8 Amazing Benefits of Indian Borage (Mexican Mint)

The most impressive health benefits of Indian Borage (also known as Mexican Mint) include its ability to improve the health of your skin, detoxify the body, defend against colds, ease the pain of arthritis, relieve stress and anxiety, treat certain kinds of cancer, and optimize digestion.

What is Indian Borage (Mexican Mint)?

If you happen to stumble across a small green perennial plant in Africa that smells like oregano, there’s a good chance you’ve found Indian borage, which is also known as Mexican Mint, Spanish thyme, country borage, and other colloquial names. Although it is native to parts of southern and Eastern Africa, the demand for this beneficial herb has caused cultivation to spread to other tropical areas around the world with suitable growing conditions. The plant, whose scientific name is Plectranthus amboinicus, is very hardy and grows quickly, requires little water, and can even grow in colder conditions if the weather changes dramatically.

The leaves are the most sought-after parts of this plant, as they are ideal for flavoring meat and vegetable dishes, while the ground up dried leaves can be added to soups, stews, and other meals as an herb. While essential oils can be extracted from the leaves, they are more commonly used in full or powdered form and can be eaten normally or can be rubbed topically on the skin for some of its effects. Speaking of medicinal uses, let’s take a closer look at some of the health benefits of Indian borage.

IndianborageHealth Benefits of Indian Borage (Mexican Mint)

Health benefits of Indian borage (Mexican mint) includes:

Cures Respiratory Issues

If you are suffering from a cold, a sore throat, congestion, a stuffy nose, or painful sinuses, you can chew on the leaves of Indian borage or brew a tea from the leaves. The compounds contained in the herb act as a powerful expectorant to eliminate mucus and phlegm from your respiratory tracts and clear out your sinuses. This can also help to boost your immune system by preventing bacteria or other pathogens from lodging and developing in your tracts.

borageinfoSkin Care

One of the most popular uses of Indian borage is an effective skin treatment. From bug bites and stings to eczema and psoriasis, Indian borage possesses the anti-inflammatory compounds that can quickly reduce redness and swelling, while also eliminating itchiness and irritation.

Omega-6 Content

If you do choose to extract the essential oil from the leaves of Indian borage, the volatile compounds in that extract include omega-6 fatty acids, such as gamma-linolenic acid. This specific fatty acid has been linked to reducing arthritis by increasing joint regeneration; this can also be important for athletes or those with osteoporosis who have regular impact stress on their joints and bones.

Vitamin C and A

The high content of ascorbic acid found in the herb makes it important as an immune system booster, while the carotenoids and vitamin A content can improve vision, reducing oxidative stress in the eyes, and prevent macular degeneration.

Cancer Prevention

Indian borage has recently come back into the news because of research showing its positive effect on treating breast cancer; although the studies are still in progress, early reports show that the antioxidant of this herb, as well as the omega-6 gamma-linoleic acids, are effective in slowing the spread of breast cancer. The herb’s effect on prostatitis, one of the early indicators of prostate cancer, is also being studied.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Although this is one of the lesser-known benefits of Indian borage, some of the organic compounds and minerals found in this herb have been shown to be mildly sedative in nature, so this herbal remedy, particularly in tea form, is often offered to people with high anxiety or chronic stress to induce relaxation, peace of mind, and healthy, restful sleep.

Improves Kidney Health

Indian borage acts as a very effective diuretic, which means that it can clean the body of toxins by stimulating urination; this also reduces the amount of excess salt, fat, and water in the body, keeping the kidneys and lymphatic system functioning smoothly.

Treats Fever

If you are suffering from a cold or flu, one of the common symptoms is a fever. Typically, you don’t start getting better until your fever “breaks”, as a sign that your immune system is making some headway. Indian borage is a sudorific, meaning that it stimulates sweating, which also helps to clear out toxins through the skin and speed the recovery process.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In traditional use, Indian borage was commonly used to settle upset stomachs and relieve irritable bowel syndrome by regulating digestion and soothing stomach inflammation. Brewing tea from the leaves of Indian borage is the most effective way to take advantage of this health benefit.

Word of Warning

The bristly leaves and stems may cause mild contact dermatitis to people with sensitive skin, but generally, there is no allergenic potential in Indian borage. Due to its potent mixture of compounds and chemicals, however, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are discouraged from using the herb.

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I'm in California with a cutting given to me from a friend who came from the Philippines, in 1998. She only knew that it was used in tea. Well, I treasured the plant as it was from far away and I knew it was rare in my country. One time (1992) I took a small plant in the car (back window all the way!) across the U.S. when I moved from west to east. I never put it outside. It doesn't like strong sun nor cold; grows strong and well in soil or makes water roots if you don't have time to plant it. I love the color and essence of the plant. It multiplies from a leaf, or stem cutting in soil/water. Today (before finding it online - Plectranthus amboinicus) I rubbed a few leaves, from a mother plant, to help heal a skin injury. Wow! It's potent, but I believe, after reading the comment from Pat Bagano and more, that we are lucky to have such a fine plant to depend on for so many reasons. Take care!

I used to call it Oregano, I came across this herb by accident. I found 6 tip cuttings in our front porch along with the garbage. Feeling sorry for the poor plant and to try my fairy powers I stuck them to the ground. Surprised they came to life even they look like they are not going to make it, I just watered them and proudly claimed I have oregano plant. Everyone calls it oregano where I am from. However, being a google dependent person that I am and loves research. I researched on this plant and turned out it was Spanish Thyme that goes with another name of Mexican Oregano. It probably got popular as Oregano in the Philippines.
I love to make infusions and herbal teas from scratch. This got me the title of a “witch” around the people who lives close by. I am someone you would notice pounding some ginger root with my mortar and pestle or drying leaves. I don’t qualify as a witch though. I love the taste of freshness that homemade infusion brings, secondary to health benefits they bring.
So after a few months I have over 30 pots of about 5 stems of this plant growing. I began just trimming the tips and then stick it to next to its mother until they got plenty. I now enjoy it as a hot herbal drink and noticed changes in my health, I pee more and I noticed less swelling in toes, which is my biggest problem. Is it really that good? Let us see.
Thanks for reading my long comment.


Just know that is is called mexican mint. I used to have it planted back home. My parents used to make soup out of it.