Mint is a fantastic, fresh smelling plant that most people probably know as a garnish in drinks, the flavor of toothpaste, or as a concentrated hard candy that will coat your bad breath with something a little more tolerable. However, this commonly found plant has a colorful history and, like many unique plants, not only has a culinary use but a medical use. The species that make up the plant are widely distributed and can be found in many environments, but grow best in damp soil. It is a very easy plant to grow, and even if it appears dead, if given enough time it will spring back to life. In fact, it is so easy to grow that it will continue to spread over massive areas, and is considered invasive.
Mint Culture and History
Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (19)Mint appears to have originated in Europe and the Mediterranean, when the Romans would throw it around at feasts and banquets as a welcoming sign to guests. They also flavored their wines and sauces with mint. Mint is often used as a companion plant, repelling bad insects while attracting good ones. Mint is also used as an environmentally friendly insecticide, helping to kill hornets, ants, cockroaches, and wasps.
The chief essential oil in spearmint, menthol, helps to relieve fatigue and stress. The plant is rich in many antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, folates, vitamin B-6, riboflavin and thiamin – many of which help to ward off cancer-causing components. Almost all parts of the mint had its place in folk medicine, and still holds ground in modern medicine. Any headaches or nervous strain is said to evaporate with use of the plant, and it helps to alleviate respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis. Digestive problems are also healed when the herb is consumed as the oils relax the stomach muscles. Topically, menthol oil also has local anaesthetic properties, as well as relief of irritation.