Calamintha sp. / Bergsteentijm

Namen: Clinopodium menthifolium - Bergsteentijm  |  Calament des bois  |  Woodland calamint  |  Wald-Bergminze

Bergsteentijm, Calamintha officinalis, is een struikachtige plant met onopvallende lichtpaarse bloemen en een sterke aromatische geur. Katten worden er door aangetrokken. In de USA wordt het zelfs gebruikt als lokaas voor wilde katten. 
Calamintha komt oorspronkelijk uit Europa en Azië, maar groeit nu ook in Noord-Amerika en Zuid-Afrika. Wordt gecultiveerd in het Middellandse Zeegebied, Polen en de USA. De etherische olie wordt gewonnen door stoomdestillatie van de bloemtoppen, is lichtgeel van kleur en heeft een houtachtige, scherpe geur. Van oudsher gebruikt bij nervositeit en spijsverteringsproblemen. 
In de aromatherapie gebruikt o.a. bij; koude rillingen, spierpijn, reuma, gewrichtsproblemen, menstruatiepijnen, kolieken, flatulentie, dyspepsie, slapeloosheid, nervositeit en stress. Calamintha is krampstillend en bevordert de menstruatie. * 

contra-indicatie: niet gebruiken tijdens de zwangerschap. Matig gebruiken, in hoge concentraties mogelijk toxisch

Calamintha nepeta Lesser Calamint / Pfaff database

Calamintha nepeta is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in). 
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife. 

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

The leaves have a strong pennyroyal-like fragrance and are more pungent than calamint (C. sylvatica). They can be used as a flavouring. A sweet and aromatic herb tea is made from the leaves.
Medicinal Uses

Aromatic;  Diaphoretic;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Stomachic.

Lesser calamint was commonly used as a medicinal herb in medieval times, though is little used by modern herbalists. It is sometimes cultivated as a medicinal herb for household use. The whole plant is aromatic, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge and stomachic. The leaves are harvested in July as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use. An infusion is beneficial in cases of flatulent colic and weaknesses of the stomach, it is also used to treat depression, insomnia and painful menstruation[238]. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women since in excess it can cause a miscarriage.

Phytother Res. 1999 Jun;13(4):349-51.Antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Calamintha nepeta and its constituent pulegone against bacteria and fungi.Flamini G1, Cioni PL, Puleio R, Morelli I, Panizzi L.
The chemical composition of the essential oil of Calamintha nepeta and its antimicrobial activity against Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella veneziana, S. paratyphi B. S. typhimurium, Fusarium moniliforme, Botrytis cinerea, Aspergillus niger and Pyricularia oryzae have been studied. Moreover the main constituents of the oil (limonene, menthone, pulegone, menthol) have been tested against the same microorganisms. Only pulegone showed antimicrobial activity, particularly against all the Salmonella species.

Summary of "Chemical composition and biological assays of essential oils of Calamintha nepeta (L.) Savi subsp. nepeta (Lamiaceae)."
Aerial parts of wild Calamintha nepeta (L.) Savi subsp. nepeta growing spontaneously on the Mediterranean coast (Sardinia Island, Italy) and on the Atlantic coast (Portugal) were used as a matrix for the supercritical extraction of volatile oil with CO(2). The collected extracts were analysed by GC-FID and GC-MS methods and their compositions were compared with that of the essential oil isolated by hydrodistillation, but the differences were not relevant. A strong chemical variability was observed in the essential oils depending on the origin of the samples. The results showed the presence of two chemotypes of C. nepeta. In all Italian samples, pulegone, piperitenone oxide and piperitenone were the main components (64.4-39.9%; 2.5-19.1%; 6.4-7.7%); conversely, the oil extracted from Portuguese C. nepeta is predominantly composed of isomenthone (35.8-51.3%), 1,8-cineole (21.1-21.4%) and trans-isopulegone (7.8-6.0%). The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimal lethal concentration (MLC) were used to evaluate the antifungal activity of the oils against Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, Candida krusei, Candida guillermondii, Candida parapsilosis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, Epidermophyton floccosum, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus flavus. The Italian oil, rich in pulegone, exhibited significant antifungal activity against Aspergillus and dermatophyte strains, with MIC values of 0.32-1.25 µL mL(-1).

