The Many Uses of Mint

There are many varieties of mint plants. If you want to brew tea, you go Swiss mint, apple mint or variegated peppermint. To flavor up your cooking, spearmint is the standard. Try Corsican mint for its carpet-like quality as a ground cover in your garden.

Spearmint has long been used for medicinal purposes. Since the ancient times it has been commonly used to whiten teeth and soothe bites of all kinds. Peppermint provides the most widely used essential oil in medicines. Mint is said to aid with digestion-hence, that chocolate mint thins after dinner is not just tradition.

Thinking of growing mint in your own backyard? Chances are, you already have one without knowing it! However, if you do need to have mint planted, it grows like crazy. You should plant it in containers so that it is easier to control.

Mint produces an intense aroma and intricate pale purple flowers. Although indigenous to Europe and the Mediterranean, varieties of mint are now cultivated throughout the world.

Japanese mint is the source of menthol, a major essential oil used in flavoring prepared foods. It's so easy to extract mint from the leaves for a variety of purposes, such as making mint candy or even mentholated chewing gum.

If you just don't have the time to plant mint in your garden, you can find the dried leaves available commercially.

To harness the medicinal properties of mint, you can just use it chopped,like any herb, or infuse it into a liquid. For infusion, pour a hot liquid over the mint sprigs and allow it to steep for 30 minutes to an hour, the longer the stronger the mint aroma.

Lorna Mclaren has more information regarding a wide variety of Herbal Alternatives at http://www.123-nutrition.com

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