Welcome to the first Thursday Herb day! A series of posts all things herbs! Herb types, how we use them, preparations and more!
This week we will learn about Mint!
Most people have heard of mint, whether as a garnish in one of my favorite drinks, Mojito anyone? Or maybe in one of your favorite culinary dishes? Many have used it in a tea form, I know I drink it often for nausea because of my POTS syndrome.
This herb is a staple in my home apothecary and should be in yours as well! Mint is a centuries old favorite for its taste, and medicinal properties. It is also, in my opinion, one of the easiest herbs to grow. Mint is good for that shady area where your not sure what to plant. For growing outdoors, plant one or two purchased plants (or one or two cuttings from a friend) about 2 feet apart in moist soil. One or two plants will easily cover the ground, mint spreads like crazy so be sure to plant it in an area you don't mind it taking over or plant it in pots to keep it contained. Mint should grow to be 1 or 2 feet tall. It comes in numerous varieties such as, chocolate mint ( amazing added to chocolate chip cookies), and the more commonly known spearmint and peppermint, which I will be talking about today.
Spearmint and peppermint are the most dominant species of the herbal plant and more than often, people mistake one for the other. While they are very similar they do have their differences.
Spearmint is the most common variety found occurring naturally, it is not a hybrid. The biggest difference is amount of menthol in each variety. Spearmint only has a 0.05% concentration and the most common uses are:
As an addition to cocktails.
For medicinal purposes: – it is known to help in cases of hiccups, nausea, and also acts as a mosquito repellent so it is great to plant around your outdoor gathering places such as decks and patio's.
It's often used in making tea with both caffeine-free and caffeine options.
I often combine Spearmint with other medicinal herbs that I don't like the flavor of to make them more palatable. A regular tea I drink around my time of the month is a combination of mint and red raspberry leaves ( red raspberry tea is often referred to as the woman's herb, more on that in next weeks Thursday herb day;) to help with my PMS symptoms.
What is Peppermint?
Peppermint is simply the aromatic leaves of a plant belonging to the mint family. Peppermint also refers to the old-world plant that yields peppermint leaves and oil. This variety of Mint is a hybrid variety. Peppermint has a higher concentration of menthol and is used more medicinally, often for relaxing muscles, relieving stress, and soothing sore throats. The aroma from peppermint leaves is used to restore balances and relieve stress. One of my favorite essential oils is Peppermint ( I prefer YL essential oils because of their seed to seal promise, but there are lots of options out there) , I put it in a roller bottle with a carrier oil to apply to my temples when I have a headache, or roll on my tummy if I'm struggling with nausea, I use it for my kids when they have upset tummies. I use it in a salve I make for sore muscles and my homemade chest rub. I will be posting soon about how to make a salve ( or if your in a time crunch I will be listing salves for sale coming soon.)
I would highly recommend growing this herb for yourself it is highly adaptable to both in ground or container gardening! I hope you enjoyed my first Thursday herb day and remember plants are powerful blessings from our creator!
Revelation 22:2 -In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.
* If you liked this post be sure to check out Foraging Friday's posts!*