Molecules. 2017 Feb 14;22(2). pii: E290. doi: 10.3390/molecules22020290.
Calamintha nepeta (L.) Savi and its Main Essential Oil Constituent Pulegone: Biological Activities and Chemistry.
Božović M1, Ragno R2,3.
Medicinal plants play an important role in the treatment of a wide range of diseases, even if their chemical constituents are not always completely recognized. Observations on their use and efficacy significantly contribute to the disclosure of their therapeutic properties. Calamintha nepeta (L.) Savi is an aromatic herb with a mint-oregano flavor, used in the Mediterranean areas as a traditional medicine. It has an extensive range of biological activities, including antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-ulcer and insecticidal properties. This study aims to review the scientific findings and research reported to date on Calamintha nepeta (L.) Savi that prove many of the remarkable various biological actions, effects and some uses of this species as a source of bioactive natural compounds. On the other hand, pulegone, the major chemical constituent of Calamintha nepeta (L.) Savi essential oil, has been reported to exhibit numerous bioactivities in cells and animals. Thus, this integrated overview also surveys and interprets the present knowledge of chemistry and analysis of this oxygenated monoterpene, as well as its beneficial bioactivities. Areas for future research are suggested.

Calamintha officinalis
Synonyms- Mill Mountain. Mountain Balm. Basil Thyme. Mountain Mint.
Following species of Calmintha are found to be useful for different diseases:
Calamintha acinos,  Calamintha alpina, Calamintha ascendens, Calamintha shei, Calamintha baetica, Calamintha baumgarteni, Calamintha chinensis, Calamintha clinopodium, Calamintha coccinea, Calamintha dentata, Calamintha exigua, Calamintha grandiflora, Calamintha graveolens, Calamintha nepeta, Calamintha nepetoides -

Part Used: Herb

Description: Calamint belongs to a genus closely related to both the Thymes and to Catnep and Ground Ivy. It is an erect, bushy plant with square stems, rarely more than a foot high, bearing pairs of opposite leaves, which, like the stems, are downy with soft hairs. The flowers bloom in July and August, and are somewhat inconspicuous, drooping gracefully before expansion: the corollas are of a light purple colour.

Constituents: It contains a camphoraceous, volatile, stimulating oil in common with the other mints. This is distilled by water, but its virtues are better extracted by rectified spirit.

Medicinal Actions and Uses: Diaphoretic, expectorant, aromatic. The whole herb has a sweet, aromatic odour and an infusion of the dried leaves, collected about July, when in their best condition and dried in the same way as Catmint tops, makes a pleasant cordial tea, which was formerly much taken for weaknesses of the stomach and flatulent colic. It is useful in hysterical complaints, and a conserve made of the young fresh tops has been used, for this purpose 7.

Ayurveda is a medical system primarily practiced in India that has been known for nearly 5000yrs. It includes diet and herbal remedies, while emphasizing the body, mind and spirit in disease prevention and treatment 8.

Hypoglycaemic effect of Calamintha officinalis Moench. in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a water extract from the aerial parts of Calamintha officinalis Moench., after either a single dose or daily oral administration for 15 days, on plasma blood glucose concentrations and basal insulin levels in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (STZ diabetic rats). The results clearly demonstrated the hypoglycaemic effect of this plant extract in both normal and STZ diabetic rats.

In addition, no changes were observed in basal plasma insulin concentrations after treatment with this plant in normal or STZ diabetic rats, indicating that the underlying mechanism of the plant’s pharmacological action seems to be independent of insulin secretion. We conclude that the aqueous C. officinalis extract exhibits a significant hypoglycaemic effect in normal and STZ diabetic rats without affecting basal plasma insulin concentrations, and supports, therefore, its traditional use by the Moroccan population 9.

Efficiency of Calamintha officinalis essential oil as preservative in two topical product types: C. officinalis essential oil confirmed its preservative properties but at higher concentration than that shown in previous studies on cetomacrogol cream.

Significance and Impact of the Study: The nature of the formulation in which an essential oil is incorporated as preservative could have considerable effect on  its efficacy 10.

Screening of some Greek Aromatic Plants for Antioxidant Activity: In this study, the in vitro antioxidant activity of the ethanol extracts obtained from 21 aromatic plants belonging to the Lamiaceae family was investigated 11.

Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of Calamintha officinalis Moench., Essential Oil: Calamintha officinalis Moench essential oil is used in cooking as an aromatic herb and also to improve the flavor and fragrance of several pharmaceutical products. The essential oil, obtained by hydrodistillation (5mL/kg), was analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and gas chromatography–flame ionization detection. Sixty-four components were identified, constituting 99.7% of the total oil. The major component was found to be carvone (38.7%), followed by neo-dihydrocarveol (9.9%), dihydrocarveol acetate (7.6%), dihydrocarveol (6.9%), 1,8 cineole (6.4%), cis-carvyl acetate (6.1%), and pulegone (4.1%).

