What Is Bo He (Mentha or Mint)

Bo He is also known as Mentha or Mint, which is a perennial plant belonging to Labiatae. It has high medicinal value and is an economic crop.

There are 25 species of Mentha all over the world. They are all distributed in temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Most of them are mentha for direct consumption. Some toothpastes, shower gels, perfumes, drinks, and sweets contain its extracts.

Ancient Greeks often used Bo He after drinking. They thought that it can dispel the effects of alcohol. Moroccans often drink Bo He tea. They believe that Bo He tea can eliminate the greasy feeling of food and promote digestion.

In China, Bo He is a vegetable and Chinese herbal medicine. It was used as Chinese herbal medicine in 650 AD. In the spring and autumn of each year, the stems and leaves of Bo He are picked, cut into sections, and dried at low temperature to make Chinese herbs.

In Chinese medicine, the medicinal property of Bo He is relatively cool, with a spicy taste and fragrance. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung and liver meridians.

There are more than 300 traditional Chinese medicine formulas containing Bo He. It is an important component of Feng You Jing, Wan Jin You, Zheng Gu Shui, and Xiao Yao Wan.

Health benefits of Bo He (Mint)

  • Enhancing blood supply to the gastric mucosa and promoting digestion.
  • Treating wind-heat, sore throat, headache, mouth sores, bad breath, and upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Treating acute pharyngitis, mumps, hepatitis, optic neuritis, epidemic encephalitis, and epidemic encephalitis.
  • Reducing the secretion of human chorionic gonadotropin, and preventing sperm implantation, and early pregnancy.
  • Increasing the secretion of respiratory mucus, dispelling phlegm, relieving cough and regulating respiratory function.
  • Exciting the central nervous system, dilating the capillaries, promoting the secretion of sweat glands, and lowering the body temperature.
  • The topical application of Bo He water has the effect of cooling, relieving itching, reducing inflammation and relieving pain.

Bo He is used with other Chinese herbs

  • Bo He with Long Yan Rou (Arillus Longan) can treat chronic urticaria.
  • Bo He with Jing Jie (Schizonepeta tenuifolia), Jiang Can (Bombyx Batryticatus), Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi), and Gan Cao (Licorice Root) can treat sore throat, acute tonsillitis
  • Bo He with Ding Xiang (Flos Caryophylli), Hou Po (Magnolia Bark) and Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae) can eliminate halitosis and treat aphthous.
  • Bo He with Pang Da Hai (Boat-fruited Scaphium Seed) and Shi Chang Pu (Rhizoma Acori Graminei) can cure aphasia.
  • Bo He with Yi Yi Ren (Semen Coicis) and Lu Dou (Mung Bean) can clear heat and remove toxin, eliminate acne.

Side effects of Bo He

Drugs and food containing Bo He have been widely used and it has almost no side effects.

A small number of people may have abdominal cramps, diarrhea, headache, heartburn, tingling or numbness around the mouth, and contact dermatitis due to allergy to Bo He.

Excessive use of it may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, sweating, thirst, numbness of limbs, trance, coma, slow heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and liver damage.

Precautions of Bo He

  • The dosage of Bo He should be controlled at 3-6g.
  • It contains volatile oil, so it is not suitable for long-term decocting. It can be made into tea.
  • Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should not take it. It can inhibit lactic secretion.
  • People with hyperhidrosis, eczema, lung deficiency, yin deficiency or loose stools should not take it.
  • Taking it at night may cause nerves exciting and insomnia.

Inedible Bo He

Mentha arvensis and Mentha pulegium are inedible. The menthol content of these two kinds of Bo He is about 70% – 90%. 2g of menthol may cause death.

Eating them in small amounts can also cause harm to the body. They can repel mosquitoes and are easy to plant.