Not much is known about the herb Muna and its real potentials. The herb is popular among the local people where it is found. Muna is found only in the following parts of the world – Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
The herb is known as the Andean Mint by the locals as it is native to the central Andes of South America. The aromatic odor of the leaves of Muna is also used by the locals to repel pests and parasites. Here, we discuss more about the health related benefits of this rare herb:
What is Muna?
Muna is an herb with a botanical name of Mintostachys setosa. The herb is also known by the following names – Muna muna, La Muña, Arash muña, una etc. To grow, Muna needs a humid climate and is usually seen in rocky and steep high altitude areas.
Muna is a deciduous herb that looks like a shrub and can grow up to a height of 1.5 m. The herb has white colored tubular flowers and a very sweet aroma. As a plant, muna has many small dense, erect and parallel branches, and equally small ovate leaves that are placed opposite to each other.
In some of the South American houses, the branches of the herb are used to sweep the floor to avoid fleas in the house. Similarly, in some parts of Bolivia and Peru Muna along with potatoes are used for the safe preservation of tubers. Apart from making sure that the tubers are safe from pests, muna also prevents the growth of tuber buds.
How does it Work?
In the Andes, Muna is known for the following medicinal properties – digestive, anti-septic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic and anti-phlegm.
Health Benefits of Muna
The following are some of the health benefits of Muna:
Muna tea is often used by the South Americans to treat various ailments of the digestive system.The herb helps in treating stomach spasms, gastric issues, indigestion, colic and even bacterial diarrhea. Apart from tea, the herb is also used in soups for solving digestive complaints.
Muna is also used for reducing the symptoms of cold and fever, especially those related to the respiratory system. It is believed that the herbal tea made using muna & honey was regularly consumed by the Incas to treat respiratory problems. According to some herbalists, muna helps in dilating the bronchial tracts and acts as an expectorant. Many locals use muna to treat bronchial asthma and pulmonary infections.
Muna oil is anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory in nature. Therefore, it is used externally to treat skin conditions such as rheumatism, wounds and bruises, skin fungus, muscle sores etc.
Apart from the above, the herb is also used to regulate menstruation and to reduce nervous trembling. It is also used to improve the eye sight and to treat liver infections.
Mix 10 drops of muna extract with water and use the infusion once or twice per day. To make muna tea, mix 5 grams of the herbal extract in half a liter of water and steep for 5 minutes.
There are no known side effects associated with this herb when appropriate dosage levels are followed.
According to many, Muna has a very strong and vibrant flowery fragrance that can rarely be matched by any other herb in the Andes region. Muna is largely cultivated and harvested in Argentina. Due to its unique aroma, muna is also used as a flavoring agent in soups.
For medicinal preparations, the leaves and stems of the herb are used. The herbal extract from muna is usually obtained by the process of steam distillation. Muna oil is available in the herbal market and can be found in 10 ml, 100 ml, 1 L and 25 L packs.
Not known due to the lack of reliable scientific studies conducted using this herb.