Yerba buena (Mentha arvensis) Herbal Medicine

This article discusses the medicinal uses, health Benefits, side effects and warnings of Yerba buena.

Yerba buena also commonly called mint posses aromatic properties and flavour that is widely used in varieties of cuisines. It is also used in traditional medicine since ancient times providing a long list of health benefits from skin to cancer prevention. Discover the many used this wonderful aromatic plant.

Yerba buena

Scientific Name: Mentha spicata, Mentha arvensis

Other names:

Hierba buena (Spain.), Minta (Italy), Minze (Germany), Marsh mint (English), Mint, peppermint (Engl.), Po-ho (China.)

Yerba buena (Mentha arvensis Linn) is a rambling aromatic herb of the mint family that is known and used as herbal medicine worldwide.

Yerba Buena is a perennial plant that grows up to 1 meter in height with oblong shaped leaves with toothed margins. Flowers are hairy and the color is bluish to purplish with axillary head like whorls.

Yerba Buena are grown throughout the world from North America to Asia. The plant takes the form of a sprawling, mat-forming perennial, and is especially abundant close to the coast.

Yerba Buena is more popular for its culinary application because of its minty flavor. Used in salads and as flavor for cooking foods. Yerba buena aroma is also used for scents and fragrances.

Yerba buena Traditional Medicinal Uses

Yerba buena is largely used in traditional herbal medicine for various conditions.

Yerba buena is also known for its medicinal properties. Yerba buena is used as herbal medicine for the treatment of many ailments which has been traditionally used since ancient times. Studies have shown that Yerba buena contains pulegone, menthol, menthene, menthenone and limonene.

Common Health benefits from Yerba buena are as follows:

Digestive disorder.  Yerba Buena has long been used to provide relief for abdominal pain, indigestion, loss of appetite, passage of gas, diarrhea and stomach ache. It is known to relax the digestive tract muscles.
Bad breath. Yerba Buena has this minty scent and flavour that can improve the foul odour emanating from the mouth. Yerba Buena or mint is widely used in commercial mouth washes or flavouring for gums and candies.
Skin tonic. Yerba Buena has long been used to improve the tone of the skin and widely used to treat acne breakouts, removal of black heads, lightening of dark spots and dry skin.
Insect bites. Yerba Buena leaf is crushed over insect bites and stings to alleviate itching and pain and to hasten recovery.
Weight loss. Yerba Buena tea or mint tea is usually taken after meal to improve digestion and burning of fat.
Relaxant. Yerba Buena tea is taken as a relaxant to combat stress and anxiety. It is also used in vaporizers to calm the body and as scent mixed over baths.
Nausea, Morning sickness, fainting. The scent  from burning Yerba Buena leaves can calm nausea accompanied to early stages of pregnancy. The leaves can also be crushed before the nostrils thus the scent can be inhaled.
Menstrual cramps. Yerba Buena is taken to calm symptoms of menstrual cramps, dysmenorrhea and induce the flow of menstruation.
Asthma. The minty scent of yerba Buena is used to alleviate the attacks of asthma by calming the muscles in the respiratory system. The scent can come from extracted oil as used in vaporizers or by burning the leaves and inhaling the fumes.
Antioxidant. The Rosmarinic acid found in yerba buena is a known strong antioxidant. It can counteract the oxidation of free radicals that prevents the formation of cancer cells.
Anti-Allergy. The romarinic acid in yerba Buena inhibits the formation of leukotrienes, an agent responsible for allergic reactions. Yerba Buena is used to treat hay fever.
Coughs and Colds. The minty scent and flavour of Yerba Buena is used in vaporizers to unclog the nasal passage due to accumulation of phlegm and helps to relieve inflammation. It also acts as an expectorant.
Antibacterial and Antifungal properties. Yerba Buena oil is used to treat various skin infections and conditions that include eczema, insect bites, scars and wounds, burns, scabies, ringworms and other skin infections.
Pain reliever. The minty and relaxing effect of yerba Buena is used as a topical aid in alleviating the pain associated with arthritis, gout, headache and other body and joint pains.
Tooth and mouth diseases. Yerba Buena is chewed to treat toothache and a decoction can be gargled to treat mouth sores and ulcers, gum disease and even swollen tonsils and sore throats.

