Mint (Mentha)

Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Types
    1.   1.1  Uses for All
    2.   1.2  Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
    3.   1.3  Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
    4.   1.4  Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis)
  2.   2.  Obtaining
  3.   3.  More
  4.   4.  'Souls
Common Name Mint
Latin Name Mentha (genus)
Icon(s) Peppermint

Wild Mint
by Ann & Peter Macdonald (flickr.com)

1.  Types

All types are herbaceous rhizomatous perennials. They have a long history of cultivation with humanity and are extremely common plants virtually all over the northern hemisphere.

1.1  Uses for All

  • Scent: It is also used in aroma therapy and can disguise scents.

1.2  Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

This widely-cultivated naturalized species grows to 10–60 cm tall. The flowers are purple, 6–8 mm (0.24–0.31 in) long. Peppermint typically occurs in moist habitats, including stream sides and drainage ditches. If placed, it can grow anywhere, with a few exceptions.

Use

  • Peppermint has a high menthol content, and is often used in tea and for flavouring ice cream, confectionery, chewing gum, and toothpaste.
  • Peppermint is commonly used to soothe or treat symptoms. Examples would be nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, indigestion, irritable bowel, and bloating.
  • A mild, pleasant varietal honey can be produced if there is a sufficient area of plants.
  • Peppermint oil has a high concentration of natural pesticides.

Hybrid Varieties

  • Lime Mint: Foliage lime-scented.
  • Citrata Mint: Leaves aromatic and citrusy -- orange/grapefruit tones.
  • Chocolate Mint: Flowers open bottom-up; reminiscent of a minty chocolate.

1.3  Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

This widely-cultivated naturalized species grows 30–100 cm tall and prefers wet, loamy soils. It can flourish in full sun to mostly shade. It possesses a clear, pungent, but mild aroma.

Use

Spearmint leaves can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. They can be preserved in salt, sugar, sugar syrup, alcohol, or oil. The leaves lose their aromatic appeal after the plant flowers. Unlike peppermint oil, the oil of spearmint contains minimal amounts of menthol and menthone.

  • It can be used to treat a variety of digestive ailments, including stomachache (as peppermint) and gas.
  • Spearmint has been studied for antifungal activity; its essential oil was found to have some antifungal activity, although less than Oregano.

1.4  Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis)

This native has similar uses to the above two types of mint, more similar to Peppermint in scent than Spearmint.

2.  Obtaining

  • Extremely Common (wild growth): These plants are found across the territories.

3.  More

4.  'Souls

  • Something!
Categories: Flora | Resources