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PLANT PROFILE LIST
SPECIES / FAMILY: Mentha Spicata / Lamiaceae
OTHER COMMON NAME(S): garden mint, common mint
CONDITIONS: sun/shade, moist soil
COMMENT: Flowers & Leaves - strong spearmint flavour, used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods, often used in 'mint sauce', which is used as a flavouring in meals. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. An essential oil from the leaves and flowers is used as a flavouring in sweets, ice cream, drinks etc.
CAUTION: “Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.”(1) Excessive mint exposure may cause an arthritic condition.
NUTRITION/MEDICINAL: Antiemetic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Cancer; Carminative; Diuretic; Poultice; Restorative;
LOOK-A-LIKES: Looks like most other “upright” mints, but not groundcover/vine-like mints.
OTHER USES: Essential; Repellent; Strewing. An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant, the yield is about 4K of oil from 1 tonne of leaves. The oil is used commercially as a food flavouring and oral hygiene preparation. The plant repels insects and was formerly used as an strewing herb. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain. (1) Any mint is an insect and rodent repellent, just put some in a blender with water, sieve out fiber, use mint water to damp mop and dust. Also use to rinse woolen clothes to keep moths away.
SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):
- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mentha_spicata (good photos)