Spring in Vermont is well underway. The garden is waking up. Nearly everyone complains about the spread of mint in the garden, but it’s a wonderfully refreshing herb to have around. Vigorous and adaptable, mint spreads by runners and will take over a garden if left to its own devices. It’s best to plant mint in a pot or use landscape fabric to block off a special area for it. Let’s take a fresh look at mint and learn how we can use mint as medicine.
In Chinese medicine mint is known as Bo He. It is pungent, aromatic and cool in flavor. The perfect combination of flavors to cool you down on a hot day or reduce a fever. Mint contains dozens of chemicals that are what give it its healing qualities. These chemicals naturally occur in mint and are known as leucine, menthol and aspartic acid. Mint oil has been shown to inhibit staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus albus and streptococcus, and viruses such as herpes simplex. We use Bo He in our Cold and Flu herbal formula because of its ability to cool the body and boost the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria.
Mint is used all over the world not just as a medicinal herb but as a culinary herb too.
Here are some great simple ways to enjoy the flavor of mint.
- Add mint leaves to water, lemon water, or black tea fora refreshing boost
- Freeze mint leaves in ice cubes
- Brew a pot of mint tea. Mint tea will help settle a stomach and reduce a fever
- Add mint to your morning smoothie. It pairs well with banana and most berries and even citrus.
- Sprinkle mint over chopped strawberries for ahealthy dessert.
- Mint goes well with yogurt, basil, roasted beets, feta, pita bread, chickpeas, cucumbers, couscous, and chocolate.