Edible uses

Unknown part


Material uses

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Japanese mint, like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its essential oil[1] which has antiseptic properties and a beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. The whole plant is anaesthetic, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, galactofuge, refrigerant, stimulant, stomachic and vasodilator[2][3][4][1]. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments[5][1]. The leaves are a classical remedy for stomach cancer[4]. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses[5].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

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Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division[K]. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Mentha arvensis piperascens. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry[6][7][8]. This species tolerates much drier conditions than other members of the genus[9]. Prefers a slightly acid soil[7]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it also succeeds in partial shade. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[9]. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil[K]. The whole plant has a very strong scent of peppermint[10]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Polymorphic[8]. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies[11]. A good companion plant for growing near brassicas and tomatoes, helping to deter insect pests[12]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[13].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Mentha arvensis piperascens. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Mentha arvensis piperascens.




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Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Mentha arvensis piperascens
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


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    2. ? 2.02.1 ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    3. ? Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    4. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    5. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-050-0 (1977-00-00)
    8. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    9. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    10. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    11. ? Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden. ()
    12. ? 12.012.1 Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    13. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    14. ? Mabey. R. Food for Free. Collins ISBN 0-00-219060-5 (1974-00-00)
    15. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    16. ? Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    17. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    18. ? Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology. British Columbia Provincial Museum ISBN 0-7718-8117-7 (1979-00-00)
    19. ? Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    20. ? Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    21. ? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)