Mint and its many uses

August 9, 2016

Mint

 

One of the most popular garden herbs, mint is very helpful and quite the sustainable plant.  Mint tea can help calm the stomach and nerves as well as congestion and diarrhea.  Historically mint has been used for over 4000 years and can be seen used in almost every application for health all over the world. Egyptian papyri and Sumerian tablets show it being used in Rituals (and cuisine) for kings, pharaohs, and priests. 

 

The name "Mentha" comes name "MIntha" a nymph from the underworld.  The mythological story goes that her father was a underworld river god and she had a lurid affair with Hades, god of the underworld.  Persephone, his wife, found out and trampled her to pieces.  The plant we use, that bares her name, sprung from her body in the soil.  The specific mint that was in the story was Pennyroyal.  Many do not know that Pennyroyal is a mint, a strong one (latin name means "flea" mint), that can only be used sparingly in place of other mints.

The 15th and 16th century show is used in salads containing a wide variety of different herbs and greens.  Mint was and still is the chief herb used in Mongolian cuisine, as seen by the fact that mint tea is the common drink. Persian, Mediterranean, upper African, all use mint in many of their variety of dishes.  Spearmint is the most sought after mint, followed by peppermint, then apple mint.

Mint can be pressed to make oil. Toothpastes, creams, lotions, lip balms, deodorants, air fresheners, all contain some form of mint. 

It can be used fresh to add to food or tea.  They are made into jams, jellies, sauces and chutneys.  They are best and most potent fresh rather than dry.

 

The oil, which contains "Menthol" can clear head congestion and allergies.  The oil is anti-microbial and may help prevent H. pylori

 

FYI:  You can put a few stalks of mint in a cup or jar of water and it will develop roots.  You then can grow them indoors! Don't forget you can make a very easy tea with about 10 leaves of mint and 6-8 ozs of boiled water. Steep and sip!

 

 

Fresh Mint sauce

 

  • 1 bunch fresh mint

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon honey

 

Finely chop mint; transfer to a jar. Add olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Shake to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use (up to 1 month)

 

ADAPTED FROM MARTHA STEWART'S recipe

 

 

 

 

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