Spearmint

Space Needed

1 SF/Plant

Background

The more than 3,000 varieties that make up the mint family plants all possess high levels of volatile oils.  These oils account for the distinctive flavors prized in cooking and many of their medicinal properties. Spearmint, (Mentha spicata), native to Europe and Asia, but now naturalized on five continents is rich in iron and potassium 

Medicinal Value

The aromatic nature of Spearmint is more easily tolerated than its stronger tasting relative, peppermint, yet exhibits strong antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It can help protect and heal external as well as intestinal wounds. It can stimulate nerves (as it relaxes them!), cure headaches while also improving brain function, and overall blood circulation It stimulates digestion while helping gas dissipate. Many who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome are finding it and effective treatment. Also, it is use it to alleviate common respiratory problems, such as colds, nasal congestion, asthma, and flu

Ornamental Value

Spearmint is a herbaceous perennial plant with a square-shaped stem, broad leaves, and white/pink flowers. It prefers ample moisture and partial to full sun.

Cultivation

Mint is one of the easiest plants to grow from either seed or from rooted cuttings. This website provides excellent information about how to grow both indoors and outside. 

Harvest & Keeping

The leaves are where the value lies in spearmint, at least in terms of use, as they contain many of the active ingredients and a high concentration of the scent and flavor. Nibble the fresh herb or dry the leaves for using later as a soothing tea.

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