Scientific Studies Relating to Yerba buena Health Benefits

Antifertility investigation and toxicological screening of the petroleum ether extract of the leaves of Mentha arvensis L. in male albino mice 

A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology April 2001, found the temporary infertility effect of yerba buena leaf extract In male albino mice, the petroleum ether extract of the leaves of Mentha arvensis L., at the doses 10 and 20 mg/mouse per day for 20, 40 and 60 days, when administered orally, showed a dose and duration dependent reduction in the number of offspring of the treated male mated with normal females. The results suggest that the petroleum ether extract of the leaves of Mentha arvensis possess reversible antifertility property without adverse toxicity in male mice.

Anti-Candida activity of Brazilian medicinal plants 

A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology Feb. 2005, has reported that the essential oils and ethanolic extracts from the leaves and/or roots of 35 medicinal plants commonly used in Brazil were screened for anti-Candida albicans activity.. Essential oils from 13 plants showed anti-Candida activity, including Aloysia triphyllaAnthemis nobilis,Cymbopogon martiniCymbopogon winterianusCyperus articulatusCyperus rotundus,Lippia albaMentha arvensisMikania glomerataMentha piperitaMentha sp., Stachys byzantina, and Solidago chilensis.. Chemical analyses showed the presence of compounds with known antimicrobial activity, including 1,8-cineole, geranial, germacrene-d, limonene, linalool, and menthol.

Enhancement of the antibiotic activity against a multiresistant Escherichia coli by Mentha arvensis L. and chlorpromazine.

A study published in the journal of Chemotheraphy 2008, reported the testing of the antibiotic resistance-modifying activity of Mentha arvensis. It concluded and suggested that extracts from Mentha arvensis (yerba buena) could be used as a source of plant-derived natural products with resistance-modifying activity, such as in the case of gentamicin, constituting a new weapon against bacterial resistance to antibiotics, as with chlorpromazine.

Antioxidant, antimicrobial, cytotoxic and analgesic activities of ethanolic extract of Mentha arvensis L

In a study published in , it reported that the extract showed free radical scavenging activity in the DPPH assay (IC50∼41 μg/mL) compared to the standard antioxidant ascorbic acid (IC50∼19 μg/mL). The extract also produced prominent antimicrobial activity against Salmonella typhiSalmonella paratyphiShigella boydiiStreptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus aureuscompared to standard drug kanamycin at the dose of 30 μg/disc.. In analgesic test, the extract demonstrated statistically significant (P<0.01) analgesic effect in acetic acid induced writhing in white albino mice at both dose levels. These results suggest that the ethanolic extract of Mentha arvensis L. has potential antioxidant, antibacterial, cytotoxic and analgesic activities that support the ethnopharmacological uses of this plant.

Ameliorative role of Mentha arvensis against the Aluminum induced Oxidative Stress in Albino mice

In the study, aluminum administration induced oxidative damage by increase in LPO levels and decrease in SOD and CAT levels in brain, liver and kidney tissues of albino mice. M. arvensis administered group showed a direct evidence on effective antioxidant role of M. arvensis against aluminum induced oxidative damage without causing any toxic effect and for the first time establishes the ameliorative role of M. arvensis in order to minimize the adverse effects caused by aluminium.

Hepatoprotective And Antioxidant Activity Of Ethanol Extract Of Mentha arvensis Leaves Against Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Hepatic Damage In Rats

Phytochemical studies of ethanol extract of M. arvensis showed the presence of alkaloids, carbohydrates, glycosides, flavonoids, triterpenoids and tannins.. The elevated levels of serum AST, ALT, ALP and total and direct bilirubin were significantly reduced in extract treated groups when compared to the CCl4 treated control group. The antioxidant study revealed MDA level increased in CCl4 treated group,. The groups treated with 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg bw of ethanol extract of leaves was significantly increased the levels of GSH, SOD and CAT. Standard drug silymarin (50 mg/kg bw) also shown significant results. By observing the results, the ethanol extract of M. arvensis leaves has shown dose dependent activity.

In vitro anticancer activity of extracts of Mentha Spp. against human cancer cells.

In vitro anticancer potential of methanolic and aqueous extracts of whole plants of Mentha arvensis, M. longifolia, M. spicata and M. viridis at concentration of 100 μg/ml was evaluated against eight human cancer cell lines-(breast, colon, glioblastoma, lung, leukemia and prostate) using sulphorhodamine blue (SRB) assay. Methanolic extracts of above-mentioned Mentha Spp. displayed anti-proliferative effect in the range of 70-97% against four human cancer cell lines, ; however, aqueous extracts were found to be active against HCT-116 and PC-3. The results indicate that Mentha Spp. contain certain constituents with cytotoxic properties which may find use in developing anticancer agents.

