AKA your best friend this summer. Though mint may look its lushest during the mild spring months, this classic cooling herb is a must in any home medicine chest during the summer.
Traditionally used as a remedy for upset stomachs and other digestive issues, mint's soothing quality comes from its antispasmodic, cooling, carminative, and stomachic properties. Mint is commonly included in digestive blends and makes for an exquisite iced tea when it's hot out. The tea is popular throughout both Africa and the Middle East and has been adopted into western herbalism for its many valuable uses.
For those of us with warmer constitutions, mint can be a savior and an ally during the heat of summer. Cooling herbs like mint are one of the many natural remedies that we can use to help feel refreshed amidst the scorching heat (which in the deep east bay we are well accustomed to). When paired alongside herbs like lemon balm, catnip, and tulsi, you can blend yourself a variety of cooling, refreshing, and relaxing teas that will feel like a splash of cold water on your system, and help relieve some of the stress and agitation that can be associated with the heat.
A popular culinary herb, mint can easily be incorporated into a variety of dishes including salads, sauces, pestos, desserts, drinks, syrups, and shrubs. Haven't cooked with mint much before? A quick search on the internet will leave you with a myriad of choices for mint-themed dishes, as well as an idea of what other flavors pair well with this culinary and medicinal herb.
Though mint prefers a slightly cooler environment, given a little shade and a decent water supply the herb can do quite well in the garden. be careful though when planting, as it can spread vigorously when it is in a favorable location. Due to mint's "invasive" nature it makes for a good herb to grow in a pot. I have a large patch growing in my backyard, which I collect from consistently throughout the summer.
Please note - some people do have an allergy to mint, so if you've never worked with the herb before, be cautious when you are first experimenting.
Note: The information on this site has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and is for educational, historical, and research purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site should not be used as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please seek out a qualified health care professional, and always consult your physician before adding herbal supplements into your diet, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication.
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Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: the Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press, 2003.
Mcintyre, Anne. Flower Power: Flower Remedies for Healing Body and Soul through Herbalism. Diane Pub Co, 2000.
Moore, Michael. Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West. Museum of New Mexico Press, 2011.
lease Note: East Bay Herbals does not promote wild-crafting for your medicinal plant needs. Natural populations of plants are vital to the ecosystems that they are a part of, and should be left alone for mother nature to care for. We encourage you to purchase fresh plants from a trusted herb retailer such as The Sonoma County Herb Exchange or your local farmer's market, or to experiment with growing your own.