Monday, 18 August 2008

Mint the Cool Herb

There are about 20 varieties of mint, originating from Mediterranean area through to Western Asia. Mint can be propagated by seed, but can also swiftly take over a herb bed by creeping underground root systems. Mints are perennial, dying down in the winter.

The Romans looked upon mint as a carminative, helping flatulence and the digestion of heavy foods. The peppermint variety was not discovered in Britain until 1696, in Hertfordshire, and is now subsequently cultivated in Surrey region of the UK.

Mint now has been confirmed in treating stomach, carminative and antispasmodic problems. It is a tonic and stimulant as well as being good for nervous disorders, nervous vomiting and flatulence. It is especially recommended for old people for its digestive values, and for convalescence, fatigue and anaemia.

MINT OIL

The leaves and flowers are picked just before maturation this is when the essential oil content is at its peak. The mint is then steam distilled The fresh, the oil is very fluid with is thickening and darkening with age.

ITS USES

It is good for the nervous system as a regulator and sedative. The menthol it contains is good as tonic for the heart and pharmaceutical companies now process the oil.

It is good as it cleans the blood and has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

Mint tea is good for acne LINK or spots and for if you feel nauseous


Tea recipe
2 tbsp chopped fresh or 2 tsps dried mint leaves
1 pint boiling water,

leave to infuse for 5 minutes

Optional
Sweeten with add honey or sugar if.

It is excellent for bruises and swellings based on this recipe
mix up an oil made from 4 tsp soya oil, 15 drops of mint oil it should be applied straight away and repeated for a few hours

Swollen gums or mouth ulcers can be treated by mixing 2 tsp rakia, cognac or whisky, 5 drops mint oil and 1/2 pint hot water. Gargle the mixtures several times during the day until it is all used up, Try to leave the mixture in the mouth for as long as possible after each gargle.

Toothache, no problem mint is a good remedy. Add a few drops of the oil onto some cotton wool and press it against the tooth. It is an anaesthetic due tot he menthol content and the pain will slip away in time for a less painful trip to the dentist.

Mint itself is quite harmless, but the concentration of the oil and the menthol content, can cause reactions and advice has been issued for its use.

- Mint oil should never be used undiluted, it may cause a bad reaction.

- In the bath, never us mint oil on its own.

- Use the oil on little areas of your body, never all over because of the menthol it would be quite dangerous.

- Using mint oil at night will keep you awake.

- Don't mix mint remedies with homoeopathic remedies as mint acts as an antidote!

Finally:
Mint is easily grown but transplanting roots or by seed, but try and grow them in containers as they spread like wildfire and you will end up with a mint garden. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing is bad.

Add. Cooking with mint takes on another chapter and will be dealt with at a later time.



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