silversword(9A)March 17, 2009

I like mint a lot. Other than its tendency to spread it seems like a pretty perfect herb. Tasty, many uses and pretty to look at. Here are a few uses for it. What do you use mint for?

1. Mint jelly and sauces

2. Peppermint oil used as a flavouring in drinks, confectionary, medicine, soaps and toothpaste

3. Tonic, cough mixtures, bronchial trouble, asthma

4. Cleaning wounds

5. Gargles and mouth washes

6. Vermin deterrent  rats and mice dislike mint

7. spearmint and peppermint aid digestion

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Inhaling the smell of mint (the stronger the smell the better) is a good treatment for dispelling the effects of shock.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 5:28PM
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Tendency to spread? That's what I've heard, but I can't just plant mint or lemon balm in my yard and forget it. My soil is too sandy, and they won't survive unless coddled. My mints faded out. I had the lemon balm in a bed that was irrigated and fertilized, so it is still around but is not the invasive monster that so many people talk about. Yarrow, on the other hand, seems to do well in my yard and spreads on its own.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 5:33PM
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Yeash... yeah, mint goes under and beyond in the right conditions. I'm sure it's sprouting from my garden to China right now!!! Funny how that happens, isn't it? I was reading a forum on Kudzu the other day and one person was saying in New Zealand they tried to introduce it after the "success" in the Americas but it just kept dying.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 9:52AM
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People with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) often need to be cautious using peppermint. Peppermint seems to be too relaxing to the esophageal sphincter and actually can make reflux worse. Spearmint doesn't seem to be as relaxing to that sphincter muscle and can be used. I've seen that happen time and time again.

Iced mint tea is very refreshing on a hot day. Menthol crystals (which is the leftover dregs from mint essential oil distillation) is used in many over-the-counter preparations. Menthol crystals in a preparation can really help relieve certain types of itchy skin. So, try smearing mint toothpaste on an itchy bit and see if it helps.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 8:26AM
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Peppermint and green tea - makes the green tea taste better. I make a big pot every morning and drink it throughout the day cool. Mint is easy to grow, harvest, and dry for tea.

Peppermint essential oil for headache. It can also be mixed with lavender essential oil. I don't get many headaches but it works well when I do.

Peppermint essential oil is also good in my car diffuser on long trips. Keeps me alert and makes the car smell really nice.

I make a breath spray using essential oils and peppermint and spearmint are part of that "recipe".

While it can be aggressive in the garden unless controlled it's pretty easy to pull. I've almost gotten rid of all of mine over the last 10 years! :-) I found the roots managed to spread even out of large pots. Dumped them all out by the barn, they flourished, then the deer found them and no more mint! Might get a few new plants this year and start it all over again! ;-)

Love picking a mint leaf and chewing it while gardening.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Just a note of distinction: Peppermint & most other mints contain menthol, which acts to stimulate bile production and calm stomach muscles (and menstrual cramps). SPEARMINT does NOT contain menthol, and is used primarily as a flavoring agent.

If your mints are getting away from you try planting them in 5-gallon buckets that have had the bottoms cut out of them. Leave the large "rim" of the bucket above ground and don't let the mint flop beyond that boundary. Shear 1/3 of the plant 2-3 times a season--depending on the length of your season--this will prevent flowers from forming. Or plant in a dry, rocky area, which will intensify the mint's flavoring while limiting its ability to grow.

Don't grow various varieties anywhere near each other-- they will meld & all taste horrible. Also don't grow near marjoram or oregano, as the same will happen.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:40PM
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