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5 Nov 2010

Spearmint


Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is the common garden mint that most of us know. It originated in the Mediterranean region. The Ancient Greeks believed it symbolized hospitality, the Romans revered it's medicinal and culinary uses and are said to have been the first to create mint sauce. Due to it's usefullness and hardiness mint quickly spread to many parts of the World. Mint became very popular with the folk of the Southern states of the US  and that wonderful drink the Mint Juleps fast became part of their cuisine.

Like all the mints it is a very good source of dietary Fiber, vitamin A, C, B2 (riboflavin), folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese, and a good source of vitamins B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), and B6, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. 

Spearmint leaves are the part of the plant that is used. Spearmint tea is well known for it's medicinal properties. It relieves nausea and heartburn, cleanses the liver, promotes bile flow and also assists in easing morning and travel sickness. In the Mediterranean region they believe that regular drinking of the tea will aid women who have excessive body and facial hair. 

Due to it's many healthy constituents it works well externally to relax muscle spasms, reduce inflammations, ease arthritis and rheumatic pains. Drinking the tea or spearmint oil added to a steamer gives relief with respiratory problems by opening up the nose, throat, and lungs. Mint as an infusion and as an oil is a good antiseptic and inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus so is beneficial for many skin problems. Its anti-pruritic properties makes the oil useful for treating insect bites and stings.

In the kitchen spearmint is used for both sweet and savoury dishes. Sorbets, iced and hot drinks, salads, rice and vegetable dishes are all made tastier with it's use.

Spearmint in the garden is a wonderful companion plant for roses but it needs to be watched or it tends to take over a garden. That is why many prefer to plant it in containers. Mice hate mint so to keep them away from foodstuffs or seeds just scatter dried mint around the area. Why not pick up a pot of spearmint today?

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Thyme and Mint Footbath for Smelly Feet
This will help to keep your feet smelling sweet.  Rub between your toes and into your foot.  It can also be sprinkled into sports shoes. It will help to relieve tired feet and can help athlete’s foot as it reduces the moisture around the toes.

2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp dried thyme or 4 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp dried mint or 4 tbsp fresh mint

Combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to the boil and them simmer for 5 minutes.  Strain into a bowl, and leave until the water temperature is bearable. Soak your feet in it until cool. Dry feet well

Citrus Mint Toner
From Care2 Posted by Annie B. Bond               
Your skin will thank you for this enlivening toning formula.

1 cup water
1/4 cup lemon peel, finely grated
1/4 cup grapefruit peel, finely grated
1 cup fresh mint leaves

Bring water to a rapid boil and add other ingredients. Boil 1 to 2 minutes, until peels are soft and slightly translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then strain and discard solids. Store formula in the refrigerator and use a splash whenever needed to perk up your skin.

Rosemary Mint Mouthwash

2 1/2 cups distilled water
1 tsp fresh mint leaves
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp anise seeds

Boil water, then remove from heat and add all ingredients. Let steep (sit) for 20 minutes. Cool, strain, use as mouthwash.

Oily Skin Face Pack

2 tbsps clay powder, choose your favorite
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
fresh Water

Mix clay powder with water and mint until you have a nice smooth paste that will stay on your face without running off. Spread this gently and equally with your fingertips on your clean face and neck: keep the eye area clear. Now lie down, relax and leave the mask to dry for about 15-20 minutes Then wash it off with a warm wet wash cloth and warm water, end with a splash of cold; pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Finally apply a moisturizer, this way you "seal" your skin to keep the water inside Oily skin mask

Pineapple and Mint Sorbet
Created by Jenergy ~ Light, sweet and a hint-o-mint.

1 3/4 cups of pineapple juice (about 1 pineapple)
1/4 cup of agave
1 tbsp of mint leaves, finely chopped

You can use your ice-cream maker following the manufacturers instructions to make sorbet, or pour the mixture into ice-cube trays and freeze. Once frozen blend in your blender until you have sorbet. Another alternative method is to put the mixture in your freezer and give it a stir every couple of hours.

Cucumber Mint Smoothie
From Busy Vegan      

1 cucumber, peeled
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp raw agave nectar
1/4 cup almond milk

Blend ingredients in a high-speed blender, garnish with a sprig of mint or a slice of cucumber (or both!) and serve immediately. Serving : 1 156 calories.


9 comments:

cristina said...

Thank you this is verry nice and informativ blog
the rosemary mint mouthwash is ... delicios I make it now ;)
how can I made mint esential oil homemade? (to use in homemade soaps)
I apreciate any answer
Cristina

Jackie said...

Cristina you would need special distillation equipment to make pure essential spearmint oil but you could make something similar by immersing the leaves in a carrier oil. See http://www.ehow.com/how_4443818_make-mint-oil.html for instructions.

Marion said...

Spearmint, if planted on top of tulip and daffodil bulbs, will keep squirrels from digging up the bulbs. Thyme seems to do the same thing. It must be the strong scent which repels them, but whatever it is, I'm very thankful!!

Jackie said...

I rarely see squirrels as they only seem to live around our Cape region. I shall pass on the info to friends there who might not know such a nice harmless way to keep them away from bulbs :)

cristina said...

Yes I saw that link and there are more things we can make at home. thank you soo much.

God bless you.

Lisa said...

Thank-you so much for this post. Lots of great homemade recipes.

Lisa

http://www.natureshealthhouse.com

Greenearth said...

Always learn something new at your site.

Evan Johnson said...

I really like finding stuff like this. It is a lot of fun to learn about the many uses of stuff we often just overlook everyday. Thank you for the informative post.

Brown said...

This is a very useful herb which use in many medicine.
Thanks!

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