Mint

Mint

mentha

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: No
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used:
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About Mint

Mentha, commonly pronounced as mint, reaches out from the insanely popular mint family, Lamiaceae. It is documented that around 24 species of mint exist on our mother earth. This genus customarily meets hybridization a lot so it possesses a wide variety of genetic variation in its species.

This glorious perennial is commonly divided into four main spectrums:

  • Mentha spicata
  • Mentha longifolia
  • Mentha suaveolens
  • MenthaxPiperita

All these species are different from one another on the grounds of their flavors and applications. Ample of folklore remedies are associated with mint. The traditional medicine system of Iran highly respects the medicinal properties of mint. All these highly valuable varieties of mint confer a wide range of pharmacological actions. They are good at treating microbial infections, gastrointestinal disorders, and nervous system diseases.

Mints act as an antioxidant, antispasmodic, anthelminthic, anti-nociceptive (analgesic), antipyretic, antiemetic, carminative, antidepressant, choleretic, and CNS stimulant activity.

Mints are packed with biologically active ingredients, including menthone, isomenthone, menthol, 1, 8-cineole, borneol, and piperitenone.

However, with myriads of fringe benefits, mint is liable to pose toxic action which depends on its dose and individual. So the mint plant is oven-dried before its consumption to avoid its adverse reactions.

Growing

Growing mint from seeds is a bit exasperating as they forever to germinate. So, the starts (transplants) are preferred over seeds as they have proven to be a bit faster than seeds germination.

Mint can be grown both indoors and outdoors. On the contrary, no matter how long mint seeds take to germinate, but as soon as they sprout, they spread rapidly both over and under the ground. Within a matter of a few months, mint is liable to take over the whole garden.

Most gardeners prefer planting it in a container due to its overly-aggressive spreading nature. This plant requires full sun but can also thrive in part-shade along with well-drained but moist and slightly acidic to neutral soil.

The time for introducing its seeds to the soil varies from setting to setting. For indoors, mint seeds should be broadcasted at least 8 weeks before the last expected frost date. On the other hand, late spring sowing suits best for outdoor mint plants.

Note: it is made sure that the seeds are not covered as they require light to germinate.

Mint seeds take at least 15 days to germinate. But once they kick start with the process, there’s no turning back. It creeps wildly across the garden bed and is able to get hold of the entire land.

Soon mint steps into the flowering phase in June and keeps up with the task till September. The plant dies every year, to come back again with its sparkling fragrance and sweet flavor.

Harvesting

Mint leaves are harvested before the plant dives into its blooming phase because they lose their extremely important essential oils. These oils are quite valuable from both medicinal and culinary point of view.

Mint leaves are the extremely treasured part of the mint plant, so they are rigorously harvested all around the globe with shears.

To preserve the exceptionally sparkling flavor of mint, they are oven-dried or dehydrated for teas and stuff.

Usage

The very existence of mint is enough to recover the dull spirits. With the passage of time, mint is paving its path and breaking into our lives to cheer us up and treat a plethora of diseases.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped mint leaves in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place. .
  • Tea - Fresh mint leaves are steeped in hot boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. The plant material is strained and honey is stirred in to add some flavor.
  • Decoction - Fresh mint leaves are simmered in water until half of it evaporates. Then the strained liquid is again heated on low flame until half of it remains and stored in an airtight glass jar
  • Salve - fresh mint leaves are infused in organic olive and then strained. The infused oil is then stirred in the melted organic beeswax and left to congeal like a salve.
  • Syrup - Fresh mint leaves are rolled to boil with water and white sugar to form a mint syrup.
  • Infused oil - Fresh mint leaves are chopped infused in organic olive oil. The leaves are strained and the oil is reserved for later use.