Mountain Mint

Mountain Mint

Pycnanthemum

Mountain mint has a myriad of fringe benefits. It is used in herbalism to treat digestive tract disorders like mouth sores, bleeding gums, indigestion, colic, and flatulence. Mountain mint is also useful for menstrual disorders. Its decoctions are quite helpful in healing wounds, curing fever, and pains of various origins (especially toothache).

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Narrowleaf Mountain Mint, Common Horsemint
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Flowers & Leaves
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About Mountain Mint

Pycnanthemum, habitually termed as mountain mint, has yet another deceiving name because neither it is a mint nor it is grown anywhere near the mountains. It belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae. Mountain mints have a strong scent and pungency so they are used in cooking and herbal preparations.

Mountain mints grow in the form of clusters, having both width and height of 3 feet. Its foliage releases a wonderful peppermint-like scent when they receive the heat of the sun or when they are crushed. The plant also proffers pinkish-white flowers that are liable to invite pollinating insects to the garden.

Mountain mint has a myriad of fringe benefits. It is used in herbalism to treat digestive tract disorders like mouth sores, bleeding gums, indigestion, colic, and flatulence. Mountain mint is also useful for menstrual disorders. Its decoctions are quite helpful in healing wounds, curing fever, and pains of various origins (especially toothache).

The leaves of mountain mint are rich in limonene, menthone, pulgeon, and menthol. All these biologically active ingredients work wonders in imparting the mountain mint its signature aroma and pharmacological actions.

Growing

Mountain mint is a slow-growing perennial that can be started indoors and outdoors. For outdoor settings, the seeds are sown after all the dangers of frost have departed in mid to late spring. For an indoor setting, the seeds are worked up at least 6 weeks before the last frost date.

The mountain mint can also be transplanted if the seeds are not available. The plant requires fertile, medium-moist soil and a sunny spot. It has average water supply requirements and can survive drought conditions well.

Mountain seeds take 7 to 14 days to germinate. The seedlings give out highly aromatic leaves. In midsummers, the mountain mint produces pinkish-white flowers.

The flowers hail butterflies and bees for pollination which results in seed heads formation. These seed heads are dispersed by gusts of wind and get planted to begin a new lifecycle.

Harvesting

The leaves and flowers are harvested during late summers.

The leaves and flowers can be harvested by using sharp gardening shears or scissors.

The leaves and flowers of mountain mint can be air-dried in a well-ventilated room or they can also be dehydrated only to be stored in an airtight container for later use.

Usage

Mountain mint imparts plenty of health benefits. Its medicinal preparations are used to seek protection against various diseases.

  • Tincture - Infuse fresh or dried chopped mountain mint leaves in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - 1 to 2 teaspoons of mountain mint leaves are soaked in hot boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes to form mountain mint tea.
  • Decoction - Dried mountain mint leaves are simmered in water for 6 to 8 hours to form a strong mountain mint tincture.
  • Salve - Mountain mint-infused oil is added to the beeswax to form salve.
  • Syrup - A handful of dried mountain mint leaves is simmered in sugar solution for a while to form mountain mint syrup.
  • Infused oil - Mountain mint leaves and flowers can be infused in any carrier oil to form mountain mint-infused oil.