Today’s plant profile is of MINT. Glorious, glorious mint. Mint is an ancient staple of the herb garden, and over time a great number of varieties have been developed. Along with the familiar peppermint and spearmint, you can find apple mint (pictured here–did you guess correctly?), orange mint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint, licorice mint, curly mint, and many many more.
Mint is a vigorously growing herb with mighty roots that have been known to bust pipes in the ground. The flowers are favorites of pollinators, which will benefit other flowering plants in your garden, and mint is also pest resistant (like many strong-smelling herbs) and thus a good companion plant. When growing your own, be sure to plan carefully to avoid mint taking over areas where you do not want it; once established, it sends out tendril-like runners and puts down deep roots, which can make it a challenge to control.
Mint is a common ingredient in everything from toothpaste to soap. It has been used throughout time to soothe the gastrointestinal system and other internal ailments, as well as being used externally for pain and inflammation. Learn more about mint’s medicinal usefulness here: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-705-PEPPERMINT.aspx?activeIngredientId=705&activeIngredientName=PEPPERMINT.
A more detailed article on the history of mint cultivation is available here: http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/herbs-for-health-medicinal-mint.aspx?PageId=1#axzz36nNzhbhg.
How do you use mint?