This was used in China and Japan atleast 2,000 years ago. Japanese literature says it as a good diuretic. Also mentioned as having the character of pepper. From the Pharmacographica it is clear that Dr. Eales observed it and communicated to Ray, who noticed it in his Synopsis, in 1696. In Europe peppermint became practically known.
It was introduced from Japan and cultivated in Jammu and Kashmir at an altitude of 270-1,500 m.
It is a downy perennial herb with running rootstocks and rigid branching stem. The leaves are lanceolate or oblong, sharply toothed, shortly petioled or sessile, with minute hairs. The flowers are purplish, in loose verticillasters, in rather distant nodes.
The plant on steam distillation yields a volatile oil called as Japanese mint oil or as Japanese peppermint oil. Menthol is the one of the active components of the oil.
It has analgesic and antiseptic activities (Harborne, J.B., 1999, Phytochemical Dictionary, Taylor and Francis Ltd., London).
No adverse effect was reported on use of the volatile as medicine.
It is used as carminative, expectorant.