Mint (Bo He)


Mint (Bo He)

Botanical Name: Mentha (Menthae haplocalyx, Mentha arvenis)

Mint has been historically enjoyed as a tea and food flavoring. It is a well known cooling herb that can promote sweating, ease colds and flus, and aide headaches, menstrual cramps and other aches and pains.

Below is an overview of mint, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of mint.

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Western Name: Mint

Also Known As: Brandy Mint, English Mint

Organs/Systems: Head, Sinus, Skin, Stomach, Muscles

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Astringent, Antispetic, Antibacterial, Decongestant, Expectorant, Antiviral, Diaphoretic, Carminative, Stomachic, Stimulant. Stomach aches, chest pains, irratible bowel syndrome, aromatherapy, nausea, breath freshner, skin tonic, deoderant, gall stones, common cold, menstrual cramps, constricted muscles, aches and pains, hiccups, headaches, relieve stress.


Pin Yin: Bo He

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Lung, Liver

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Cool Acrid Herb that Releases to Exterior/Disperses Wind Heat: colds due to wind heat patterns with fever, headache, cough, sore throat, and red itchy eyes. Vents Rashes: used in early stages of rashes (ie measles) to induce rash to surface and speed recovery. Frees Constrained Liver Qi with pressure in chest or flanks, emotional instability and gynecological problems. Considered strongest cooling herb to promote sweating.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Mint grows in many environments, but they grow best in wet environments and moist soils. Native to Mediterranean and western Asia. Cultivated throughout China, especially in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Jiangxi. Mints are aromatic, almost exclusively pernnial, with wide-spreading underground and overground stolons and erect, square, branched stems. Leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, with downy and serrated margins. Leaf color can be dark green, grey-green, purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow. Flowers are white to purple and the fruit is a nutlet containing one to four seeds. They grow fast, can be considered invasive, and can interbreed easily which makes it difficult to distinguish all the varieties.

Mint (Bo He) Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaf, Tender Stalks

Flavors/Temps: Acrid, Aromatic, Cooling

Caution: Some people are allergic to mint. Not recommended for nursing mother’s as may lead to insufficient lactation.

History/Folklore: Known in Greek mythology as the herb of hospitality as it was one of the first herbs to be used as a room deodorizer. It was strewn across the floor to cover the smell of the hard-packed soil. Stepping on it helped spread the scent throughout the room. The name mint derives from the Greek name of the nymph Minthe (Pluto’s lover) who was transformed into a mint plant. The Greeks also used the plant to stop hiccups and clear the voice. Romans used it as a digestive aid and mouth freshener then introduced it to Britain. Likely taken to the U.S. by the pilgrims for cultivation and use. The ancient Pharisees received tithes of mint, anise and cumin, proving the herb’s high esteem in that culture. Culpepper said, “Rose leaves and mint, heated and applied outwardly cause rest and sleep.” He also said, “The decoction or distilled water, helps in the stinking breath proceeding from corruption of teeth; and stuffed up the nose, purges the head.” In the 14th century, mint was used to whiten teeth with the distilled oil used to flavor toothpastes; it was also added to candies and perfumed soaps. Mint is harvested at least two to three times a year, depending on the region.

Key Constituents:

Carvone, phellandrine, limonene, Dihydrocarvel acetate. Esters of acetic, butyric, and caprylic acid are also present.

Did you know?

Repels Pests

Mints make excellent companion plants, repelling pesky insects and attracting beneficial ones. Often used as environmentally friendly insecticide to kill common pests like wasps, hornets, ants, and cockroaches.


Reduce Caffeine

To reduce the tannic and caffeine effects in your tea, use mint, spearmint, or peppermint sprigs while steeping your tea.

Fun fact!

Three Chief Species

There are three chief species of mint in cultivation and general use: spearmint (M. viridis), peppermint (M. piperita), and pennyroyal (M. pulegium).


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References: For a complete list of references please visit our References and Resources page. Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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