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Phytother Res. 2010 Jun;24(6):869-74. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3037.

Neuroprotective and neurochemical properties of mint extracts.

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Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.


Mints are aromatic plants with a tradition as medicinal remedies and culinary herbs. With the aim of investigating potential central nervous system (CNS) activities of traditional medicinal plants, four species and one hybrid of the genus Mentha (M. aquatica, M. longifolia, M. pulegium, M. suaveolens and M. x piperita) were selected. Methanolic extracts of the plants were tested for protective effects against hydrogen-peroxide-induced toxicity in PC12 cells, antioxidant activity (by ABTS and X/XO methods) and neurochemical properties (MAO-A inhibition, AChE inhibition and affinity to the GABA(A) receptor). Mentha x piperita and Mentha aquatica produced significant (p < 0.05) protection of the PC12 cells against oxidative stress. All the plants exhibited antioxidant and MAO-A inhibitory activities, M. x piperita being the most active. M. aquatica showed the highest affinity to the GABA(A)-receptor assay. Results demonstrate that mints might have effect on the CNS.

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