Mint As Medicine

On August 15, 2014

I’m super obsessed with Natural Healing.  From day one of my journey food as medicine has always been a core principle.  There are thousands of herbs out there with vast, fascinating healing properties, but I love using what’s familiar (and local) to heal what ails me.  I’ve written about another favorite culinary herb, Thyme before and now it’s time to dive into mint…

 

How to identify when something is in the mint family

There are a lot of varieties of mint out there: spearmint, peppermint, apple mint, chocolate mint, lime mint, banana mint, bowles…

1) The first way to figure out if something is mint is to rub the leaves with your forefinger and thumb and then smell your fingers.  Rubbing will release the essential oils and aroma.  You could stick your face in the plant but that’s way less graceful.  And if it’s not mint…lord knows what you just stuck your face in.

2) Feel the stem.  Plants in the mint family have a square-ish stem.  It’s cool.  Feel it.

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Benefits of Mint

1.  Mint is one of nature’s best tummy tamers.  It soothes and upset stomach, reduces gas, bloating, and helps with nausea.

2.  It’s a natural aphrodesiac, and helps stimulate the “system”

3.   It treats bad breath (which is helpful because of #2)

4.  It’s antibacterial and an expectorant, which means it helps kill bugs and helps to clear mucous from the airways

5.  It tastes great in salads, smoothies, jams, chutneys, and more…

6.  The flowers are beautiful and smell great in a bouquet

Mentha

Uses of Mint

My favorite way to use mint is fresh mint tea (fresh tea leaves, covered with boiling water).  This is the traditional tea that you’ll find everywhere in Morocco.  I have family that lives there and no matter where I am, or what I’m doing when I smell mint tea, I’m instantly transported to the Medina of Marakesh.  Like magic.

Add the aforementioned Mint-water to a bath for a refreshing tingly feeling.  Or use it as mouth wash because of it’s duel breath freshening/ anti microbial properties.

Chew a few springs for fresh breath.

Add one drop of mint essential oil to water for a mid-day energy boost.

Use mint aromatherapy to open up your respiratory system.

 

Am I missing anything?  Are there ways you use mint that we all need to know about?  Please share the love!

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