Herbal Interests // Mint
I was given a few sprigs of mint by a friend a few weeks ago. She has been growing her own herbs for years now, but did not realize all of their medicinal benefits until she started reading our blog. How awesome is that? I was so surprised and honored when she told me to try seeing what I could find out about mint. She said that she often uses it in iced tea, throwing a handful of leaves into the brew and adding lots of sugar (; It was pretty delicious!
Mint is a well known breath and mouth freshener. It is also known by the name Mentha and has more than two dozen species and hundreds of varieties (like most of the herbs in my current garden!). It has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal, culinary, and beauty benefits. So long, in fact, that it is said to be impossible to find in its original form. There are references to mint in the Bible as being highly valuable and used as tithes by the Pharisees. In Roman mythology, Proserpine, Pluto's wife, was said to have transformed a rival into the mint plant. In Ancient Athens, different herbs were often used to scent parts of the body, and mint was used for the arms. The earliest forms of toothpaste used mint for whitening and freshness in the fourteenth century.
Here are some uses for Mint:
- A great appetizer or palate cleanser, often used by chefs for these purposes as it promotes digestion and activates the salivary glands. Mint helps to soothe the stomach, nausea, and motion sickness.
- To soothe muscle aches, place a bundle of mint in a muslin bag or cheesecloth and drop into your bath water, or into a warm foot bath.
- To ease anxiety, try drinking a warm glass of mint tea.
- The oldest form of toothpaste, chew on a mint leaf to freshen breath. By steeping a bundle of mint in 4 cups of water, you can help ease gingivitis by using as a mouthwash.
- To help reduce colic in an infant, steep one mint leaf in one ounce of water; do not exceed 4 oz of mint tea per day.
- Bring a bundle of mint to a boil in a pan of water, turn off heat, and lean over the pan with a towel draped over your face to help congestion. Breathe in deeply.
- To soothe a cough, drink 3-4 cups of cooled mint tea and take a good whiff of the brew throughout the day.
- Place a spring of mint in 8 ounces of apple cider vinegar and allow to sit for a week. Use this as a rinse after shampooing to get rid of dandruff.
- Chew on a mint leaf to reduce flatulence.
- Get rid of hiccups by making a remedy with a few mint leaves, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt to an 8 ounce glass of water.
- Decrease insomnia and indigestion by drinking a mint tea before bed.
- To lift you mood or ease nausea, try soaking a rag in mint tea and place it over your nose and mouth, breathe in.
- Relieve a sunburn by soaking cotton balls in a strong, cold mint tea and gently applying to the burned area.
- To clean your face, bring a bundle of mint to a boil, turn off heat, and lean over the pan.
- You can clean your carpet by mixing two teaspoons of crushed, dried mint to 1 cup baking soda. Sprinkle this mixture over your carpet, let sit for an hour, and vacuum up.
- Plant mint by windows and doors to detract flies, or combine with 1 cup apple cider vinegar and use as a spray on pets/around house to kill fleas.
I hope you enjoyed some of those recipes for mint! As for me, I am in the process of drying my sprigs, and will probably save some for tea and also try the carpet cleaner! That just sounds like a fun project to try (if I can ever have an hour where Tad isn't running around!!!). Have a lovely day, friends!