Pleasant Himalayan Mint
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Pleasant Himalayan Mint
P Native Photo: Gary Thingnam
Common name: Pleasant Himalayan Mint • Manipuri: ꯀꯥꯡꯍꯨꯃꯥꯟ Kanghuman • Nepali: बन सिलाम Ban silam • Tangkhul: Ngarikna • Mizo: Lengser-suak
Botanical name: Elsholtzia blanda    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Perilla elata, Aphanochilus blandus

Pleasant Himalayan Mint is an erect herb, 1-1.5 m tall. Stems and branches are densely velvet-hairy. Leaf-stalks are 3-15 mm, densely velvet-hairy; leaf blade elliptic to elliptic-lanceshaped, 3-16 x 0.8-4.5 cm, above finely velvet-hairy, glandular, below gray-green, hairless, bristly on veins, base narrowly wedge-shaped, margin sawtoothed, tip tapering. Flowers are borne in spikes at branch-ends or in leaf-axils. Flower-spikes are one-sided, 4-8 cm long, mostly velvet-hairy; verticillasters 7-10-flowered, short stalked; bracts subulate to lanceshaped-subulate, 1.5-3 mm. Flower-stalks are less than 1 mm. Calyx is cylindric, 2-2.5 mm, bristly outside, teeth lanceshaped; fruiting calyx slightly dilated at base, ovoid. Flowers are white, 3-4 mm, bristly outside, nearly hairless inside, funnelfrom, throat up to 2 mm wide; upper lip notched; middle lobe of lower lip nearly circular, slightly concave; lateral lobes semicircular, margin entire. Anterior stamens protruding, posterior 2 slightly longer. Nutlets are yellow-brown, oblong, about 0.8 mm. Pleasant Himalayan Mint is found in the Himalayas, from Nepal to Bhutan, Bengal, NE India, SW China, Burma, Indo-China, Malaysia, at altitudes of 800-2500 m. Flowering: June-October.
Medicinal uses: Fresh leaves are eaten for reducing high bloods pressure. Extract of inflorescence is used as gargle in tonsillitis. Leaf paste is applied on forehead in dizziness. Leaf decoction is eaten in cough and dyspepsia. Leaf infusion is useful for application to apathy and sore throat.

Identification credit: Thingnam Sophia, Thingnam Rajshree Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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