The essential oil showed antifungal and antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. In addition, it presented a very low toxicity both in vivo (50% lethal dose > 100mg/kg) and in-vitro in Artemia salina test (50% lethal concentration >500μL/mL). C. officinalis essential oil, in rodents, produces the typical effects in behavior of a nonselective central nervous system-depressant drug; it potentiates the hypnotic effects of sodium pentobarbital, decreasing the induction time and enhancing the sleeping time. Moreover, it produces a decrease in body temperature and a protection against pentylenetetrazole-induced convulsions 12.

Antidiabetic and Antioxidant Activity of hydroxycinnamic acids from Calamintha officinalis Moench.: This study was undertaken to investigate the antidiabetic and antioxidant activities of crude extracts and pure compounds from the aerial parts of Calamintha officinalis Moench. (Lamiaceae). The aqueous extract showed the promising antidiabetic and antioxidant activities. Based on these findings, the aqueous extract was fractionated on a silica gel column chromatography in a bioassay-guided fractionation affording two known hydroxycinnamic acids showing potent activity rosamarinic acid and caffeic acid.

Both rosamarinic acid and caffeic acid exhibited significant activity, even more than the positive control, glibenclamide. The results indicated that Calamintha officinalis aqueous extract and the isolated compounds are potential natural agents for the control of diabetes 13.

Antibacterial, Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and other related Pharmacological Activities: This review describes the potential uses of essential oils from temperate aromatic plants. The constituents of the oils are mainly monoterpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons with the general formulae (C5H8)n. Oxygenated compounds derived from these hydrocarbons include alcohols, aldehydes, esters, ethers, ketones, phenols and oxides. It is estimated that there are more than 1000 monoterpene and 3000 sesquiterpene structures. The biological activity of the oils can be compared with the activity of synthetically produced pharmacological preparations and should be investigated in the same way. The main plant species and microorganisms investigated are covered in comprehensive tables and references. The brine shrimp bioassay used for the oil toxicity testing is described in detail 14.

Studies on Antiulcer Activity of essential oil of Calamintha officinalis Monech.: The present study was undertaken to determine the anti-ulcer potential of Calamintha officinalis Moench, a standardized oil of Calamintha officinalis Moench, commonly known as Calamint. Effect of various doses (0.4ml/kg and 0.8ml/kg,) of Calamintha officinalis Moench. oil was studied on gastric ulcers in pylorus ligation, Diclofenac sodium induced gastric mucosal injury in rats. Anti-ulcer activity was evaluated by measuring the ulcer index, gastric content, total acidity, and pH of gastric fluid. Calamintha officinalis Moench, dose dependently decreased gastric content, total acidity, ulcer index and increased pH of gastric fluid in pylorus ligation ulcer model.

In Diclofenac sodium induced ulcer models, all the doses of Calamintha officinalis Moench. oil decreased the ulcer index and increased the pH gastric fluid. These results supported the ethnomedical uses of oil of Calamintha officinalis Moench. in the treatment of gastric ulcer 15.

Protective Effect of Calamintha officinalis Moench Leaves against Alcohol-induced Gastric Mucosa injury in Rats:
Macroscopic, Histologic and Phytochemical Analysis: Calamintha officinalis Moench. (Lamiaceae) is an aromatic plant used since ancient times for its preservative and medicinal properties. The plant, known as ‘Mentuccia’ in Central Italy, is used in cooking as an aromatizant and to impart aroma and flavour to food. The methanol extract of the leaves was subjected to phytochemical and biological investigations. The extract contains polyphenols, catechic tannins and terpenes and shows radical scavenger activity.

By means of HPLC analysis, eriocitrin, eriodyctiol, acacetin, linarin, benzoic acid and some phenolic acids, such as caffeic, chlorogenic, p-coumaric, were determined. The gastroprotective activity of the extract was investigated using ethanol-induced ulcer in rats, with sucralfate as a reference drug. Samples of gastric mucosa, stained by PAS and haematoxylin/ eosin, were observed by light microscopy. The efficacy of the extract was comparable to that of the reference drug. Probably the gastroprotective effect depends on a synergistic action of all the compounds occurring in C. officinalis leaves, even if the antioxidant potential of the leaves plays an important role by removing damaging agents from the gastric mucosa 16.

