Herbs 101: Mindful Mint
Peppermint, spearmint, green mint, sweet mint . . . there are literally hundreds of different . From chewing gum and toothpaste, to herbal tea and ice cream, mint shares it’s refreshing oil and friendly green leaves, and these hot summer days are a perfect time to enjoy the benefits of this hardy green perennial.
Ruled by the planet Venus, as are many herbs, mint, and specifically peppermint, was intricately braided into crowns and adorned the heads of ancient Greeks and Romans. The crowns were thought to both protect the wearer and attract success. Baths and banquet tables were also decorated with sprigs of the bright green aromatic herb, and it was a beautiful addition to meats, sauces and wine. Though mint is thought to have been used first by the Egyptians around 1000 BCE , it wasn’t until 1618 that it was introduced in the London Pharmacopia and gained popularity by medical practitioners.
Mint possess exceptional healing qualities; both internal and external. It’s leaves and stems contain vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, beta carotene, and vitamins A, C & B-6. Mint tea and peppermint oil are great for calming indigestion, upset stomach, IBS and nausea. As you may or may not know, bad breath is most often the result of an unhealthy gut. So, no wonder mint has been used through the ages to combat stomach and mouth issues. Pungent and refreshing, a drop or two of oil on a cool compress is an almost immediate headache and tension tamer.
Beauty & Aromatherapy:
Peppermint is one of my favorite aromatherapy oils. Whether I shake a few drops into my shower while it’s warming up or make a revitalizing facial mist, the refreshing and stimulating effects of mint evoke a welcomed clarity and alertness. Bath tea, massage oil, chapped skin, steam inhalation, facial tonics: the list of mint’s uses are endless!
Invigorating Hair Rinse
- 8-12 mint leaves
- 1 cup filtered H20
- 1/3 cup ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle or mason jar & refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Saturate hair & scalp with mixture, followed by your usual hair cleansing ritual.
There isn’t much you can’t do in the kitchen with mint. Whether it’s the star ingredient or a small herbal spike to a cocktail, mint is always a lovely addition. During this time of year, when the days are longer and the nights are warmer, I find myself reaching for a fresh bunch of mint at least once during my weekly farmer’s market runs. I love adding chopped mint, shredded coconut and a spoonful of agave to a bowl of fresh berries for a quick and healthful desert, or mixing up the following little concoction as an evening tonic!
- Small handful of organic mint leaves
- 2 slices of lemon
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger root
- 1 tablespoon raw organic honey or agave
Add all ingredients to a mug of boiling water. Cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes. When ready, feel free to strain the tea before sipping.
I hope you are all staying healthy and cool this summer. We would love to hear your favorite uses of mindful mint!