Scientific Name: Mentha species
Description: There are more than 600 varieties of mint. It’s a rigorous perennial herb which cross-reproduces spontaneously producing new species. It also considered a weed. If space is limited plant in vases or confine roots with deep rocks. Height may vary from 10 cms to almost 1 meter Can grow horizontally. Pruning is essential to maintain compactness and renew growth. Other species form a type of perfumed carpet.
Foliage: Oval or round green, deeply grooved leaves with an occasional violet or white border.
Flowers: Small violet or lilac summer-flowering spikes
Habitat: Preference for fresh, well-drained, rich soil.
Exposition: Grows well both in shade and full sun.
Reproduction: The simplest method is to divide clumps in spring or autumn. Scion also gives good results. Particular species should be sown in spring.
Usage: Digestive, anti-spasmodic and antiseptic properties.
Culinary Usage: This unmistakable strong aroma is particularly appreciated in summer being the main ingredient of syrups and refreshing teas. Leaves can be added to vegetables and chocolate desserts.
Health: An infusion obtained with a few grams of dry or fresh leaves or mixed with lemon, lime, and cammomile as a digestive. Headache sufferers benefit from a compress of boiled leaves. Mint mouthwashes also relieve sore throats.
Myths and Legends: This highly perfumed herb is the symbol of hospitality. Homer wrote of laborers who rubbed their kitchen tables with mint before serving guests their food. Always popular, it was scattered in rooms and wardrobes, much as deodorant is used today.