CONCLUSION: It has been observed that plant Calamintha officinalis contains large amount of essential oil which have many useful pharamcolgical active compound however few are still not explored Pharmacologically. As mentioned in literature that sixty four compound were identified, but pharmacology is yet to be performed for many compound therefore, a lot of work is required to be carried out on Calamentha officinalis.

We are working on essential oil of the plant for heptoprotective activity, so in coming months, we will try to publish a research article in your esteemed journal.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The authors are indebted to Institute of pharmacy Bundelkhand University Jhansi and BIT mesra Ranchi for providing necessary facility like internet surfing, library and other technical support to write a review article.

  1. Tyler VE.  Public Health Nutrition. 3, 2000: 447–452
  2. Kamboj V P (2000) Current science. 78:35
  3. B. Ballabh and O.P. Chaurasia. J.Ethanopharmacoe., 112:341,2007
  4.  R. Perumal Samy and S. Ignacimuthu J.Ethanopharmacoe, 1988. 62:173
  5. Bhattacharyajee S.K. Handbook of Medicinal Plants. Pointer Publishers Jaipur, India 1998
  6. Nadkarni, K.M., Indian material medica ,Popular prakashan Bombay 2002,Vol II. 344-345.
  7. Chopra, R.N., Nayar, S.L.,Chopra, J.C., Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants CSIR New Delhi, 1956, 2.
  9. Lemhadri, A., Zeggwagh, N.A., Maghrani, M., Jouad, H.,  Michel, J.B.,Eddouks, M., “Hypoglycaemic effect of Calamintha officinalis Moench. in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats”. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Vol. 56, No. 6, 2004, 795.
  10. Nostro, A., Cannatelli, M. A., Morelli, I., Musolino, A. D., Scuderi, F.,Pizzimenti, F., Alonzo, V.“Efficiency of Calamintha officinalis essential oil as preservative in two topical product types” Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol. 97, (No.2) 2004, 395-401.
  11. Couladis, M., Tzakou, O., Verykokidou, E., Harvala, C.,“Screening of some Greek aromatic plants for antioxidant activity” Phytotherapy research. 2003, Feb,vol. 17, 2, 194-5.
  12. Maria Teresa Monforte, Olga Tzakou, Antonia Nostro, Vincenzo Zimbalatti, and Enza Maria Galati. “Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of Calamintha officinalis Moench Essential Oil” Journal of Medicinal Food. March 2011, 14(3): 297-303. doi:10.1089/jmf.2009.0191.
  13. P. P. Singh, S. Jha, R. Irchhaiya.  “Antidiabetic and antioxidant activity of hydroxycinnamic acids  from Calamintha Officinalis Medicinal Chemistry” Research publish on line June I. DOI 10.1007/s00044-011-9690-5 Publication of Springer.
  14. KP Svobodaet allfor the 21st century, ADEME/IENICA …, 1999 -
  15. Mohini Verma, R. Irchhaiya, P. P. Singh, Deepak Kailasiya and Vinod Kanaujia. “Studies on antiulcer activity of essential oil of calamintha officinalis monech.”Research, accepted 28 September, 2011  IJPSR (2011), Vol. 2, Issue 10.
  16. M. T. Monforte, F. Lanuzza, S. Pergolizzi, F. Mondello, O. Tzakou, E. M. Galati“Protective Effect of Calamintha officinalis Moench Leaves against Alcohol-induced Gastric Mucosa Injury in Rats. Macroscopic, Histologic and Phytochemical Analysis” Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011 DOI: 10.1002/ptr. 3647.