Yerba buena Dosage and Safe Usage

Where can I get or buy Yerba buena?

Yerba buena plant .

Yerba buena can be cultivated and grown in a pot or garden. The plant can be available in your local plant nursery or contact your local horticulturist.

Yerba buena containing products such as massage oils, mouth washes, cosmetics and even purified oils and tinctures can be commercially available in supermarkets, health stores and pharmacies.

Yerba buena herbal tea

Commercial Yerba buena herbal tea is available in tea bags and powders. Most health stores sells this as a regular item. Yerba buena is also available through online orders and delivery. Hierba Buena - Spearmint Herbal Tea has Full Spectrum potent concentration. It is naturally prepared without the use of toxic ingredients, such as harsh chemical preservatives to ensure all the active and synergistic constituents just like what nature intended. This Yerba buena herbal tea is available in Amazon along with other Yerba buena extracts.

Yerba buena Herbal Capsules and extracts.

Yerba buena capsuleYerba buena herbal capsules and tablets are also readily available in the market. Yerba buena in capsule and tablet forms are easier to partake avoiding the hassles of preparing the Yerba buena tea. There are now a lot being sold in the market, but it is best that you buy from a reputable company that produces high quality Yerba buena capsules.

What is the usual dosage for Yerba buena?

Yerba buena herbal tea is widely used as a popular health drink for its various health benefits. For most adults, it is safe to consume Yerba buena up to 4 cups per day for a period of 1 week for medicinal use. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor.

How to make Yerba buena herbal remedy?

The following details the preparation of Yerba buena herbal tea from dried leaves

Yerba buena dry leavesYerba buena teaYerba buena herbal tea

  1. Dry Yerba buena leaves for about two weeks
  2. Crush Yerba buena leaves into pieces
  3. Boil the dried Yerba buena leaves in water.
  4. 1 tablespoon of dried Yerba buena leaves to one cup water.
  5. Let it seep for 30 minutes,
  6. Strain the leaves.
  7. Take the Yerba buena herbal tea for 4 to 6 times daily.

The following details the preparation of Yerba buena herbal tea from fresh leaves

  1. Mix about 3 tablespoon of cut leaves for every cup of water
  2. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and let it steep
  4. Strain and store in a glass jar.
  5. Consumed 3 to 4 cups a day.
  6. The tea can be sweetened by honey or mixed with other herbs for a more potent mixture.

Yerba Buena poultice for topical application

  1. Gather fresh leaves of yerba Buena
  2. Pound or cut the leaves
  3. Extract the juice
  4. Apply or massage over to the affected area as may be needed.

Yerba Buena Inhaler

  1. Put 4 to 5 drops of yerba Buena oil or 10 fresh leaves to a bowl of water
  2. Let it boil.
  3. Inhale the vapor

The fumes from  burning the leaves can also be inhaled.

Yerba buena Warnings and Side Effects

Yerba buena just like most herbal plants are safe for use in recommended dosages and at limited time.

Pregnancy and Breast feeding. Yerba buena may be safe if consumed in amounts as normally found in foods. While small portion of Yerba buena may be used to alleviate nausea during pregnancy, caution is advised if to be taken in medicinal dosages. There is no sufficient studies made relating to side effects of Yerba buena in pregnancy and breast feeding. It is better to stay on the safe side.

Pediatric. Do not give Yerba buena to an infant or small child. Do not apply Yerba buena oil to infant's skin, it can cause life-threatening breathing problems. Yerba buena tea may be too strong to cause a burning sensation in the mouth. For older children, a special formulation (pharmacuetical grade) may be given for indigestion or upset stomach.

Acid reflux or GERD. The calming and relaxing effect to the muscles of yerba buena tea can open the sphincter, leaking stomach acid unto the esophagus, worsening the GERD condition.

Toxicity. Yerba buena in its purified form such as in tincture or oil, can be toxic if taken in large dosage.

Diabetes. Yerba buena can lower the glucose content in the blood. Caution is advised when taking sugar lowering drug.

Hypertension. Yerba buena can lower blood pressure. Caution is advised when taking blood pressure lowering drugs as Yerba buena can strengthen its effects.

Infertility. Yerba buena has been found to cause temporary infertility in mice model that is reversible upon stoppage of use.

Skin irritation. Extended contact to Yerba buena can cause skin irritation.

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Article last reviewed: 10.21.2016