised to consult your healthcare provider or doctor before using Pudina for any of the disease conditions.

What are the uses of Pudina leaves?

Pudina leaves can be used for various culinary purposes, for example, fresh or dried leaves and flowers of Pudina can be used to prepare teas, beverages, sauces, jellies, and vinegar. Pudina leaves can also be added to fruit salads, peas, syrups, candies, ice creams, lamb dishes and Pudina sauce.1

Is it safe to use Pudina leaves during pregnancy?

No, Pudina may be harmful if consumed in large quantities during pregnancy because it may cause uterine damage. Therefore, excessive Pudina consumption should be avoided during pregnancy.7 also, before using any herb during pregnancy, make sure you have consulted your doctor about its limitations.

Also Read: Kutajarishta: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

References  

1. Mentha spicata (Mint, Spearmint) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 7]. Available from: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/mentha-spicata/ 

2. Snoussi M, Noumi E, Trabelsi N, Flamini G, Papetti A, de Feo V. Mentha spicata Essential Oil: Chemical Composition, Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities against Planktonic and Biofilm Cultures of Vibrio spp. Strains. Molecules [Internet]. 2015 Aug 1 [cited 2022 Apr 7];20(8):14402. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26262604/ 

3. Mahendran G, Verma SK, Rahman LU. The traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of spearmint (Mentha spicata L.): A review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2021 Oct 5;278:114266. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34087400/ 

4. Ahirrao RA, Borse LB, Borse SL, Bhavsar KC, Patel MU, Patel KM. Aathelminitic Activity Of Gulmohar And Pudina Plants. 2009. Available from: https://pharmacologyonline.silae.it/files/newsletter/2009/vol2/77.Ahirrao.pdf 

5. FoodData Central [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 6]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173475/nutrients 

6. Mahboubi M. Mentha spicata L. essential oil, phytochemistry and its effectiveness in flatulence. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 2021 Mar 1;11(2):75–81. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411017301037 

7. Spearmint: MedlinePlus Supplements [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 7]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/845.html 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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