Le calament officinal en phytothérapie

Déposer comme ça, à brûle-pourpoint, que l'aromatique calament s'approche de la menthe par son parfum, c'est un peu court, c'est un peu bref, et ça ne prend pas. Son parfum, très agréable, est constitué d'une douceur balsamique pénétrante qui rappelle effectivement la menthe. Mais laquelle ? Le calament n'a pas les accents mentholés, forts et enivrants, de la menthe des champs, non plus que de la menthe poivrée. Il n'a rien de citronné comme la mélisse ou encore la menthe bergamote. L'on sent bien une menthe quand on froisse les feuilles du calament, peut-être une menthe verte, voire une menthe pouliot, en tous les cas quelque chose d'assez lourd et de robuste, contenant très probablement quelques cétones (à la matière de Calamintha incana, autre calament dont l'huile essentielle affiche entre autres choses de la pipéritone à l'analyse). Quelques informations, bien maigres, semblent avancer la présence de pulégone (molécule qui doit son nom au pouliot) au sein de l'huile essentielle de calament officinal que cette plante n'offre qu'en de toutes petites quantités (0,35 %). Cette dernière est peut-être comparable à la composition de l'huile essentielle de Calamintha pamphylia, contenant majoritairement de la pulégone (36 à 38 %) et de l'acétate de menthyle (10 à 28 %). Nous n'en sommes pas loin : le principal constituant biochimique de l'huile essentielle de calament officinal, c'est, non pas la pulégone, mais la carvone, plus exactement la même que l'on trouve en masse dans l'huile essentielle de menthe verte, c'est-à-dire la L-carvone. Il n'est donc pas totalement faux de dire que le calament officinal rappelle le parfum de la menthe. Ces quelques données demeurent du domaine de l'anecdote, puisque l'huile essentielle de calament officinal est quasi introuvable. Nous nous contenterons donc des feuilles et des fleurs, soit des sommités fleuries, et ce sera déjà pas mal vu les propriétés que cette belle plante oubliée sait prodiguer.

Propriétés thérapeutiques
Stimulant énergique, tonique, excitant
Digestif, stomachique, carminatif, vermifuge (?)
Expectorant, anticatarrhal
Sudorifique, fébrifuge
Emménagogue (?)
Astringent léger

Usages thérapeutiques
Troubles de la sphère gastro-intestinale : indigestion, atonie digestive, ensommeillement après repas, spasmes intestinaux, douleur gastrique, aérophagie, flatulence
Troubles de la sphère pulmonaire + ORL : catarrhe pulmonaire chronique, rhume, toux, infections respiratoires bénignes, asthme, « phtisie », bourdonnements d’oreilles
Troubles de la sphère gynécologique : aménorrhée
Défaillance, syncope, vertige
Migraine, maux de tête d'origine nerveuse

Modes d'emploi
Infusion de sommité fleuries sèches ou fraîches.
Décoction de sommités fleuries sèches ou fraîches dans du vinaigre avec adjonction de miel.
Décoction dans le vin blanc : « bouilli dans du vin blanc, il passait pour guérir infailliblement la mélancolie, d'où son nom populaire de 'Wohlgemut' (Bonne-humeur) » que lui accordèrent nos amis allemands (6), plus au fait des propriétés thérapeutiques du calament que nous autres Français.
Teinture alcoolique simple ou composée (= eau d'arquebusade, un vulnéraire tombé depuis longtemps en désuétude).

Précautions d'emploi, contre-indications, autres informations
Récolte : autrefois, sans que j'en saisisse bien la raison, l'on conseillait de cueillir le calament avant le 21 août. Il est bien possible d'étendre cette activité tant que dure la floraison de cette plante. C'est ce à quoi je me suis livré la semaine du 15 octobre dans la Drôme, où j'ai croisé un petit gisement de cette plante à 800 m d'altitude.

Séchage : aussi simple et facile que celui de la menthe, et, de plus, excessivement rapide (dans de bonnes conditions – au sec et à l'ombre – il faut compter 4 à 5 jours). On peut pendre les rameaux sur des fils ou bien les placer bien à plat sur une claie si l'on dispose d'assez d'espace. Une fois sec, le calament se conserve parfaitement bien si on le garde de la lumière et de l’humidité. Ainsi, cela garantit tant son parfum que son utilité thérapeutique.
Il a été signalé la (neuro)toxicité de l'huile essentielle de calament officinal. Vu le peu que l'on sait au sujet de sa composition, l'on s'en doutait un peu, les cétones qu'elle contient pouvant amener des accidents convulsifs. On n'utilisera donc pas cette plante, même par le biais de la phytothérapie, durant la grossesse.

Autres espèces : - Le clinopode (Calamintha clinopodium), alias basilic sauvage, grand origan des haies ou encore « pied de lit », en raison « de ses fleurs en verticilles entassés et arrondis, imitant très bien une roulette de pied de lit » (7). - L'acinos (Calamintha acinos), petite plante maigre et annuelle, assez semblable au serpolet, très peu usité en phytothérapie. - Le calament népéta (Calamintha nepeta), à ne pas confondre avec la cataire ou herbe à chat (Nepeta cataria). - Le calament alpestre (Calamintha alpina). - Le calament à grandes fleurs (Calamintha grandiflora). Bien qu'on le dise « thé d’Aubrac », on le croise par ailleurs : je l'ai vu dans le nord de l'Isère en septembre dernier cf. photo ci-dessous).