Description: Square-stemmed perennial, up to 2 feet tall; terminal spikes of tiny purple, pink, or white flowers; opposite toothed leaves; highly aromatic.
Hardiness:To zone 4
Parts used: Leaves
The Health Benefits of Mint
There are many health benefits of mint. From soothing upset tummies, to helping to booste your immune system, mint is a valuable household herb not to be ignored.
This herb is also easy to grow and does so with wild abandon. Be sure not to plant it where you can’t control its spread. I like to plant it in large containers, so it can’t take over my whole garden.
You would also be hard-pressed to find a more beautifully fragrant herb than mint. MInt is amazingly versatile and is a helpful and welcome herb in every household. Mint is right at home in an invigorating cup of tea, in an herbal extract or added to many recipes.
There are a tons of varieties of mints to savor. Peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, apple mint, pineapple mint, and orange mint are just a few in the Lamiaceae or mint family.
Perhaps most commonly known for its ability to soothe the upset tummy, this herb has found its place among the most revered of digestive soothing herbs. I use this herb often and find it to be a delicious addition to my morning cup of tea. Not only is it soothing to the tummy, but it it is invigorating and restoritive too!
Potential Health Benefits of Mint
1.) Managing gastrointestinal problems
2.) Soothing common cold symptoms
Mint plants contain an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent called Rosmarinus acid. A 2019 study on rats found that Rosmarinus acid reduced symptoms of asthma when compared to a control group that did not receive a supplement. The mint plant family provides a range of plant compounds that have anti-allergenic effects, according to a 2019 review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology. However, the content of mint extract in oils and ointments may be far stronger than dietary mint. There is very little research into the effect of dietary mint on the symptoms of allergies.
4.) Anti-microbial & anti-fungal
Mint has the ability to not only kill the bad bacteria that are in our digestive tract, but it also combats the overgrowth of fungus that is present after many of us take prescription antibiotics.
Mint is a powerful herb in the prevention and treatment of Candida Albicans (a common yeast infection).
Culinary Uses of Mint
This herb was initially introduced to Britian by the Romans and is still popular in its culinary uses to this day. Britian’s influence throughout the world has ensured that this herb’s uses and potential were realized far and wide.
Aside from the health benefits of mint, this versitile herb has many culinary uses as well. Add mint to desserts, salads, sauces, and jellies and to hot or cold teas and cocktails. Mint can be a refreshing compliment to hot or spicy food. Consider combining chopped fresh mint with chopped cucumber and plain yogurt. I have found that I really like it with fish.
The Many Useful Properties of Mint
The tasty and vivacious mints are full of helpful properties!
- Antispasmodic – eases muscle cramping
- Antimicrobial – helps to fight viral, bacterial, and fungal infections.
- Carminative – plants that are rich in aromatic oils and help to relieve gas, griping, and spasms
- Digestive – used by herbalists to support digestion
- Diaphoretic – helps to promote perspiration by stimulating peripheral circulation
- Nervine relaxant – helps to calm tension and irritability in the nervous system
- Nervine stimulant – assists in stimulating the nervous system
- Topical analgesic – used externally by herbalists to ease pain
*The above information was taken from Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth by Sharol Tilgner, Healing Herbal Teas by Brigitte Mars, Mentha piperita/pudina: Peppermint by Anne McIntyre, and Peppermint in The Herbarium by the Herbal Academy.
Sun Brewed Mint Iced Tea
- 2 quart pitcher
- 2 Quarts Water
- 1/4 Cup Wildflower Honey
- 1 Large Lemon
- 2 Bunches Fresh Mint Leaves
- Pour the water into a large 2-quart pitcher or container with a lid. Stir in honey until dissolved.
- Zest the lemon, being careful not to include any white pith, and juice the lemon. Combine the zest and juice with the honey-water mixture.
- Hold a bunch of mint in one hand; use your other hand to twist and squeeze the leaves, slightly bruising them to release their fragrance and oils. Immerse the bunches in the water mixture.
- Cover the container and place it in direct sunlight for two hours. Remove the mint leaves, shake, and serve over ice in tall glasses, garnished with a mint sprig.