Walter Schmid schmid at
Mon Sep 12 14:29:42 EST 1994

Regarding:                    RE>Mint
Michealle Neal (mln3 at writes:"Does anyone know why a mint plant
produces the stuff that we use for mint flavoring, etc.?

To begin with, I don't think we should ask WHY.

But any way, in Taiz and Zeiger ("Plant Physiology" page 324) it says
"...the chief monoterpene constituent of peppermint oil is menthol...
...[Essential oils] are frequently found in glandular hairs that project
outward from the epidermis and serve to "advertise" the toxicity of the
plant, repelling potential herbivores even before they take a trial bite."
They cite Croteau and Johnson (Biosynthesis of terpenoids in glandular
trichomes. In: Biologyand Chemistry of Plant Trichomes, Rodriguez, _et al._
pages 133-138. Plenum Press, New York. 1984). 

I guess that's the explanation I have always heard; I'm not sure of any

schmid at

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