How to Make the Most of Mint
What you'll need
Peppermint: 50-100g from £2.95 Buy Now
Spearmint: 50-100g from £2.95 Buy Now
A cloth/ muslin drawstring bag Buy Now
When we enjoy an after-dinner mint, we’re continuing ancient customs of finishing feasts with a sprig of mint to soothe an over-worked stomach. Mint occupies an unequaled position as our favourite digestive aid but, as the source of menthol, which is found in abundance in our mouthwashes, toothpastes and gums, it’s clear that this wonderful plant has many other healing uses.
Peppermint and Spearmint are both used in herbal healing and have quite similar properties and effects. Most would agree that Peppermint is a bit sweeter and tastier and as well as being more potent it is also the more recent arrival, having been classified as separate from Spearmint in the 17th century.
The earliest Egyptian medical texts actually make mention of mint as a stomach soother. The Greeks and Romans used it in the same way but also added it milk and meat to make it last longer. Spearmint and Peppermint’s healing properties come from their aromatic oils; in Peppermint this is mostly menthol and in Spearmint it is called carvone.
Making a Peppermint oil opens up a wide range of options for therepeutic use as well as for hair and body health. To make Peppermint oil simply follow this guide How to make a herbal oil using Peppermint or even Spearmint if you prefer. Mint oil can be used on wounds, scalds and burns by applying a few drops to the affected area.
The easiest and quickest way to prepare mint is by making an Infusion or tea. Find out how to make a herbal infusion by reading our guide here. A Peppermint or Spearmint tea makes a great decongestant and digestive aid. Use two teaspoons of dried herb per cup of boiling water.
An easy and effective way to breathe in the the healing benefits of menthol, is to make a herbal bath: fill a cloth bag with a few spoonfuls of dried, or even fresh, Peppermint, tie the top and hang it over the tap so the hot water can run over it.