Mint- The Smell and Taste of Summer

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It's likely mint is one of the most popular tastes and smells in our culture.  Spearmint and peppermint gum, peppermint oil, candy canes, and a cup of mint tea, are found in most households.  Mint has a strong stimulating response, and when put into the air, is cleansing and refreshing.  Even though we find this strong herb in many candies, oils, or teas, it's unusual for many to think of it as a food. 

The English were the first to eat mint in the the 17th century, and it's eaten widely across Southeast Asia and India. When thinking of mint as a healing food, it's a top contender in digestive problems and breathing disorders.  

  • It can aid in Irritable Bowel Syndrome by relaxing the muscles of the GI Tract and normalizing contractions.
  • It can decrease stomach aches and indigestion.  Likely why having a cup of peppermint tea is after a meal is a healing tonic.
  • Don't use however when you have acid reflux or a bout of heartburn, as it has been shown to aggravate it.  

Mint also aids in other conditions:

  • The menthol in mint stimulates coldness receptors in the the mucous membranes or skin and creates a sense of cooling. This menthol helps open up the airway and decrease cough. 
  • It can help with nerve pain, refresh the mind and improve focus, and decrease stress and anxiety.
  • It has also been shown to be used in cancer therapy, 

Growing and harvesting mint. 

  • There are many kinds of mint, peppermint and spearmint being the most common. 
  • Make sure if you grow your own, to plant in a container that is all it's own.  Mint spreads through it's extensive root system and will quickly invade and take over.  
  • Use mint in smoothies, cream based soups, or sauces. 
  • Dehydrate the leaves to make tea. 
  • Use instead of oregano in tomato dishes for a brighter taste. 
  • Add to salad dressings or steep in olive oil for a minty oil. 

 

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Dehydrating for tea

Recipes to refer to:

Cleansing Mint Smoothie