Now that the heat is slowly approaching us, the little fruit bat was attracted to a refreshing herb. Mint, as we all know, is great to fight a blocked nose, however, it’s also amazing to refresh so it’s a herb that is famous all year round for one reason or another! It’s also recommended to fight against seasonal allergies, so now that spring is here, maybe it’s time to give it a try with some honey! But that is common knowledge and as always we will try to dig a little deeper before diving into our teacup of fresh mint infusion.
What is Mint?
Now mint is a very wide family having at least thirteen different mint species and hybrids found almost all over the world! It is also rumored that many hybrids and cultivations are unknown and it’s estimated that this would increase the varients up to twenty-four! So today we are going to focus on Spearmint, which is also described as the common mint, lamb mint, mackerel mint, or garden mint. Of course, mint is a herb, and this vast family is part of the even larger family that includes basil, rosemary, thyme, and sage (that is apparently another family, it’s a never-ending herb colony!!) among others! Here we usually use the leaves, however, buds and thin stems are just as delicious! Its height varies from 30cm up to 1meter with a variety of slightly hairy to non-hairy leaves and stems. The stems are squarish, which is a defining characteristic of the mint family. Just like ginger and turmeric, mint grows from a wide-spreading fleshy underground rhizome, however, as far as I can say, this is not used for cooking or infusion purposes.
Spearmint oil is most abundant in carvone, a chemical found mainly in spearmint, caraway, and dill. It also contains menthol and menthone, however, unlike its close relative peppermint, spearmint isn’t that rich in these. Spearmint is rich in Vitamin A and Iron, it’s also a decent source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Magnesium. So let’s see what this will make this herb good for!
Now since spearmint is high in carvone, while peppermint is high in menthol and menthone, although they have similar benefits they do differ slightly, they actually vary more in the way they help with the same symptoms so a mix of both might be the best way to go. They both act as a muscle relaxant and so pain killers, fight bacterial infections, and helps to unblock our sinuses as well as freshen our breath. However, here are two lists of the most popular mint varieties:
- May improve irritable bowel syndrome and relieve indigestion
- Relieves headaches and migraines
- Help kill mouth germs and give fresh breath
- Ease stuffy sinuses
- Boost energy and improves concentration
- Relief menstrual cramps
- May fight bacterial infections
- Helps against seasonal allergies
- Helps with nausea, vomiting, and gas
- Helps against soar throat and common colds
- Helps against arthritis (reduces the pain and increases joint flexibility)
- Help reduce cramps and muscle pains
- Helps freshen your breath and also helps with toothache
- Helps against headaches
- Reduces fatigue and stress
- May aid women with hormone imbalance
- May improve memory
- May fights bacterial infections
Well, it seems very safe to consuming normal doses, not many alarm bells go off with this herb. Some people might be allergic to it, however, it is a very rare allergy. As always we still recommend caution if you are taking it for the first time (we recommend that whenever you try anything new). It is not recommended in large amounts if you have:
- Kidney disorders
- Liver disease
Side effects you might note (mostly if you are ingesting oils or supplements or applying oils to your skin, it’s very unlikely to give you symptoms from a simple infusion, but it’s always good to be on the lookout, right? So I am listing the very severe scenario here just to be safe.)
- burning mouth syndrome
- mouth ulcers
- skin irritation
- inflammation of the kidney
- respiratory collapse
- difficulty speaking or breathing (pediatrics)
Making the Tea
- Around 8 leaves of mint (or a teaspoon of dried mint)
- 1 cups of water
Mint infusion is really simple, it acts just like tea, so simply boil the water, let it cool for a few seconds, pour on the leaves, and let it steep, and you’re done!
You can add ice to this tea in summer and have a super refreshing drink, as always you can add honey for a sweeter version, it’s good with tea, ginger will boost its refreshing properties, lemon can also be added giving even more Vitamin C to the drink, mint is even infused with vodka so a dash of alcohol could be an option here too! Hope you find a variation that you like and give this amazing tea a go! It is actually one of my favorite infusions, really simple to make and blended so nicely with my Apple Cake, it has a very particular sweetness to it! Leave us your comments below and let us know what you think, as always, we will be looking forward to that!